There’s No Such Thing As Time Management

Summary: “Be aware…and beware…of how new things affect your time use.”  

Yes, I am being a bit nit-picky, but as the title states there is no such thing as time management. Time flows in a forward direction and does not respond to any human attempts to manage it. Therefore, time management strategies are, pardon the pun, a waste of time.

As an alternative, you might look closely at the ongoing historical tug-of-war between new things coming into existence that free up huge blocks of your time and new things coming into existence that place heavy demands on your time.

For example, on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point, Utah, the golden spike was driven to complete the rail line between the East and West coasts. Prior to completing this rail line, it typically took six months to make the trip from New York to San Francisco. Soon after the completion of the transcontinental railroad, an individual could make the same trip in about six days. That’s 174 days of free time if you are willing to abandon the Conestoga wagon option. If you decided to travel from New York to San Francisco nowadays, you would have many options. Among the options is United Airlines flight 626 out of Kennedy airport leaving at 10:20 am and arriving at 1:36 pm. If you adjust for the time zone changes, that’s six hours and sixteen minutes travel time. So, from six months, to six days, to six hours to get the same result – getting from New York to San Francisco. These are clear examples of new things that free up huge blocks of time.

I can cite many similar examples of how we can now accomplish the same result in significantly less time that it took us in the past – if you are willing to abandon our current way of doing things. So, abandoning your current way of doing things seems to be one of the keys to dealing with the unrelenting passage of time.

On the other hand, many new things coming into existence place huge demands on our time (for example, some aspects of social media come to mind). So, being careful about adopting new time-consuming things is another way to deal with the shortage of available time.

As I mentioned, you cannot manage time, however, you can learn to do a much better job of rationally using time. That’s what I suggest to my clients. Abandon your efforts to manage time and look for practical ways to more rationally use time. Start by asking, “What can I abandon to free up huge blocks of time?” Or, what can I avoid adopting that will likely place significant demands on my time? Whatever you do, try to joyfully use your time.

Joyfully participate in life today…Chris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top