The Myths of Time Management
By Jack Perry
people seem to run out of time. You’ve heard all of the clichés –
“Time flies,” “Where did the time go?” and “There just
aren’t enough hours in the day.” The fact is that we all have the
same twenty-four hours in a day. The only difference is what we choose
to do with our time.
people tend to focus on time management as a way to more effectively
use their time. However, they are focusing on managing the wrong
thing. The focus needs to be on managing yourself and what you choose
to do at any particular moment.
is that you don’t manage
time. Rather, you control and manage events and the choices you make
on how to use your time. How you use your time is your own personal
decision. It’s all about prioritizing. Use the following steps to
make yourself aware of the choices you make every day with your time
so you can make the most of it.
Chart Your Time: Because
you need to manage what you do and not time itself, you need to create
a schedule. Detail what you want to do during a day. What are the
important things you must do? What things would you like to do?
However, don’t create your schedule as your day progresses. Rather,
do it the night before or in the early morning before you start your
day. If you don’t choose to create a detailed schedule of your day,
other non-planned events will end up stealing your precious time.
benefit of creating a very detailed schedule of your day and tracking
what you do is that you can go back and look at it at the end of the
day and see where you invested your time. While most people realize
the importance of scheduling and creating to-do lists, they fail to
realize that scheduling is a two-step process. Once you’ve finished
your day, you must go back over your schedule to see how you did with
your planned tasks. Did you spend the amount of time you allotted for
the tasks? Did you spend some of the time you allotted for one
activity on something completely different? You might be surprised
when you examine your schedule at the end of the day to discover how
much time you actually wasted during the day.
would find this strategy especially beneficial because if they
schedule and track their day, they can examine it to determine how
much time they actually spend prospecting, as well as the number of
people they actually talk to in the selling process. Of course, if you
want to reap the benefits of charting your time and examining how you
invested your time to be effective, you have to be honest. Sometimes
this might mean having someone else keep you accountable, such as
recording your daily activities onto a time sheet invested form and
sharing it with your supervisor.
Learn to Say “No”: Realize
that it is impossible to be all things to all people. You simply
cannot please everyone. If you try to please everyone, you will drive
yourself crazy because it simply can’t be done. You need to maintain
a balance in your life, so don’t overextend yourself by taking on so
many projects and tasks that you won’t be able to properly manage
them in your schedule. To do so, you must learn to say “no.”
that your time is just as precious as everyone else’s. If you
don’t decide what to do during your day, other people will fill your
schedule for you with their agenda. If you don’t say “no,”
Parkinson’s Law can take effect: “Work expands so as to fill the
time available for its completion.”
have trouble saying “no,” try this activity: Go outside to a
deserted area. When you’re sure nobody is around, yell as loud as
you can, “NO!” Then assess how you feel. Saying no didn’t hurt,
did it? Of course not. This little exercise will give you practice and
confidence. You’ll learn that saying “no” can also be
empowering, because you are standing up for yourself and not letting
someone else force you into doing something.
wouldn’t you rather have someone say “no” than lie to you? For
example, you don’t want someone to say they’ll meet you or take on
a project for you and not really mean it. They should have just said
“No, that won’t be possible.” It can work out the best in the
end for everyone.
Prioritize: Once you
have your detailed schedule of your day and you’ve said “no” to
anything extra you could not realistically manage in your schedule,
you can prioritize your activities. You need to do first things first.
The more detailed and specific your schedule is, the more you will
have to prioritize what you need to do during the day.
item in order of importance and then follow that. Don’t put
something off that you ranked as very important just because it may
involve dealing with a difficult person or be very time-consuming. If
you do, you will just continue to put it off, and it will never get
done. In addition, consider all the time you’re wasting thinking
about this dreaded task. By the time you’ve thought it through, you
could have already completed it.
Management Myths Resolved: We all
have the same amount of time to work with each day. Time is a matter
of choice. When you realize that you need to manage yourself and what
you do, and that time management is somewhat of a myth, then you will
get more things done.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is the stuff that life is made of.”
Since your time is so valuable, you need to take these steps to manage
what you do with your time. Also, now that you know the myths of time
management, the next time someone tells you they “don’t have
time,” you know that is not true. They do have the time; they simply
choose to invest their time in a way that doesn’t fit you or what
you want them to include into their schedule. Time is a personal
decision and choice. Decide how you will invest your time and manage
your days. Your success depends on it.
Read other articles and learn more
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and