I’ve been a coaching people on time management for over 10 years. What that means is that I have coached many individuals through the process of figuring out which time management strategies work for them, putting them into practice, and learning skills to get and stay on track.
During that time period, I’ve talked to people about their time management issues, perceptions, and concerns. Through those discussions, I’ve found that there are pervasive myths about time management. Here are four things you may have been told about time management that aren’t true.
If you were better at time management, you could do it all
There’s a misconception that if only you could manage your time better, you could do everything. However often, I find that the first step to getting a better overall life is not to try to manage everything. Instead you want to step back and very carefully evaluate your commitments. The answer to managing your time better is often admitting you can’t do it all and then making necessary cuts.
There’s one perfect time management system
In time management, you can find universal strategies that help almost everyone. However, it’s not true that there’s one perfect system that works for all people. In my experience, I’ve found that individuals need to develop a system that meets their needs and personality. It’s the only way that it will be sustainable.
You can learn time management in a day
Changing habits takes time. Time management change in particular can take quite a bit of time because it requires individuals to modify years of programming. You may be able to hear some time management concepts in an hour or a day, but in my experience, to actually internalise them, you need to actively practice this new way of being for at least three months.
You’re hopeless at time management
If you’re not naturally good in time management, it doesn’t mean that you’re incapable. It’s just not your natural strength. The good news is that time management is a skill that can be developed.
When you learn what works for you and then repeatedly practice that technique, your neural connections in that pattern of behaviour become stronger. You can develop the ability to have good time management no matter what your age or past experience.