What Time Management Really Is

sisterpeace.jpgIn an earlier post I explained that time really cannot be managed, even though we think that it can, and that we have the power to so.. “Time Management” is truly a misnomer.

The term is still widely used both here and in other places, as it’s just too clumsy to use a different word or phrase. In the 2Time way of thinking, I use the term, but I actually apply it in different ways.

In 2Time, “time management” means:

#1 – Peace of Mind Management
The primary goal of a time management system is the production of peace of mind.  Nothing is more important, and every change in a time management system is measured by its impact on this overall measure.   This is one the reasons why time management systems vary from one person to another.  what creates peace for me, might do the opposite for you.

#2 Productivity Management
Unfortunately, there is no peace of mind for working professionals unless they believe that they are being productive.  The problem they have is that there is no agreed-upon way of knowing that they are being as productive as they can be — it’s not as easy as measuring a physical characteristic, such as height and weight.

For knowledge professionals, I recommend the use of proxy measures as a way of tracking their productivity.

Proxy Measure #1: The number of time demands that fall through the cracks.  In other words, how many commitments failed to be completed because they were not properly managed?

Proxy Measure #2:  The number of appointments that are late in starting, or are missed altogether

Proxy Measure #3:  The number of items in a user’s email inbox

Proxy Measure #4;  The number of regrets experienced verbally per day that one “needs more time” or “should be better organized.”

These are simply tools that a professional can use to manage their productivity when they are used together.

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One Reply to “What Time Management Really Is”

  1. I agree with your premise on time management. I always preferred to call it task management, but I think your term, productivity management is a much better and broader fit. I am sure that the simple measures you’ve discussed would go a long way in providing a true measure of one’s productivity.

    It is all about stress for me. The more I am able to manage projects and the tasks that make them up, the more stress relief I feel. That is why I practice GTD, as it helps relieve the stress of remembering, the first step in productivity.

    I’ve written several posts about my experiences with GTD on my blog at http://johnkendrick.wordpress.com/how-to-gtd/ John

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