7 Ps of Stewardship: Time Management Principles
7 Ps of Stewardship // Time Management Principles
Time is money. Am I right? No… very wrong. Time is our most valuable, finite gift, that we have to invest in activities that make for the most fulfilling experience of life. If you are breathing, you have the precious gift of time. Are you investing it in the areas that align with your purpose that will provide the greatest return?
I have had my thinking challenged recently with the concept of privilege. We all have different circumstances, skills and resources available to us. Add to this the varying environments of our immediate communities that enable us to grow. As far as privilege goes, someone in a favourable environment with the necessary resources for growth will have every opportunity to grow. What keeps challenging me around the conversation of privilege is this: What does Sir Richard Branson, a young child in unfavourable circumstances, living in poverty and you / me have in common? The exact same amount of time in a day.
There is no “privilege” when it comes to time.
We are all allotted an equal 24 hours. Richard Branson may have wealth, the young child may have joy and gratitude even while possibly starving and I may have everything I need to enjoy life and make the most of every opportunity but we all have the same amount of time. Time is our greatest gift.
We have time in a day for the purpose of making money in order to provide for the necessities and luxuries of life and also with which to be generous and make a positive impact. So time is money right? Still no. Time could translate to money if attaching a monetary value to minutes – like an hourly rate. But the clincher is:
It is not time that makes money; it is stewarding time for the purpose of making money, that makes money.
In a similar breath, time could mean intimacy, especially if your significant others love language is “quality time”. Am I right? No. Stewarding time for the purpose of intimacy will breed intimacy, not time itself.
So with the stage set; each of us having the exact same amount of time in a day, here are 7 Ps (Principles) relating to stewarding our limited time for the greatest return:
 Prioritize – Take time to identify what your priorities are.
Once you have identified what your priorities are, align them in hierarchical order, if possible, with those most closely aligned to your purpose, first. Decision making is then much easier as the decisions that are closest to your top priorities take precedence. Prioritizing leads to maximizing productivity in line with your purpose.
With limited time; goals and objectives can be planned into a calendar to ensure that the task at hand is line with your priorities.
 Plan – Put a plan in place that aligns to your priorities.
Planning is as important as identifying your priorities. In order to give any effect to your priorities, there needs to be a plan. An effective plan will outline goals that are in line with your priorities and then have objectives with timelines OR activities (tasks) with time-slots. It is also extremely important to not focus too much on a single priority at the expense of others, because priorities are not all mutually exclusive.
Point is this, a good plan will have objectives that also benefit other priorities – so set specific goals and put parameters in place.
 Parameters – Plan with parameters in place to achieve collective goals.
By putting parameters in place as relating to time management, it enables me to focus on the objective or activity at hand. The parameters do not provide a siloed approach to their outcomes as investing time into, say a marriage relationship provides stability to grow a career and make money to provide for a family JUST AS financial stability (making money) provides security for a lasting marriage and opportunities for a family.
So the parameters are more like partitions in a calendar to focus attention and have more clear objectives but still do achieve collective outcomes and goals.
Goals are not mutually exclusive so there is no real benefit in this siloed approach other that boosting productivity.
 Productivity – Focus full attention on the objective or activity at hand.
Time does not translate directly to money. Productivity does. The principle here is sowing and reaping. If you steward your time effectively and sow seed generously, in season, so will you reap generously out of season. Sure, there are environmental factors which are beyond our control… I have experienced that and it can wreak havoc but I am finding that the key is to not get disillusioned by the current weather forecast but to look forward to the change of season. Even in the bad weather, keep sowing seed generously by focusing on the objective or activity at hand, otherwise there might not be any harvest when the season does change.
I implore you to be faithful when it goes well and also when it doesn’t – to remain productive as possible in the good times “peaks” and in the bad times “troughs”.
 Peaks and Troughs – Remain positive and refocus if necessary to stick to your priorities.
Sometimes doggedly pressing forward against overwhelming opposition can be smart and bring great reward as perseverance pays off. Sometimes though, it is smart to take a step back, ask for advice and see if pushing forward in a “trough” time could lead to fatigue, burnout and possibly a point of irrecoverable failure. It might just be a thing of timing and stewarding time well, given the circumstances; some in our control, some not. Sowing seed in hurricane winds would scatter the seed all over and possibly lead to a bountiful harvest – but probably not in your backyard. During the peaks and troughs, keep positive and steward your time as productively as possible. Refocus if necessary and save valuable seed for the turn of the season. When the season turns, though, make hay while the sun shines.
Be productive and steward your time wisely and productively, with excellence whilst avoiding absolute perfection.
 Perfection – Steward excellently but beware the cost of perfection.
Productivity takes its toll when the pursuit of excellence outweighs the ultimate objective of the original priority(ies). With my priority of building a successful business – the pursuit of “overnight” success could come at the cost of physical and mental health or the neglect of personal relationships. So this is a caution, to be mindful of the relentless pursuit of our priorities and to do this with excellence but also, not get so serious that perfectionism comes at the cost of other priorities. I need to remind myself to not take myself too seriously and to enjoy the process – what’s the point if I am not enjoying it with the limited time we have here on earth?
So don’t forget to remember to be a bit more child-like and sometimes, have a play.
 Play – Life is short so make sure you smile and allow yourself to laugh.
This is a lighthearted thought so please excuse the somber sentiment here… It could all be over in a moment. Tragic occurrences can happen… terminal illness, fatal injury, or fill in a “doomsday idea”… it could all come to a grinding halt, quickly. Enjoy life, build your empire but make sure that you take time to tell loved ones that you love them.
Have fun and make the most of the time you have. Every moment.
Time is the most valuable gift that we have. We all have the same amount of time in every day – no matter who we are, where we are from or most importantly what we choose to do with the time that we have.
It’s closing time… plant the earworm chorus by Semisonic.
This is your time to take action and accept the challenge to make the most of every minute and make it count. My main priority is to leave a lasting legacy; which means that one of my main goals is to build a business that helps people by building the businesses or brands of our clients, and in so doing enables me to provide opportunities to my family. What are your priorities? I encourage you to identify them and steward the most valuable resource that we have for the greatest return.
Okay, really closing time now. Here is one of my favourite quotes:
“If you need a machine and don’t buy it, then you will ultimately find you have paid for it and don’t have it” – Henry Ford
We have the machine that you need, if you don’t have a full-stack marketing automation and sales CRM in place. Let’s save you time, help you make more money and give you insights into end-to-end marketing and sales ROI so you can work on the business.
About the Author:
Russell is the Founder and Principal of Matte Black Brand Agency. He is passionate about the heart of humanity: people. Digital disruption is very quickly changing the way that people interact and the way that companies do business. The focal point of all technological advancement always has, and always will point to people.
As an Advisor to IoTSec in the Smart Communities/Cities arena, he is interested in the implications of IoT and how this new industry affects people, the environments in which we work or live and its overarching impact for Smart Cities and Connected Communities.