The Answer to the question What is Time Management?

What is time management? the sixty-four-million-dollar question. Before we can answer that question it’s important to understand that time management is a misleading description of a common problem. When most people ask the question what is time management? They are usually looking for a solution to a percieved shortage of time, and the way to deal with that issue is to icrease ones ability and willingness to manage yourself better. Unless you acknowledge that you are fully responsible for your own actions, you will never achieve what you want within the time you have available.

Time has no favourites

Time is the only aspect of our lives where it can be said that we are all treated equally. It is possibly the only thing in life that isn’t subject to recession, interest rates, inflation or government intervention. You can’t trade it on the stock market, or save it for a rainy day. When the clock strikes midnight, it doesn’t matter who you are or how you spent your time prior to that point, you like everyone else in the world (health permitting) will be given another 24 hours to work with.

So why is it that some people seem to achieve extraordinary successes on a regular basis, while others appear to be equally busy but get nowhere near the levels of achievement they would like? And why is it that others seem able to match your level of performance and yet still have time to take a leisurely lunch hour and leave work on-time every evening, apparently “stress-free”?

In essence, time management is nothing more simple than achieving. Whether this is over a long period of time or within the next hour is dependent on what you want. If only life was that simple.

Time management is as easy or difficult as you want to make it.

The key word is control. To what extent you are really serious about managing your time and therefore your life. In many cases, individuals expect someone to ‘teach’ them how to manage their time and wave a wand that will magically deliver the secret of life!!

The desire to manage your time and become more effective both personally and professionally, is entirely based upon your attitude, and to what extent you are prepared to grasp the nettle and do something about what to many is an increasingly frustrating problem.

It is only once you have taken this decision can you start to think about how you are going to do it practically in both your work and home life.

We have time for anything, but not everything! It is not time we are short of; it is how we choose to consume it which requires attention.

So how do I answer the question what is time management?

Essentially time management is a behaviour around which skills can and should be learnt and can be viewed as taking action:

  • For the right reason (because it is linked to a goal or objective).
  • At the right time (by prioritising).
  • In the right way (within a system that works for you).

Look out for future articles that will discuss these areas in more detail

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Till Next Time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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16 thoughts on “The Answer to the question What is Time Management?

  1. Time-management = taking action is a good way of looking at it. In my job we have to work with SMART goals = Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and Time-managed. This sounds a lot like what you are describing so I can understand and follow. Looking forward to the next one.

    • SMART Goals are good Anthea but they are invariably only achievement orientated which is only 25% of the type of goals we should be setting as you’ll see in an upcoming post

  2. Yes exactly right Mike as per usual.
    It is the formality of “Time Management” as I don’t like being told what to do let alone telling myself what to do. I need to reframe it so it fits with my free spirited soul and that way I can get to grips with it whilst riding my unicorn across the hilltops.

    • I work from the basis that time management systems need to be as unique as the individual, and i’m sure we could come up with a system that allows you time to ride your Unicorn across the Sheffield hilltops 😉

  3. I look forward to your future articles. There is always more to learn and old lessons to re-learn.

    For my own time management, I have learned to make time for the wandering mind and to pull it back gently onto track repeatedly until it is as natural as breathing.
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  4. Great post mike and i love the quote ‘Time is the only aspect of our lives where it can be said that we are all treated equally.’ never thought about it like that before.
    Not letting others control our time i suppose is the biggest focus for the ‘Arrow’ office as we do find days that we feel little has been achieved because others have drawn our attention away from the objectives of the day…. this can be a little frustrating but recently we have put much more tighter control on the ad hoc interruptions that used to occur far to often…

  5. Well defined and well taught sir.time management has been issues with folks,young adults,teenagers and even many industrialists too but learning how to prioritize them keeps me in check and helps me stay afloat time,energy,resources and how to handle everyday tasks as they are planned,set and even those that are divinely upset our plans too.thanks sir.bigger you sir and happy new month sir.