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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Time Management

Robert Manni - Monday, August 11, 2014

There’s been a lot said about time.

It waits for no one. It plays no favorites. It’s all about the “now”.  Everything can change in a blink of an eye. All these statements are true. That’s why it is important to grasp the concept of time and master the art of timing to help manage our lives. So, in the spirit of knowing when to hold em’ and knowing when to fold em’, I give you my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Time Management. Tick, tock, tick tock…

Work: We live in a me, me, me culture where people ironically spend a disproportionate amount of their valuable time at work. And unless you’re a government employee, gone are the days of sticking with one company and scoring a pension that carries you through your golden years. Instead it’s a scramble to get ahead, acquire the things you want, and find the time to enjoy them.

That’s why it’s important to clock your time while charting your career. Here are a few things to keep in mind. First, you only live once, so find a line work that you like, knowing that every company is different. It may be necessary to jump around a few times before finding a corporate culture that suits you. Also, keep in mind that the journey is as important as the rewards for your efforts. And, with all due respect to hard work, it’s equally important to work smart and throw in with the right people, particularly those you can learn from.

Timing your moves is critical to managing your career. Stagnation is the kiss of death for today’s employee. Too many people fall into complacency and a “comfort zone” where they stay too long in a mediocre job. This can end badly for the worker. You see it happen all the time. Stay loose and keep moving, whether it means adding to your skill set or switching jobs. We need to be open to new opportunities and take a few risks early in our careers. That’s how the game is played these days.

And, for God’s sake, enjoy the ride. Find work that provides a sense of satisfaction on a daily basis. That means serving others in some way while building a reputation on integrity, regardless of how other people may play the game. You will look back and be glad you did things the right way. And hitch your star with the winning brands and teams whenever you can.  Maintaining relationships are critical to your career. Also, keep track of the health of your company, and your status and perceived value as an employee. Be prepared to walk away without looking back, if that’s what is feeling best for you. Tick, tick, tick…

Love: This is another area in life where many times people get comfortable in their current situation, even if it not a place that serves them well. How many times have we heard from friends who tell us how their boyfriend or girlfriend is making them unhappy? Yet, they stick with these toxic relationships. I made the mistake of staying in a live-in relationship well beyond its expiration date. We were both good people, but the thrill was gone. We lived separate lives for an extra year or so before the whole thing fell apart. We can’t go back in time, but it was a mistake and we both paid the price…in time lost during our prime years. Do whatever you can to make your relationships work. But if deep down you know that it’s not happening, then move on, regardless the initial pain. In the long run you will both heave a sigh of relief. Tick tick, tick…

Life: We only go around in this incarnation once, and as the years pass time speeds up. So it’s important that we keep a grip on the steering wheel at all times. That does not mean that you need to live an expected cookie cutter existence where you get married and have two point five kids by the age of twenty-five. People nowadays spend more years living single and on their own. There is no right or wrong way to play it. It’s whatever works for you. But, these life-stage decisions come with a price of time. I stayed single for many years before getting married and becoming an “older” parent. My priorities changed quickly and I face a distinct set of challenges due to my decisions with respect to time. Finding satisfying work, maintaining my health, and spending as much time as possible with my little family now take precedent. This is a big change and it’s not easy or something I’d recommend for everyone. It works for me, but evolving my habits and lifestyle has not been a cakewalk.  That said, here we are. I made the decisions so I own them. Tick tick, tick…

The key to managing time wisely is paying attention and maintaining an awareness of what that little voice inside is telling you during your journey. It’s that simple.

This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are Yi Xing and Liang Lingzan, who are credited with inventing the modern clock in China in AD725. Thanks, guys! 

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