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Why Time Management Doesn’t Work

 

When we distance ourselves from our Doer Energy, we start to live as if we were slaves to time. We hustle from one place to another, barely taking enough time to breathe.

We’re stressed and can’t stop complaining about how little time we have and all of the things we still have left to do.

But a doer has a different relationship to time.

A doer appreciates the fact that time is precious and finite.

That’s why they would never waste even a single second of it complaining that they don’t have enough. A doer knows that they are the masters of their time and not the other way around. A doer understands that it’s up to them to choose how to spend their time.

And because of these realizations, they are empowered to choose differently.

For a doer, time management is a matter of priorities. If they need to make time for a new activity, they will prioritize it. Other people would think it’s simply impossible or that trying to cram it into their already full schedules would just cause more stress.

But a doer has a more straightforward outlook: all that would happen is that a lower-priority task would either be postponed or abandoned.

That’s it.

Really, it’s not much different than the way normal people approach time management.

We all prioritize.

And we recognize what we give preference to when our priorities are clear and there is a lot of contrast between them.

When we face an emergency, like someone in our family falling sick, it’s obvious that we need to put everything else on hold until we take care of it.

But when we’re not facing an emergency that allows us to easily classify things—that is, when we are in our normal day to day—we are rarely aware of our priorities. Some, yes, are very clear and basic (like food, work, bills, and so on) but the rest (like wellness, creativity, happiness, adventure, and your dream goals) usually gets blended up in the same bucket.

It’s no wonder, then, that so many people don’t work with a clear hierarchy in mind and can’t distinguish what is or isn’t important when crucial decisions have to be made towards their goals.

Add to this the fact that we spend so much of our days hustling, barely conscious of how we’re using our time, and you have a perfect recipe for aimlessness and stress.

A doer is simply more aware of how they invest their time because they know it is entirely their responsibility. Most people, on the other hand, let circumstances drag them around or let others decide how their time will be spent.

But don’t think that a doer is like a machine with a fully programmed schedule, optimized not to waste even a single minute. A doer sometimes unconsciously wastes their time, just like everybody else. But what sets them apart is that these moments either don’t last very long or, if they do, they’re turned into conscious moments of relaxed leisure.

None of us have more than 24 hours in each day. So why are doers able to create and achieve so much within the same limits?

Did Bill Gates have more time than you while you were both studying?

No. He simply invested that time differently.

The result: he is one of the richest people on the planet and has had a monumental impact on large-scale social goods, like fighting against AIDS (more than $700 million donated), combating malaria ($456 million), and his dedicated support of public education.

But, of course, if you’re one of the people who doesn’t feel like they own their time, it’s worthless talking about strategizing, prioritizing, and managing time.

If you don’t feel like your time belongs to you, that you’re not in charge of it, then none of this is going to work for you.

There’s no tool, trick, or tip that is going to get the pace of your life under control.

Sorry, I just spoiled it for you.

That’s the part almost every time management and productivity book leaves out.

And it’s why they eventually stop working for most people, no matter how carefully they follow the framework, system, or guidelines offered in them.

When you build a house, you start with the foundation, not the roof. So, let’s do the same here. Instead of starting with time management strategies (surface, roof), let’s start with your mindset about time (inside, foundation).

Let’s start by the basics: owning back your time.

It’s a lot simpler than it seems. All you have to do is declare it:

I am the master of my time and I choose how to invest it.”

Think of this as a personal affirmation and tweak it however you need to make it your own. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day—as often as you need to—in your mind or out loud.

If you’re one of those people who gets overwhelmed and overtaken by their circumstances and you finish each day without knowing where all your time went, reminding yourself of this will help immensely. Each time you feel the day slipping away from you, repeat those words to yourself. They will make you present in that moment and allow you to take the reins instead of being led around.

If you’re one of those rare (and lucky!) specimen who usually master their time, then you may not need to repeat those words too often. But it never hurts to bring conscious awareness to those times of day when we normally go on autopilot.

The key to being aware of your time is to feel that it really does belong to you—that it’s your time—and that you decide how you’re going to invest it.

Each and every one of your minutes is precious.

Make sure you make the best of them.

Leave a comment and let me know how you’re currently managing your time.

Written by:

Victor Espigares

Bestselling author, startup founder, multi-passionate entrepreneur, contemporary dancer, and dad in progress. I help passionate makers and entrepreneurs thrive and grow to enjoy a Remarkable Life.

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