Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Deciding what’s important and why time management isn’t

You can’t manage time.  It’s like trying to manage your cat: a frustrating and consistently unsuccessful activity.  Time passes regardless of how important or trivial whatever you are doing is.  The sea ebbs and flows, the wind blows, and time passes.  All are unmanageable and completely disinterested in our minutiae.

What you can manage is yourself and your choice of what to do.  So time management has always seemed something of a daft name for our efforts to be more effective.  Self-management might be more apt. 

But time is a useful way of measuring our focus and energy on tasks.  Or indeed the time we spend not doing things.  It is, however, nothing more than useful; it’s not the whole story.  That’s because we can’t measure the value of our activities over a given period of time.  The value of what we are doing has a much bigger impact on our success than how long it took to do.

So that’s the first and biggest secret of time management – decide what’s important.  Because unless you know what’s important and what’s not, you don’t know where best to spend your time.  Or to say it another way, you won’t know how best to spend your life.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Caroline

    Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true in 2012. Serendipity will help.
    Best wishes 2012.

    Ps On your blog offer two thoughts 1/Do you know the story told by a philosophy professor about the 2 cups of coffee and the mayonnaise jar? and suggest a short video (wait to near end!)by peter senge on the creative process on priorities, enjoy

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