We do Time Management courses (why do these articles always start with a sales pitch?) and, to be honest, we could save people the 3-4 hours we spend training and how best to manage time and get it over with in a few minutes, which would be the opposite of ironic. The simple message is…
“Stop procrastinating, stop worrying, just do stuff.”
That’s it, really. Though, if you just had this, you may not be able to move forward too confidently. And you may think our courses aren’t value for money. They are, btw. Or even by the way.
We have great slides in our course but one always jumps out (no, we don’t do 3D, we just mean figuratively), which contains a comment we filched from somewhere, of course, as we trainers do, which says “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.” (There’s a gift there for somebody looking at you in the face, even if Christmas has now gone.)
And people do that knowing sigh and tilt of the head when they read it that says “Yes, I know that but…” . I suppose people just like to worry. I have no idea why.
Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere
Personally, I have delegated worrying to my wife as she is so good at it (delegation being another important element of time management), so I now have more time to do things like writing articles such as this one. On the procrastination scale I am a strong “just do it” (there’s no F in there) person. Yes, I make mistakes but I’d prefer to make an error now than to put one off for a while and waste time thinking about it. Most things don’t need too much thought, indeed, in most of our lives, there are only a few decisions that are life threatening/changing; most need more than a few minutes to think about at best (ever spent too much time thinking about what you should have for dinner? And still having beans on toast?).
Most people aren’t brilliant at making decisions but are good at procrastinating. By procrastinating (“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill”) we are putting off the often obvious conclusion and, by over-thinking, we are making our choices more complex and, therefore, maybe more frightening. How many times have you over-thought something (don’t think about this too long but I bet you’re thinking about beans on toast) and therefore wasted time, effort and even then stopped yourself making the really obvious decision?
Make the decision. Do it, do it now.
It can honestly be that simple.
If you want to manage time, though, you still can’t. Time can’t be managed but you can manage yourself. And that is all in the head. If you decide to manage yourself, you can and once you have made that decision you will. Honestly, think about it!.
Another slide says “Time Flies; are you a passenger or a pilot?” In other words, don’t just go along for the ride but control what you can. Put your mind to it. And do it.
At the very least stop worrying about inconsequential things.
You’ll save some time, at the very least. And at the very best, you’ll find yourself more time. And less stressed. But maybe you like to be stressed? That’s for next time…