marketing + sales: Could've, Would've, Should've: Where Does Our Time Go?
Time is a concept many people struggle with. I often hear people say that they're slammed, buried, drowning, in the weeds, swamped, running ragged—the list goes on. These are quite depressing statements, and even for me, as a management consultant, it is a constant struggle to avoid making similar statements.
Time management (or lack of time) is an issue most of us face. Time is the great equalizer. We cannot get more of it and it doesn't stop for anyone. Time does not care about how much money you have, where you live, your title, your gender, your race or your nationality. Time is consistent.
We cannot undo things that have happened in the past, and we can't change things that are going to happen in the future. The only time we truly "control" is right now. Does this mean we should avoid reflecting on the past? No, we should do this to some degree so we can improve our leadership strategy. Does this mean we should not plan for the future? No, we should be proactive; however, we must remember that a plan is, according to Merriam Webster, "something that a person intends to do." Notice the word "intend" as our best intentions can often be derailed by unforeseen circumstances.
As I study the integrated marketing communications of organizations, I often hear three common phrases: "We could've done this," "We would've done this" or "We should've done this." But what good does this do? This is like being a "Monday morning quarterback," the football fan who analyzes the game or team after the game is over and tells everyone what the team could or should have done differently. Anyone can look at things in hindsight and see things that could have been done more effectively. Living in the past, however, does no good.