Don’t Let Your Calendar Rule You.. (Or How To Manage Time)

Our schedules are packed. We feel swamped. Yet we do use our time management techniques, but they simply don’t seem to help. In this article we discuss how to manage time.

How to manage time

By making good use of time management you note down your tasks, meeting and other obligations in your calendar. But this might have a reverse effect, as you see all the things you have committed to, which might make you less at ease. In this fast-paced life we tend to commit to a lot of things. We say “yes” often and fast. As a result, we need time management to get all things done that we have committed to. I personally, have stretched the limits of time management and have concluded that that is not the solution.

Don’t let your calendar, tools and gadgets rule you

By making use of nifty tools and handy gadgets we feel more productive and more in control of our time. But these tools are not the solution to our problems. I have neglected one of the paradigms of time management. Decisions we make are often based more on urgency, than importance. Instead of importance I haven’t been conscious about my decisions. I haven’t asked myself much if this specific thing is what I want to spend my time on. Is this important to me? Does this help me with my personal goals? Because of the fast pace of live, we tend to just accept what we see as obligation, without asking “Why?”.

We spend an awful lot of time in the office, but is that truly what we want? Time management is not just about tools, gadgets and to-do lists. It is not about saying “Yes” more, it’s not about getting more done. Instead it is about doing less, it’s about doing the small amount of things that truly matter. We all seem to forget that doing more is not the solution. If we want more, if we do more, we end up in a race we can’t win. I am not against desire and ambition, but you will always want more. It’s never enough, we are seldom satisfied with what we have. In the end, you will feel exhausted, lost and frustrated.

The compass and the clock

Many time management gurus and experts can offer insightful tips and insights that can help to get more done. These experts can help us with questions about how to manage time. But something seems missing . Shouldn’t we be asking “Should I be doing this thing in the first place?”. We focus a lot on time and what we can measure. We can count it, we can detract it. We like to focus on these things, we feel we can understand this.

The clock is the tool with which we measure time, the amount of time we have and the amount of time we have spent on something. The clock drives us towards efficiency.

The compass is that which indicates our direction. The compass lets us know if we are on the right course. This is the symbol of effectiveness. It doesn’t matter how fast you are going, if you are going in the wrong direction. Doing something well, doesn’t make it effective.

Instead of committing to do more, we should ask ourselves if we want to commit. Is this thing truly what we want to devote our time on? We have to understand what our primary goal in life is. This can only be done by having an idea on what is most important to you.

We should first focus on the compass, then the clock.

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