Time management offers ways to increase efficiency and productivity, but time management isn’t valuable if you’re not spending your time on a life you value.
I prioritize, create to-do lists, minimize distractions and follow many other forms of time management. I generally get done what I need to get done, but I often feel rushed, tired and constrained by time. When I stop and consider those feelings, they aren’t created by time or the lack of time, those feelings are created by my concept of time.
Time management isn’t effective when it’s about to-do lists, planning, or scheduling- it’s about focus. I let go of the idea that I can control time- I can’t. What I can do is direct my energy by focusing on what is important to me- living a life that is fulfilling to me and loving my work-life.
I have the same amount of time each day, and I generally perform the same activities day-to-day. So what’s different on the days I feel peaceful, productive and balanced? The difference is my focus.
When I can give my full attention to what I’m doing when I’m doing it, I do not feel very concerned about time. In fact, when I practice mindful behavior, I accomplish more than I do when I focus on schedules or to-do’s.
I love my work-life when I am putting energy into what’s really important to me. I do this by asking myself, “how important is it?” If something is not important, or will not be important in a day, or week, or month, it might not be worth giving too much thought or energy today.
Another idea I practice is, “do the next right thing”. When I find myself distracted by unimportant tasks, I can practice doing the next right thing. A quick check of my intentions usually tells me if what I’m doing is worth my attention.
I can practice focusing on what’s important when I stop multitasking and allow myself to consider what I’m working on this moment. Attention to the present moment helps me be peaceful and productive.
Okay, so I admit I continue to practice time management because it helps me do more of what’s important with my time, but I will also be mindful that time management is useless if I’m not focusing on the right things. I cannot create more time but I can choose to spend the time I have on living a life I value.
Do you value how you’re spending your time today? What does time management mean to you?