Stop trying to manage time


"Figure out a new way to manage time, one that divides the day for doing good, instead of just doing."

This is part of a reply I posted on a forum a few weeks ago. The discussion centered on how to use the time that we all have in richer ways.

Time management in itself is something of a false concept. You can’t “manage” time. It’s a constant.

Lack of resources (like your time, energy, focus, technology, or people) isn’t the problem. How you use them, where you direct them, and how widely and thinly you spread them is the real crux of the problem.

“There will always be more to do than you can do.”

David Allen

A consistent problem that I see is that people have unwittingly over-committed themselves, simply because they keep saying “yes.” That’s a short route to feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

You’re getting pulled in six different directions at the same time, perpetually disappointed that you can’t give your full attention to the things that you know instinctively are the most important.

This applies just as much to relationships as it does to work projects.

Operating from a reactive, random, “what’s the next emergency I have to deal with?” standpoint is never going to give you the fulfilment that many people are looking for in work let alone life.

At the heart of what I help people with is a straightforward premise. Work out what the most effective thing is that you can work on next. Then do that in the most efficient way.

That sounds quite dry but the approach applies equally to everything that we want to do, across all of the different roles that we have in life. Leader, manager, colleague, parent, spouse, sibling,…

When you take control of all of these different areas you can assess each objectively, so that you proactively and consistently make choices about the most effective thing to focus on right here, right now, and the most efficient way to get that done.

I work with my clients to create systems that they can apply as widely as possible to empower them to get the most out of all the relationships, opportunities and projects that they have, professional and personal. And to do that in a way where they can be fully engaged and focused on whoever or whatever is most appropriate at any point.

Better to be in proactive control of your choices about where you invest your time and energy than to spend it simultaneously reacting to other people’s priorities and trying to recover from preventable, avoidable mistakes.

If you harness the resources that you have more effectively and efficiently, it’s possible to do and achieve much more in more meaningful, resonant, impactful and enjoyable ways that deeply and positively affect, strengthen and broaden the relationships that matter most to you.



Chris Beaumont