We're all so concerned with "time management." (more on why the quotes later). The "better" you manage your time, the more effective you are, and the better life is, right?
That would be true, if time existed.
Bear with me. Let's take a little journey to the land of measurements.
Does an Inch Exist?
Can you touch it, feel it, smell it, taste it, hear it…
An inch does not exist in the physical world except as an abstract concept. It is a unit of measure, it can be marked off on something, but by itself it is just a construct by which we measure things physically in this world.
Does time exist?
Time also does not exist in the physical world except as an abstract concept. It is a unit of measure, it can be marked off on something, but by itself it is just a construct by which we measure the sequence of events in the world, and their speed in relation to one another.
AN INCH DOES NOT EXIST.
TIME DOES NOT EXIST.
YOU CANNOT MANAGE WHAT DOES NOT EXIST.
Can you imagine a carpenter being asked to “manage inches or feet or yards”? He would laugh at you! He can only control how he cuts wood in relation to those measures. Inches cannot be managed, because they have already been defined. They have already been managed.
Can you manage minutes, seconds, hours, days, and control them somehow and bend them to your will? They are unyielding, unbending, because they themselves are simply regular intervals of life. They cannot, and never will be, manageable.
Yet this is exactly what we somehow expect of ourselves when we refer to “time management.” Time management itself is a misnomer, as if something that did not exist could actually be managed!
If you cannot manage time, then what can you manage?
You can only manage your ACTIVITIES, measured against the backdrop of time.
From now on and forevermore, FORGET the term “time management” because it cannot be done.
There is only ACTIVITIES MANAGEMENT.
Putting the subject on proper footing makes all the difference!
If we change the definition to Activities Management, a whole new array of manageable possibilities opens up!
When managing activities, you can control:
· What activities you do
· Why you do the activities
· Where you do the activities
· When you do the activities
· How you do the activities, including:
o Interactions with others
o Dependency Level
o Perfection Level
There is simply nothing else possible to manage when it comes to “time management.”
These may seem like simplistic distinctions, but most people miss them precisely because they are so obvious, they never connected time management with activity management.
We'll explore activity management in upcoming articles.
"Mike is a wonderful instructor - I look forward to many more of his classes."
-S. Matthews, Santa Ana, CA.