I have said it before on the blog, but it is always worth repeating.. or at least reminding ourselves about time. Specifically time management. I can’t tell you how many times time comes up in conversation, typically “there’s not enough of it.”
There are 24 hours in every day. What we do with that 24 hours is up to us. Most folks think that someone else controls their time. But aside from our employer, we are in control of our time. It is how we manage that time that we often find ourselves allowing others to dictate how that time is spent.
Scouters in particular, have a hard time with time. Our nature is that of giving. We believe in the program and want to give time and energy to making it the very best. And I would suggest that it takes good people that are willing to give that time to make it so. The problem that most of us have seen is that there are some that give and give and give, and others that have figured out that others will give and give and give.
The Catch 22.
So those that give and continue to give finally get to the point where they begin to suffer in other areas of their lives and they stop. When they stop the program suffers.. and still.. the folks that figured out that someone else will do it keep allowing others to do it. And so in order to not allow program to fail, the givers give more.
10% of any given organization does all the work of the organization. That seems to be true of all volunteer groups. Scouting, Church groups, fraternal and civic organizations are all the same. Givers and takers.
One of the best gifts we can teach our children is time management. There will come a day when Mom and Dad will no longer be there to make sure they get to class, get to work, or take time to get projects done. They need to know how to manage their time and understand that there are 24 hours in the day. Between sleeping, working, and eating.. you get whats left. What you do with it is up to you.
Eliminate time suckers.
Whether that is people or things. Figure out what is important to you. Figure out how that fits in your 24 hours and budget that time.
I know that every Monday night we have a Troop meeting. Scouting is important to me so we.. yes we, my wife and I budget our week as it applies to time. We learned to say No and if it does not fit in the time budget, it doesn’t happen. My wife likes to take Craft classes and card making classes. Our time is equal and deserves the equal time in the time budget. When we decided what was important to us, we found that time no longer became an issue. We have time for family, school activities, teaching our kids, time for our home, and all of the day to day things that tend to try to suck our time. Does that mean we became takers and not givers… nope. We just budget the time so we can give where it is needed and where we want.. not where other people decide we need to be.
So what has that really meant for me. I used to be on multiple Scouting committees. I paired it down to those that I feel make the most impact on Scouting. Wood Badge is something that I love. I give time to training. Camporee, Webelos Woods, and the District committee… I don’t feel the need or the impact that they have… I mean real impact. If camporee did not happen next year my Troop would still camp, our program would not suffer. If the district did not host Webelos woods, we would still cross over Webelos to the troop and provide an opportunity for the Webelos to camp with our Troop. Those programs, while nice are not as important to me and my unit as good training, an aggressive Troop annual plan, and time spent as a Troop.
It is a matter of figuring out what is important to you. Budget that time, and you will find that you have more of it.
The bottom line is there are 24 hours every day. Time can not be blamed for your lack of it. If you fail to budget your time, you will not have enough of it and will continue to struggle with time issues. You will not be great at anything you give your time to, you will be average at a lot of things. You will get “Burned out” and no one will be affected except you.
Wood Badge reminded of all of this. Through its instruction on Vision, Values, and Mission we learned that with a good vision of what we want something to look like, we know the desired outcome, we can produce a plan, we can put in place action steps to see that plan become real. It forces you to decide what is important and what is not. When we do this, we become laser focused and as a result we achieve our goals. Time management is no different.
Time is on your side.. if you want it to be.
Take some time and think about that.
Let me know what you think.. use the comment section and share you thoughts.
Have a Great Scouting Day!