More thoughts on time management
The phrase "time management" is an unfortunate language quirk. You can't
really manage time. It just is. You can't gain time, create time, or even
lose time. Time is what it is, regardless of what we do.
And, paradoxically, many common "time management" techniques and practices are
timewasters because they divert limited resources (such as time) to the wrong
It would be better to say "time allocation" or "activity management"
"time usage" or some other phraseology to indicate that it's not time itself
you're managing but how you use the time that exists. But we'll use the
common terminology here to avoid confusion.
Some things time management is not:
- Being more efficient. Suppose you become very efficient at making
buggy whips. Does this fact mean you are managing your time well?
- Getting more done in a given amount of time. Getting more done of
what? And to what degree of quality? If you rake the leaves on a
lawn from one side to the other all day long, does that mean you are a
good time manager?
- Being able to juggle multiple priorities. Instead of juggling
priorities, assign priorities. First tend to the urgent things, then the
most important things.
- Mastering multi-tasking. This concept conflicts with what we know
about the human brain. If you buy into this self-defeating,
time-wasting, quality-killing ideology, you might also be interested in
practicing solo flight by flapping your arms frantically.
- Working faster. No, this mode is how you make mistakes that you
subsequently have to spend more time fixing.
Some things good time management involves:
- Deciding what to do. This is trickier than it sounds. Which is why
there are time management experts.
- Deciding what not to do. This is even trickier than deciding what to
do. Which is why there are time managers and why discipline is a huge,
huge factor in accomplishing this.
- Deciding what to do when, and in what order. In essence,
- Determining the scope, goals, and metrics for each activity you
undertake. In this area, we the find most room for improvement.
Precision here allows you to avoid waste on the one hand, and falling
short on the other.
- Planning out the work, task, project, or activity such that you
determine the necessary steps to quality completion. That is, what must
you do to meet the intended goal and quality metrics?
- Identifying unnecessary steps. Get this right, and you can cut your
wasted hours significantly.
- Figuring out what resources to use. Not all resources applicable to
a task are equal. Picking the right tool for the job saves time,
improves quality, and makes life less stressful.
We've highlighted only some of the factors involved in good time
management. We actually teach extreme time management, which is a
methodology that allows you to make effective use of your time almost second
nature. You don't need a complicated system. Our system puts many of the
variables on autopilot, so you have more time to do what you need to do. Our
system goes way beyond most other systems in results, yet is far simpler.
Contact us for a presentation to your organization:
comments @ mindconnection.com (remove the spaces after pasting into your
e-mail client's "to" box.