Why Time Management is Time Wasted

Too many times I have resolved to achieve better time management. And failed miserably.

Particularly at this time of year, when returning to work.

I have devoutly drawn out my Time Management Matrix, diligently attempting to complete my urgent and important tasks first. I’ve tried creating Most Important Tasks (MITs), using social media blockers and working in 20 minute chunks.

But no matter how much prioritising, rearranging, reordering or adjusting you do, you cannot change one simple fact:

Time is finite.

So when a client tells me they need to ‘make more time to spend with their family’, I tell them that’s impossible.

Are they realistically going to tell a senior manager that they’re not taking that business trip? Are they really going to ignore an email from the client? Is it sensible to consistently arrive late to work and just hope it goes unnoticed?

So when a client tells me they need to ‘make more time to spend with their family’, I tell them that’s impossible.

The best advice I can give when trying to achieve more balance in life and work is to focus on energy management.

Energy is produced by the body, the heart, the mind and the spirit.

Creating habits that allow these to function at their optimum is the best way for you to ensure that when you do have time with your family, you have sufficient energy to make the most of it.

Some great ways to do this include:

  1. Create a morning routine. Greg Faxon has great advice on this. Don’t let your day start by accident. Make it purposeful and ensure it addresses at least one area of mind, body, heart and spirit.
  2. Sleep. We still don’t seem to have grasped how this is so important to our well-being. Get enough sleep. Period.
  3. Cut the booze. Drinking is borrowing time from tomorrow.
  4. Get clear on your core values. What are the things that really, truly matter to you? Write them down. Pin them to your desktop. Save them on your smartphone. Tatoo them to your bicep. If you can consistently access them it will avoid you putting energy into things that don’t serve you.
  5. People. Finding time in your day to talk to people is a really powerful way to restore your energy. Step away from the screen and find someone (the right person) to chat to. Make this a habit.

So next time that voice in your head tells you you’re really bad at time management, don’t resist it.

Agree with it.

Then tell it that your energy management will eat time management for breakfast.  Oh, and always eat a good breakfast.

Matt Hall