Why Time Management Won’t Get You Anywhere

How often do you hear about ‘time management’?

I know I’ve seen countless articles, videos, blogs, etc on the topic. And for me, I feel like they’re often missing the mark.

Have you ever implemented a ‘time management’ technique that you learned or heard about? And if so, was it something you were able to stick to?

What I find often happens is that people will adopt these techniques for a period of time, and then inevitably slip back into their old habits.

Part of the reason for this is because these techniques aren’t addressing the real problem. It’s not about time management!

Can you actually manage time? Can you slow it down, speed it up, or do anything to change the course of it?

No, certainly not. So then talking about this and thinking about this as ‘time management’ is already putting people in the wrong mindset, isn’t it?

So if it’s not about time management, what’s it about?

We call it Event Management. It’s about you, being willing and able to manage the events of your day.

Here’s what I mean by that. Let’s say you schedule in a meeting, and you allocate an hour of your day for it. 

Then when the meeting comes up, it ends up taking two hours because the conversation got a little off track at one point, and there were things to be discussed that you didn’t take into account when you booked it.

It can be easy to say “time got away from me!” or “the conversation got sidetracked which is why it took so long.”

And, both of those things really boil down to your ability to manage events. 

When you’re setting an appointment or allocating an amount of time for something, the first thing to do is ensure you’ve inspected that task or event well enough to be clear on what is to be done. 

When you do this well, you’ll be more realistic about the length of time it’s going to take. This is the first step in managing an event. Keeping in mind that anything you’re booking into your calendar is an “event” even if it’s just “spend 20 minutes checking and replying to emails.”

The next step in event management is when the event actually takes place. How are you managing it? In the example above where the conversation “got of track”; what do you do in those situations?

Part of event management is being willing and able to keep things on track. You’ve set a meeting, be intentional about discussing whatever it is you agreed to discuss in that meeting. 

If something else comes up there’s nothing wrong with saying “I think that’s something to discuss a later stage, what I’m really wanting to do is….” and then get things back on track.

You can’t manage time, what you *can* do is manage yourself and the events of your day.

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