Is your time management system broken?
Does it regularly let you down? (Or do you let it down?)
Does it seem to take more effort than it is worth?
“Time management is suppose to make time, not take time.”
If your system is taking more effort than it is easing, it may be a sign that it is time to change things up.
Today we look at 5 reasons that your current time management system is not working. Why it is broken.
1 – Your Time Management is Too Complex
It seems that many time management gurus love to make things as complex as possible. I guess they figure it will keep you coming back for more advice.
Flowcharts? Multiple lists? Multiple contexts? (Contexts? Really???) Categories?
No wonder people get mired down in the mud.
Let me say what many people have thought…
“If your time management system requires a flowchart, it’s too complex.”
2 – It is Redundant
Do you have more than one calendar? Multiple todo lists? Are your contacts spread across your computer, cell phone, and webmail?
What happens next? You miss an appointment that was on one calendar but not the other. Or you cannot find a contact that is on your home computer but not on your phone.
Too many tools in your system always ends up causing confusion.
3 – Not accessible
Where is your time management system? If it is not with you at all times, then it is failing you.
Wait, you say, it’s online! I mean, it’s on my work computer! And some of it is at home on my Mac.
But, what good does that do when you have that killer idea in the middle of nowhere? Or need to know that important piece of information when at a business lunch?
4 – Too many options
Does your time management system have too many bells and whistles?
In item #1, we were talking about processes being too complex, here we are talking about too many options.
If your system has more options than a Microsoft Word menu, then it has too many. If entering a todo in your system has 47 different criteria to specify, that is a sign.
5 – It Doesn’t Suit You
Do you like your time management system? Does your time management system suit your skills and personality?
If you are better with pen and paper then do not be lured into the latest smartphone solution. On the other hand, it technology motivates your passion, then go that route.
The bottom line is that people are most productive when they use tools that work for them. I met a CEO that used a 3×5 card as his time management device. It was extremely effective for him. And he ran a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Finding What Works
- Keep it Simple – No flowcharts! No complex processes. Select a system that focuses on results instead of the process of getting there.
- Practice the “Power of 1“ – Ensure your system has only 1 of each needed tool.
- Keep It Visible – If you system is not readily accessible, it can’t help you. Ensure that your time management solution is always within reach.
- Minimize the Options – Keep it simple, simple, simple. (See #1) If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, then don’t go with a system that has them. Select the simplest method that gets done what you need.
- Pick Your Tools – Choose tools that you enjoy and will use. Otherwise, you are going to end up putting them in a drawer anyway. Pick the time management tools that make sense for you.
Let’s keep it simple. Let’s use tools that work instead of adding complexity to our already complex lives.
How do you keep your time management simple and working?
Why Do Complex Time Management Systems Fail?
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