Actually when you come to think about it, ‘Time Management’ in itself is a myth. Why? Because NO ONE can control time. We all have the same 24 hours a day. Time is the only thing in life – that I can think of- that is divided not only fairly, but also equally. There are other myths as well that contribute to the problem. Let us list them first, and then we can elaborate further.
- To get the job done well, do it yourself
- The more organized I am, the more I could accomplish
- The more I work, the more I accomplish
- I am a victim of my work environment/boss
- If I start with the easy stuff, I will get more done
- The more disciplined I become, the more NERDY I get
- Efficiency and effectiveness are the same
- It’s a virtue to work hard
- Work is not fun
- My way is the best way
- I love the pressure; I work best under it
Ahh, now you’re counting. These are only 11 myths. One is missing. NO. Count Again. Myth No 1 is “Time Management”. You cannot manage time.
It’s fun to blame someone or something else. At the end, who wants to hold himself accountable!!! Duuhh. Ok, if it’s not a time management issue then what is it? To tell you the truth, it is a SELF MANAGEMENT issue. That is right. Most of us are the reasons behind our own problems. We make certain choices, and these choices lead to the kind of life we are living.
So what do you do? First of all, you need to change your level of thinking. As Albert Einstein puts it :
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
So true. We need to change the way we see things in order to take charge of our lives. But this is not easy I warn you, because you are breaking from old habits. And this is always difficult. You don’t believe me?! Try this exercise right now. Fold your arms. Go ahead, don’t worry even if you reading this in a public place, no one will think you’re crazy. Now, do as I ask of you. Fold your arms as you would do naturally. I cannot see you now, but there are only 4 ways to do it.
- Left hand visible
- Right hand visible
- Both hands visible
- Neither hand visible
Now, do it the other way. I mean if the left hand was visible before, now make the right hand visible this time and vise verse. Same applies for both hands visible; make it neither hands visible or vise verse.
How does that feel? Pretty uncomfortable, right? How long would it take you to be comfortable with the new habit?
Come on, if it is not easy to do that simple arm folding in a new way then how do you think you will be comfortable by changing your life time habits to better utilize your life?!! I am not trying to discourage you. The main purpose of this exercise is to illustrate that to change even the simplest of habits takes conscious effort. But the rewards of that conscious effort, when it comes to your Time/Self Management, are worth their weight in gold.
So again you ask the question, what do I do now to change? Actually you are halfway there already, because “A Problem recognized is a problem half solved”. This is the toughest one especially when the reason of that problem creation is oneself.
There are 4 steps to solve any problem:
- Awareness of the problem (which we already did)
- Techniques/Solutions or new habits formulation
- Believe in yourself that you can do it
- Just do it
Some researches say that it takes 30 repetitive times to establish new habits. Other researches say it takes 40 repetitive times. So if we take the worst case scenario, it will probably take you 6 weeks to establish new habits that can change you life. And then save you many days or even years of non productivity.
How about starting today to understand your own time wasters and find new ways/habits to overcome them. Don’t worry, I will not leave you alone. In my next article, we will discuss time wasters and how to over come them. Till then, drop me your thoughts, questions or remarks in the comments section of this article, and I will do my best to respond to them here on the same page.
Until we meet again, best of luck.
Your Change Agent Mentor