I first heard of the Executive MBA (EMBA) at Lagos Business School (LBS) under the most bizarre circumstance. It was from the travail of a direct report who struggled with balancing time between work, family, and the EMBA. I remember thinking this was far from the expectations of a graduate course. As such, when I made up my mind to take an MBA, Lagos Business School was not my first choice. No one was going to toil with my time, not even the quest for knowledge.
However, after due research, I discovered the modular EMBA and thought it was a better route. But alas when I received my admission letter it read “Executive MBA”. I called the MBA department to decline and after many deliberations, I was convinced to go ahead with the Executive route. The most convincing factor was the hybrid and weekend nature of the program as occasioned by COVID. I was certain I made the right decision, one that will preserve time –one of my most treasured resources.
I once read that the assumption that time is precious is an illusion, rather the “NOW” is most precious. I have never agreed with this theory. So, what did time mean to me? Well, time was precious and must be spent well. Finding a balance between school, work, and family time was quite important to me. Anything less did not make the cut.
Six weeks into the program, it was time to take stock of the EMBA’s impact on time. I quickly realised that it was a misconception to think that weekend or hybrid classes meant more time. I had also reckoned that an hour or two a week was sufficient for self-study. I was clearly disillusioned. There was a lot more competing for my time than classes. The sheer volume of work- assignments, presentations, and deadlines was mind-blowing. Still, I had to combine it with my family, religious and social responsibilities, whilst working full time. I could not find a balance. It made me wonder if I had made the right decision to take the MBA at LBS. After all, there are no more than 24 hours in a day.
Nevertheless, the program made me crave additional hours. Saddled with the impossibility of extending time, I was left with the onerous task of finding a solution or even withdrawing. But, after Dr. Bongo’s advice on time management, it was time to rethink my position on time. I found value in the importance of “NOW” being more precious than time itself. The time available is now not yesterday or tomorrow. So, it is most important what we do with the “NOW” so that prioritisation becomes effective.
Perfection is not the destination. The idea is to be effective in the “NOW” at every point. Whether family, work, or study time, full dedication is key. For me, this is my new definition of time and consequently success. I no longer strive for perfection but for a reasonable balance. I am not there yet but I am learning to prioritise and make my now count.