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Look for Values, Find Efficiency

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"The next shift in time management is under way," says Sean Covey.

"Now it's prioritizing what is meaningful to you," says Mr. Covey, vice president of retailing at Franklin-Covey, a Provo, Utah, seller of management materials.

"It's knowing your governing values and mission statements. Instead of writing down all the things you have to do this week," he suggests, "think about your roles in life as a father, a mother, a working person, a manager. This is where you live your values."

Today, the nuts-and-bolts of time management aren't enough to clarify hectic schedules, some experts say. You must first clarify underlying values.

"The core of the problem," says Vicki Robin, co-author of the bestseller "Your Money or Your Life" (Penguin), is "the material interpretation of the American dream. People have trouble distinguishing between desires and needs that can be satisfied by stuff, and needs that can only be satisfied by inner values."

Setting priorities

In Chicago, advertising executive Jim Paglia blends values and efficiency.

He moved his business from downtown to the suburbs to spend more time with his two children. "I save about 15 hours of commute time a week," he says. "It's like losing a part-time job and gaining access to my kids."

After spending several hours with his kids in the morning, he often arrives at work around 9 a.m. He seldom takes work home.

Mr. Paglia integrates the same values into his agency and community service.


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