The Time Management Myth

You hear the words all the time – I need to manage my time better – This will save some time – I need to make time for ….

They are common phrases but none of them reflect the reality of time.

Time flows continuously and all your time is full.    Ever moment is already being used for something.  Maybe it’s full or work, or play or sleep or even clearing your mind with meditation but every moment is full.

It means the only things in your power are deciding which actions to take and how much time to allocate to an action.  It means you cannot add an activity – you can only replace how you are using the time now with the new activity.  Imagine your day as a pie chart – start with marking out sleep, meals and commute times.  Based on priorities partition the rest of day allowing for emergencies and overages.  This view of your day is much more realistic.  It becomes clear that there is a lot less time available than most of think or typically plan.

Realistically, I find there are only 2 or 3 major projects I can work on in a week – the rest of the time is full of all the just all the little tasks that keep everything moving.

How many hours of actual work are you typically trying to fit inside the limit of 8 hours at work and 6 or so hours of personal time?

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