The short answer is: Maybe not what you think it does. No, I’m not about to give a lecture on time management and why it’s important to your career success. I’ve struggled with time management enough over the years to know I have no business preaching it to others! However, in researching what some experts say on the subject, I’ve gained food for thought. I’d like to share that with you in case you find it useful, too.
If you want to achieve career success–or success in any area of your life, for that matter–it takes time and effort. That doesn’t mean you can use lack of time as an excuse for not moving forward. Sure, you’re busy. We all are! (Most of us, anyway.) The question is, what are you busy AT?
Whether or not you want to admit it, you do have time. How you use your time is what makes the difference. When you know where you’re heading, you have to decide how much time you will devote to reaching that destination. Not just “can devote” but “will.”
After all, as Zig Ziglar puts it, “We all have twenty-four hour days.” Basically, every situation where you decide to do something other than work on your career success means you’ve made a choice that takes you in another direction.
Is that wrong? Maybe not, if you made the choice consciously and for a good reason. So it depends on the situation and why you chose what you did.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to earn a good living from the work you do. Certainly you deserve appropriate repayment for high-quality work done on behalf of your employer!
However, those 24-hour days we all have can’t be replaced once they’re gone. Therefore, you need to remember there’s no such thing as instant replay in life, outside of recorded events! At some point, your employer might have outsized expectations of what you owe to the company. If you express dissatisfaction at the increasing workload, management could decide that they’ll “fix” the problem by throwing more money at you. (They could also decide to fire you, I suppose, but that’s a different situation!)
Consequently, time management relates to your career success in the sense that you can’t replace time with money. Ultimately, you should realize that and be prepared to make some choices based on which matters more to you.
That said, I think it’s important to recognize that in some situations, you might not have full choice in how to spend your time. For example, if a family crisis demands your attention, you can’t say, “This will have to wait. I have work to do.”
Choosing how to spend your time–and how much of it to put into achieving career success–could depend on several factors. One of those involves self-belief. If you know in your heart you are capable of achieving success and you are determined to expend the needed effort, that can make all the difference to the outcome. You’ve chosen a form of time management that supports your goal of career success.