Friday, March 26, 2010

Time Management of the Ages

One of the sempai (older students of my dojo) spoke a bit with our soke at the seminar we attended this weekend. He and his wife speak Japanese, so they were able to interface a little more than the rest of us through the translator. He asked the soke about his training and his life in martial arts. He was a busy man for much of his life: he became soke at an early age (mid-20's), had a family and a "regular" job, yet functioned as the head of a school. 

 How, my sempai friend asked, did the soke train and improve in this? 

  Soke confessed that he was very busy at all times but had decided to focus on martial arts, specifically our own art. The keys to using his limited time wisely was (his own words): 1) Concentrate 2) Practice the proper technique.

  I heard this, and thought about it all the way home. It's deceptively simple, even if you add the pre-step: Focus, Concentrate, Practice the proper technique. But as I thought about it, it became clearer that this in fact is a valid and useful tool in managing one's life and goals. 

 Given the society we live in, the reality is that none of us have as much time as we want or need, and we will never be able to do everything that we want or even need to do. For those things that we deem worthy (or required) to spend our time on, it becomes critical that we spend our time in the most valuable and useful way. If I concentrate fully on what I am doing in the limited time I am doing it, and I practice the proper technique in whatever I'm doing, it seems logical that I will improve in those things - in fact, I don't see where one could not. Even in the work environment, concentration on a single task and completing it according to whatever the template ("Proper Technique") is will almost certainly result in a greater degree of success.

 Time is not multiplying - all we can do is simplify how we manage it to maximize our use of it.

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