Time Management is an Oxymoron

You can’t manage time, no one can. It’s just not possible.

Still, I see people try to cram everything they have to do into one day — as if it must all be done right now. Very stressful habit. You can’t manage time, but you can plan what you have to do in a day.

“You’re only going to get done what you’re going to get done today, and you’re not going to get anything done that you’re not going to get done.” I remember this from my first time management course years ago. What I heard was, “Plan it and relax knowing I will get it done.”

So, Time Management should really be called Work Management, or Task Management. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of not planning your day’s work — a couple of tough days, a few emergencies, and bamo, you’re now in crisis mode racing to catch up. Not a problem really, and many people have the skills to get a heck of a lot of work done in high gear; for a few days. But long range, day in and day out, it’s not the optimum way to manage your time and workload. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

One big loss of effectiveness with the lack of planning is you move into it being all about what you can do today, or right now, and lose the benefits of leveraging your time by coordinating with others who might be able to help out that work.

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