It’s actually ‘self’ management – you cannot manage time. And that is my blog for today. No – not really. But seriously, how often do we hear and read the endless articles, blogs, trainings, coaches etc on “time management”?? Our social media feeds are quite literally bleeding it out. But what the heck is time management exactly and why is it that we are not able to manage.
Wikipedia explains the definition of time management as follows:
So if we look at this in a literal sense, it means being always aware of how much time we are spending on activities during the course of the day. This sounds like hard work to me! This sounds like a separate task unto itself. Almost like self discipline. Great in theory – pretty much impossible in practise. We can be the last person left alive on a plane and have plenty of self-discipline – but that’s not what will land the plane. It’s skill basically. Same applies to time management. We can have the best theories on setting an alarm, doing work in 90 minute blocks, taking a 5 minute break every hour and all of the other stuff that we’ve all been told to do. But does it work? Usually not.
It is really not realistic to set a clock and complete a task. And this is usually because this little thing called life gets in the way. Stuff happens. The phone rings. We get an e-mail that needs to be dealt with immediately. Our kids’ school calls and Johnny has to be picked up because he has fallen over and hurt himself. The washing machine just died. The car breaks down. And let’s face it, the more ‘stuff’ we have to juggle, the higher the likelihood of stuff going a bit haywire. The best laid plans do always seem to go astray don’t they?
So you see I don’t really subscribe to the whole ‘time management’ philosophy. But what I do subscribe to is ‘self management’. We can train ourselves not to be distracted by Facebook. We can focus our attention on one thing at a time no matter what. We can delegate to others. We can prioritise. Now are all of these things considered ‘time management’? No, not really. But they are certainly ways to manage ourselves. Because it’s never what happens to us, it’s how we respond to what happens to us. Irrespective of how much time we have. We all have exactly the same amount of time every single day. Why is it some seem to get more done and others of us hardly finish anything? It’s purely because we get what we focus on. And if we focus a fair amount of our time on managing our time, we become a slave to it. Break free – manage yourself and your responses to outside factors and we will get exactly what we focus on. Give it a try for a week. Focus on managing your time or self and see how much more you get done. Love to hear how you went.