Football’s ticking clock
“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.”
John C. Maxwell
With the hectic Christmas fixture schedule upon us (at least for UK clubs) and the January transfer window looming, priority management is the order of the day.
Consider this analogy: football’s ticking clock.
Imagine that each of the clock’s hands represents a task you need to fulfil during the football season.
Think of the characteristics of the second hand: continuously moving, always happening, forever ticking. Picture that the second hand represents the next match; it comes around fast, waiting for no one.
Now consider the minute hand: it moves slower than the second hand, although it’s still creeping around the clock face and taking our time. In a football context, imagine that the minute hand represents the transfer window, for example. Or maybe The FA Cup.
Finally, picture the hour hand. Imagine this hand represents long-term development, future horizon scanning and squad succession planning. The hour hand moves much slower than the minute and second hands, although – when it does move – it makes the biggest impact.
The important point of course is that all three of the clock’s hands move simultaneously. There’s no avoiding the next match and the short-term need to secure results – and if the second hand stopped moving, then the minute and hour hands wouldn’t function at all. But equally we must make time for the long-term processes that help us plan for the future and build sustainable success.
So then the challenge becomes about how we prioritise – either individually or collectively amongst colleagues within the football club.
True, time waits for no one. But we are in control of how we spend it.