10 Time Management Myths You Would Do Well to Debunk

When it comes to managing time there are a number of commonly held beliefs that appear to make sense... but don’t.

Once you know them, you'll start to manage your time more effectively...

1. You can manage time

The reality is that you can only manage yourself -- here and now. ‘Time’ is something we have created to organize ourselves more efficiently.  

In reality, what you do is use the sum of your knowledge and experience to make a decision about what to do.

2. You 'should' do something

There are several words and phrases that are hugely dis-empowering - ‘should’, ‘have to’, ‘need to’  are all dropped into conversation so regularly that we don’t even realize we say them.

The reality, of course, is that you don’t have to do anything other than to accept the consequences of your choices.

3. Multi-tasking saves time

It’s so tempting to ‘save’ time by combining tasks. But without exception it reduces the quality of your attention and consequently of your action.    

Sometimes this goes unnoticed and you appear to get away with it. But is there a hidden cost?

4. It is best to do it now

This way of working means you are constantly reacting to demands, requests and desires.  Unless something is genuinely same day urgent, or it takes less time to do than to write down, schedule it for action at a specific future time.

Respond rather than react.

5. To-do lists work

To do lists list work. You still have to review them, remind yourself of the items on them and then actually do the tasks you have listed.

To get things done, look at your list throughout the day. If you can, block off one chunk of dedicated time to do everything on today's list.

6. There are rules to follow

Actually, time management is about principles, habits and degrees of success.  No one ever gets it right all the time -- every new day presents challenges. It’s just a question of how you feel about your tasks on a day to day basis.

Time management is a very personal thing -- what works for one person may not work for another.

7. Limits are disempowering

Not necessarily.  Without limits, it is tempting to allow unscheduled activities to drift.  Placing time limits on yourself forces an increase in efficiency -- you are more likely to “drop the dross” and do what matters.

This applies to creativity as well as tasks and projects.

9. "I work best under pressure"

Maybe you do. Sometimes. There's nothing like leaving it until the last minute to make sure it gets done, is there?

But it's also true that, more often that not, pressure increases stress and decreases quality.

The antiodote? Get into the habit of using a simple system.

8. Time management is boring

That's like saying breathing is boring.  Managing time is something we all do -- it's just a question of whether we're doing it consciously or not.

Time will pass anyway so you may as well spend it doing things that make you happy -- easier said than done, I know, but that's what this website is for.

10. "I don't have enough time"

Yes you do. It's what you choose to do with it that counts.


Looking through the above list which beliefs would it benefit you to challenge?


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Time Management Myths