When I searched for “time management” on google this morning, there were 238,000,000 results. So, we could consider that it’s not necessarily useful to add one more.
A quick look at the first page of results, and we can already see divergent opinions. From the rigid daily structure to the statement that time management is ruining our life.
Let’s start with the most important first: why do we want to manage the time we have?
The common answer is: “To get things done”.
What are those “things” we want to be done? and why it’s important?
Because those things contribute to the accomplishment of a greater goal.
All that sounds really great! So, why do people are saying, from time to time, that they don’t have the time to do what they want?
As I fall myself into that kind of trap, I can try to list a few potential causes:
- Knowing what you want and why you want it: if you don’t, the lack of time could be just a nice excuse? Writing down your vision of where you will be in the next 5 to 10 years on the different aspect of your life could be a good exercise.
- Knowing what is the most important thing right now in order to make it happens: if you don’t, you want something, but you did not do your homework yet in order to make it happen, and so the question you need to answer is: What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
- Driving yourself: Maybe your calendar or your inbox are driving what you are doing? If this is the case, you know what is the most important thing, but you are not doing it. One way to solve that could be to block some time, at the beginning of the day for the most important thing, and then only after that, choosing to invest time working on your inbox. Another important one is to empty your calendar, you will not be able to participate in everything and contribute to everything. Choose where your contribution is valuable.
- Interruptions: multitasking is a myth, and so you want to limit the interruption during the block of time you are working on the most important things. The number of decisions we are able to make in a day is limited, so you don’t want to make decisions at each new notifications, new mail, new message on social media…
- Care for yourself: you should have a block of time to care for your body, to exercise, to meditate…
- Invest in social interactions: you are not alone, and you need, as a human being, social interactions, so you probably want to invest in interactions that will have a positive effect on yourself, so you can have a positive effect on others.
I practiced the Pomodoro Technique in the past, and that definitely helped me to increase my focus on ONE thing at a time, and not to be fooled by my own estimates.
Maybe something to start with?
The header picture is from Ryan McGuire.