Time Management or You Management?

image of calendar for managing your time

Linda was at a conference a couple of years ago with a speaker who was talking about time management. Unfortunately, she can’t recall his name but she was totally caught by his message.

In a room with 500 professionals, he said, “Raise your hand if you have ever read an article or a book about time management.” The entire room raised their hands.

Then he said, “Raise your hand if you have ever taken a course on time management.” About 90% of the room raised their hand.

Then he said, “Raise your hand if you believe you have mastered time management.” Five people raised their hands.

Now, this was a group of smart, capable people but only 1% of the room felt some mastery over time management even though between 90 and 100% of them had done some training or reading on time management.

His introduction clearly caught the attention of the room. He went on to say that time management is mostly a myth. You can’t really manage time (it being time and all).

In fact, time is not something you can manage or influence. But what you can manage is what you do with your time.

You can get more clear about:

  • what really matters to you.
  • what brings you a sense of pride and satisfaction.
  • what you can do to engage in more of the things that make you proud of your behavior—even when in the moment you are tempted to fall back into patterns that are not as good for you.

Since that lecture, we’ve stopped worrying about time management and focused instead on helping people know, articulate, and claim with respect the things that really matter in their lives. This helps as they set priorities and work to create successes that matter to them.

Managing yourself will get you closer to a life of meaning, satisfaction, and success.

If you’re interested in an exercise that will help you identify the priorities in your life so that you manage yourself based on what truly matters to you, drop Heather, our queen of productivity, a note and she’ll send it your way.

Here’s to your success in 2017!

Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting


If you’d like personal coaching on ‘you management’ and prioritization, check out our Productivity Coaching services.

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  • Linda Carpenter, Stephanie Smith

    Carpenter Smith Consulting

    Linda Carpenter and Stephanie Smith started Carpenter Smith Consulting in Portland to support individuals and teams who dream about having the power, impact and influence to create success and meaning in ... Read full profile
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