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The Myth of Time Management

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? – Chicago.

Participants in The FAM’s Dream Camp, held this year in Key West, were asked to name their biggest business challenges. Time management was a top challenge for many.

Busy owners, managers and top performers wake up every day and look at a long list of responsibilities. Where’s the time to fit them all in?

It’s tempting to believe in the myth of time management as the solution.

Don’t.

Here’s why.

You have likely heard the phrase “time is money” more times than you can count. The myth of time management suggests that if you simply manage your time effectively, you can accomplish everything you need to do and more. 

  • The myth of time management assumes that time is a finite resource that can be managed like money. However, time is not a tangible asset that can be hoarded or saved for later. Time is always moving forward, and we can only use it in the present moment. Time management is not about managing time itself, but managing the activities we engage in during the time we have.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol.

  • The myth of time management suggests that if we only use the right techniques and tools, we can accomplish more in less time. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to time management. What works for one person may not work for another. That’s because time management is not just about productivity, it’s also about balancing priorities and making difficult decisions about what tasks to prioritize. Where will I  get the biggest return on my investment of time today?

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” Stephen R. Covey.

  • The myth of time management assumes that we can always control our time. Take (invest) a minute to look at your life and you’ll see that isn’t true. Unexpected events, health challenges, emergencies, and other people’s demands can all disrupt our plans and derail our schedules. Trying to control time too tightly can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout. This can lead to a lack of work-life balance and impact our overall well-being.

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss.

Instead of time management, do this:

  • Focus on task management. Prioritize tasks and projects based on their importance, urgency and ROI.
  • Delegate to others everything that doesn’t fit the high importance category.
  • Be flexible and adaptable when “life” just doesn’t fit your plan for the day.
  • “Take” time for yourself. Taking breaks and engaging in activities you enjoy is a “good investment.”
  • Be mindful of high energy times for you – and invest that time in your high ROI tasks. Don’t let others judge you if it’s not the same as theirs.

And, don’t forget, “Regret for wasted time is more wasted time.” Mason Cooley

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