Is Time Management a Myth?
Not uncommon to feel like: “I wish there was more time in the day.” We struggle to find ways to maximize our time using phrases: Time Management. Time Crunch. Saving Time. Time Optimization. Wasting Time.
“I just need to manage my time better. I feel like I have more to do than I can fill in the day and then tomorrow…there’s more!”
This challenge has been around since the dawn of time. Having an idea of how to spend your time is a good idea. But is that all there is?
For years I have been learning and teaching time management skills. List making, prioritization, and other techniques taught by the majors like Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard and others. Learning from these greats has provided me a good foundation in theory. An understanding of how to have a positive impact in daily life.
After some trial and error, it’s clear that most of those techniques don’t recognize time can’t be managed. You can manage your actions or activities, but not time. This is what I’ve found:
- Time is a measurement – For example, Thomas Tyner ran the 100m in 10.38. Using time for its intended purpose is important. It’s intended purpose is as a simple measurement of an activity.
- Time is linear – Clocks may stop, but time does not. Time flows in one direction: forward. You might think that you are managing your time, but really once that time passes, you don’t get it back. There is no “time” travel.
- Time is fixed – Universal laws govern time. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and so on. You have probably heard the call: “If only I had more time!” Wouldn’t it be great if we could have 70 minutes in an hour instead of 60?
Well this is all great, so what are we supposed to manage? The best way is to focus on what you can control or effect:
Your actions – Running 6 minute mile. You can run a 5:30 mile if you take specifically more steps faster. Time doesn’t change, your stride, your technique changes and the measurement improves. Using your measurement against time is a great way to improve your outcomes.
Your Recipe – When I make an omelette there are discreet steps and certain ingredients that make for a great finished product: eggs, cheese, milk, mushrooms, ham. What is the best way to put them together to make your omelette delicious? Which order provides the best outcome? You can see the that order you combine this options will have a direct impact on the outcome you desire. This you can control and manage.
Your Repetitions – Time may be a metric you want to capture, as in running, but there might be other measures that generate better outcomes or results. For instance, in sales, the number of attempts to contact a prospect in order to secure an appointment. Or, perhaps, the number of appointments to secure a signed order. Each outcome has a single best ratio for highest quality. Simplify your management activity by having a single simple ratio to measure the best outcome.
Leave a comment and tell me on how are staying focused and minimizing wasted energy managing time.
Branding Specialist | Executive Career Coach | Teaching Self-Awareness
I help take the mystery out of finding your dream job. Through a direct and pragmatic process, we will guide you to the path. One step at a time, just a little bit closer to your passion. It's through my personal story of finding meaningful work that I can share with you what I've learned.