by Pat Brans
Time management is about setting your sights on what you want, and following through until either you achieve what you set out to achieve or decide it’s no longer worthwhile.
Though his name rarely enters into discussions on the art of time management, Martin Luther King, Jr. was like Pablo Picasso to the craft.
Time management is about setting your sights on what you want, and following through until either you achieve what you set out to achieve or decide it’s no longer worthwhile. At this, Dr. King was unmatched.
Psychologists, such as Brian Little of Carleton University, have studied goal setting, categorizing the kinds of goals people set, and trying to determine which factors make a goal more reachable. According to these researchers, at any given time, each of us has around hundred pursuits, ranging from mundane aims, such as picking up toilet paper on the way home from work, all the way to lofty ambitions, such as changing the underlying social structure of the western world.
One key finding is that whether a person reaches a goal correlates highly with certain characteristics of the goal. How you define your goal and what the goal means to you determine more than anything else whether you succeed or fail.
Putting aside the smaller projects, such as buying toilet paper, which I’m sure you manage just fine, I’ve distilled the essential ideas from the life works of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Brian Little to come up with the following three tips you can apply when deciding on your biggest undertakings:
Tip #1: Freely choose your goals. Be honest with yourself about what you want and why you want it. If you are doing something out of pride, guilt, or jealousy, you’ll probably give it up eventually. The same is true for things you do purely for monetary reward. You’ll probably lose interest over time. On the other hand, if you are doing something because it’s what you want all the way down to the core of your being, you’ll stick with it.
Tip #2: Set unselfish goals. Aim for things that are beneficial to those around you, and not just yourself. None of us exists in a vacuum, and we are at our best when we work for the good of the community. If your goals are consistent with your fundamental need to belong and to identify with a group, you’ll remain motivated until you finish what you start.
Tip #3: Set goals that are challenging, yet achievable. Going for things that are too easy won’t keep you motivated; and shooting for things beyond your reach will only result in frustration. Either of these two approaches will eat away at your feeling of competence, a feeling most psychologists agree is a basic ingredient for happiness. The best way to grow a sense of competence is to set progressively more challenging goals, building on your know-how as you achieve each one in succession.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.