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We come to the final article on the A of CAR – touching on a few extra points about Time Management. I am deliberately avoiding talking any more about the ideas promoted by Stephen R. Covey and the later guru, David Allen of GTD (Getting Things Done) fame. I do, however commend both authors to you.

Last week I introduced you to the PRAE acronym, and encouraged you to think about your time usage as being divided between Projects (for Success), Routines (for Stability), Appointments (for Significance) and Emergencies (for Survival). Today I want to introduce you to a couple of more Time Management ideas.

(1) The first time management principle I wish to share with you today is to discuss doing more than one thing at a time. This is effectively a way to have more than 24 hours in a day.

The classic time management advice is to only do one thing at a time, and to a large extent I agree with that – making sure that you give everything the time it requires, and not to become overwhelmed or distracted from the matter at hand. 

But I wish to suggest that when you are performing Routine Physical activities, it is possible to add a second Mental or Social activity, without loss of performance. For example, it is a great use of time to have a meeting with a friend or acquaintance while you are walking for exercise (as Steve Jobs used to do) or having a meal. Listening to music while you shower, listening to radio news or an audiobook while you dress, are also good. Experiment a little to see what activities you can perform concurrently. (The police already discourage us from texting while driving, so don’t experiment with that one – haha.)  I have found it good to give yourself a problem before going to bed, and allowing your subconscious to work on it overnight, often works well. See what things you can safely and effectively do together.

(2) The second time management principle I wish to suggest is the notion of you Belonging (and feeling that you belong) and Mastery (working to be a master) in every situation you find yourself in. To give you a ready checklist of the situations you may find yourself in I offer the acronym PET ROCK. Here is the meaning associated with each letter:

P = Personal – your person

E = Environment (especially natural environment and asynchronous human environment eg Technology)

T = Together with other people, and Teams

R = knowing your Role at all times

O = working with Organisations

C = working within Community

K = working within Kingdoms (or nations), especially organised government, and even God’s kingdom if you like

I suggest that it is great time management to be comfortable and Belong in all of these as well as seeking to be the Master of these elements.

Firstly, consciously ensure you know your Role in every situation (R). Then make sure you are comfortable in your own skin, and master of all aspects of you (P). Know and master your material environment (E) and your social environment, other individuals and teams (T). Again, ensure you know your place – where you belong – in your organisations – both work and volunteer – and seek to grow your skills (O), as with your communities – real, virtual, geographic and by interest (C). Finally know your rights and privileges as citizens of your nation, state and local government area, as well as God’s kingdom (K).

Points to Ponder

  • Where do you feel you Belong?
  • Where do you feel the Master? 

Copyright © 2021 John Harris