time management

Time management gurus are lying to you

time management
photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

“I have to get better at time management or I’ll never get things done.’

“I need to take a time management course.”

“I just don’t have enough time.”

“I have to make time to get that done.”

We’ve all said at least one of these in the past. You’ve probably already said something similar already today. Right?

Regardless of how much time you need to manage, make, find or have, you can’t do anything about it. We all have 24 hours in a day.

You can’t manage time. Time management is a lie. It’s not possible. Time is going to pass by minute by minute whether we like it or not. Since time management is a lie, let’s stop trying to manage it.

Instead, we need to start managing what we do in the time we have. The only thing in life you can control is you. Stop worrying about anything else. Start managing yourself, not time.

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Time management gurus (is there really such a thing?) will give you all sorts of tips and tricks to manage your time better. Either we are all time management gurus or no one is. Since we can’t make time go faster or slower, how can anyone be a guru at time management?

Stop believing the lies about time management. Recognize the truth. Time is time and we can’t do anything about it.

So what can we do to get more done in the time we have?

Here are seven tips to get more done:

1. Purge your schedule – Look at your calendar and find at least two appointments or tasks that do not need to be completed by you. Either they are completely  not necessary to do or someone else can do them. Either delete them or delegate them. Repeat this process frequently.

2. Say no – Don’t hesitate to politely decline when asked to do something. Saying no is uncomfortable at first but the better you get at it the freer you will feel.

3. Stop multi-tasking – Multi-tasking is another lie. It’s almost impossible to do. You can do two things at once as long as one of those things does not take focus. For example, you can walk and chew gum at the same time because you don’t have to focus on either. You perform these through muscle memory.

Once you stop trying to do multiple tasks and focus on each one individually, you’ll discover you can accomplish them quicker.

4. Set priorities – “Time management” should more realistically be called “priority management.” You get things done by prioritizing the important tasks in your schedule rather than by hoping they just get done.

Setting priorities is more than just recognizing what is most important. It’s also about recognizing what is not important and discontinuing it. An example of an unimportant task that is not a priority is watching tv. We spend time watching tv when we could be accomplishing something that has a higher priority.

5. Find your optimal time of day – What is the time of day when you are most productive? If you know the answer, then schedule the highest priority tasks for those times. Make sure you are able to work during your optimal times and schedule less in your non-optimal times.

6. Delegate – We all know we need to delegate as much as we can. That’s so hard to do. It will take more time to explain how to do something than it would be to do it yourself. Right? If it is a task that will never be repeated, then maybe you shouldn’t spend the extra time teaching. But, if the task will be repeated, you will save time in the long wrong by delegating.

7. Allow less time – It’s been said that a task will take as long as the time allotted to do it. I’ve heard one entrepreneur say that he does everything last-minute because then it can only take a minute.

Are you convinced that time management is a lie? I hope you are. Stop listening to time management gurus, start prioritizing tasks and you will see your productivity increase.

You can get more done in the same 24-hour period as everyone else once you stop waiting for time to slow down or get more of it. Time is the absolute non-renewable resource. You can never get time back. Make the most of the time you have!

4 thoughts on “Time management gurus are lying to you”

  1. Yes, there is no doubt in looking out at the fact that time management could be any where possible only with a strong set of dedication. Practically the tips are highly practical in terms of a better time management.

    I prefer having the work hours tracked so that it would give a strategy to focus on the nest level of work with more dedication. So I think that lying is with some part been practical where as with some portion this does have a negative sense as well.

  2. Really? tl;dr version:

    “Time Management” is a lie! Let me expound on semantics and then regurgitate very common time management tips as some new revelation just because I’m not trying to “manage time”, but rather “get more done in the time we have.”

    Thanks for absconding with 7 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

    My time-management tip? Skip this article.

  3. Bert,

    Excellent blog. I totally agree with you on the multi tasking section. All I picture is a circus monkey bouncing from this task to that task but accomplishing zilch! I coach people to prioritize their “have to do’s” then move on when those are complete.

    Thank you for sharing!

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