Moment Management

by Shaun R Smith on June 14, 2011

Post image for Moment Management

There is no such thing as time management.  Time exists completely outside of us.  Time moves forward without any help or guidance from us.

When someone discusses time management, she is usually referring to productivity.  Productivity is the amount of output you generate over a given period of time.  The other dimension to productivity is the value of the output.

So if we can’t manage time, what can we do? All we can ever do is manage ourselves in any given moment.  All we have in this life is a series of moments.

So how do you maximize each given moment? Prioritization and focus.


I have met people who believe that those individuals who are great at time management get everything done and have clean, clear to do lists.  Even the most successful have a backlog of work to complete.  The only time you have no tasks outstanding is if you’re not working to achieve anything or if you’re dead.

The difference between the highly effective and the unproductive is what they choose to do.  Highly effective and successful people are masterful at prioritizing the right things.

Some questions to help you choose what are the highest impact items to focus on:

-          Does this task move me towards accomplishing my goals?

-          What are the consequences of avoiding or delaying completing this item?

-          Can this item be delegated or deleted?

-          What value will be created by completing this task?

-          Is there low hanging fruit that would provide more return for the same amount of effort?

Plan out your week first, then each day, by identifying the highest impact items that will move you and your business forward.  Coach your team to do the same.


Once you’ve chosen the tasks to complete, you must bring focus to your work so that they are completed with creativity, intelligence, and excellence.

This article discusses a study which found that “workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”

Multi-tasking is a myth.  We don’t have the ability to do more than one thing at a time.  All we can do is rapid refocusing.

And no great work is done while checking emails, texting, answering the phone, and surfing the web.  In fact, even those tasks are completed less efficiently if you’re not focused on them while completing them.

The habit of focusing takes practice, but it’s worth the effort.

Photo by: Alan Cleaver

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