Time is a finite resource. We all have the same amount of time each day, each week and each month. How we use that time is dependent on what each of us believes is important and how we think about time.
Time Management is a myth. The sad fact is that you cannot manage time, you can only manage your use of it. We are all so individual and unique that the best way of using time in the best way for you is individual – to you.
To master your use of time you need to go beyond time management and into how you really use your time, think about time and use it and abuse it. There are some key elements of our thinking, communication and behaviour that have an important impact on how we use time, and therefore our life.
How you use your time has much more to do with our deep seated thinking and behavioural habits than it has to do with our organisational skills. We can all make a good to do list and prioritise – but do you actually do it? Everyone can clean out all their junk and have a beautiful clear desk – but does it help you to achieve more? You might be an ace at quick decision making – but are those decisions supporting you to live a satisfying and fulfilling life?
There’s a reason we sabotage our good intentions, because our thinking habits, beliefs, values and habitual behaviours are personal to each of us. Instead adding more and more time management tools to your collection, aim for Time Mastery instead and become unconsciously competent at managing your time. You can do this by:
- Understanding how you naturally sort and order time. If you can work with your own psychology of time, you will be more efficient than trying to copy someone else.
- Completing a time audit for yourself with an aim of finding two or three things you do that waste time. Where do you spend more time than you think you should? Focusing in on specific habits will streamline how you do things
- Consider you energy thresholds. When you are tired you will be less efficient and are more likely to ‘take the long way round’. If you are aware of what builds and drains your energy you can plan you activities in a way that suits you best.
- Communicate your time boundaries. You teach people how to treat you and respect your time by how you communicate your time boundaries. By learning to be clear and assertive about what you will and won’t do, you will save a lot of time – and build strong relationships!
Founder of Monkey Puzzle and an INLPTA NLP Master Trainer, John is also a Clinical Hypnotherapist and author of the award winning book Real Leaders for the Real World. His new book Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever is out now.