Time Management vs. Attention Management

stop procrastinating Many workdays are a battle against the clock, which is a battle often lost. The thing about time is that you can't control it; it runs at the same speed as everyone else in the world. On the one hand, time is a great equalizer because everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. However, your attention is all your own and this is an aspect of your life that you can take control of.

If you're always racing against the clock it's time for you to reevaluate your priorities. Often, people have a tendency to sway toward those tasks that are fun, easy and convenient. This, however, may not fit in with what your actual priorities are. If, for example, you have 30-minutes to complete a task, ask yourself, "What can I accomplish right now?" Your answer will help you identify the items on your to-do list that are of the highest priority.

It is also vital that you understand the difference between those tasks that are "important" and those that are "urgent." Important tasks are those that are beneficial to the bigger picture and need to be completed, but not necessarily right away. Urgent tasks are those that need to be completed as soon as possible, but may not be needed for your bigger goals. Your job, then, is to differentiate between the two and ensure that your attention is not taken away from your larger goals.

As former president Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "What's important is seldom urgent, and what's urgent is seldom important."

Invest your attention in the aspects of both work and life that are truly important, and you might just find a bit more time on your hands.