Successful Time Management isn’t about Getting More Done

You can find lost keys, but a wasted hour is gone forever.

You complain that you don’t have enough time. But if you can’t manage time, it doesn’t matter how much you have.

Time management is self-management. Image of a person with a clock-head.

Time management isn’t:

#1. Time management isn’t about getting more done.

There’s always more to do and there’s never enough time when managing time is about cramming more into your day.

Constantly working to get more done is a never-ending treadmill of despair. The get-more-done treadmill eventually ends with apathy.

Time management is about doing what matters, not getting more done.

The second hand never negotiates. Close up image of a clock face.

#2. Time management isn’t about time.

Time management is self-management.

Imagine you could add 8-hours to your frantic day. Instead of a 24-hour day, you had a 32-hours day, every day. It doesn’t matter how much time you have when you can’t manage yourself.

“… until we can manage our own personal time, we can’t manage anything else.” Peter Drucker

You can manage how you use time, but time can’t be managed.

If you’re consistently frantic during a 24-hour day, you’ll be consistently frantic during a 32-hour day.

The second hand never negotiates.

#3. Time management isn’t complicated:

Managing time is about two things.

  1. Avoiding what matters less.
  2. Doing what matters most.

There are only three ways to ‘get more’ time.

  1. Accelerate. Increase your speed.
  2. Delegate. Get someone else to do it.
  3. Eliminate. Stop doing something.
Time management. The busier you feel, the more likely you are to neglect important work. Image of a person with a clock head.

7 time management tips:

  1. Establish priorities that align with mission and vision, not urgencies.
  2. Forget most urgencies. Schedule priorities.
  3. Integrate rituals.
  4. Leave work on time. Constantly working late is mismanagement.
  5. Eliminate low-value activities. What could you stop doing?
  6. Schedule micro-breaks throughout the day. Take 3 minutes to prepare for your next meeting, for example.
  7. Build in buffers. Don’t schedule anything back-to-back.

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Socrates

What time management strategy has most helped you?

Still interested? 20 Time Management Tips for Professionals |