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Time Management Motivation. Do You Really Need It?

I’ll start by saying that I personally do not need time management motivation. I don’t pay any attention to time management at all, beyond getting to work on time and doing my job well. I’ll finish by telling you why.

On the scale of efficient time management, with 1 being David Allen (of Getting Things Done) and 10 being a manic spaniel with ADHD who has been put in charge of translating tax code while on a Merry Go Round, I rate myself an 11. (That did not make sense, but the image kind of makes me laugh, so I’ll leave it).

Do I really need to be motivated about this?

Part of the reason that a time management guru might consider me as being poor at managing my time is that I don’t really feel like I have to. If you were to observe me going about my daily tasks, you would not think you were watching a guy with a plan. And you’d be right in part. You would probably note my current lack of calendars, notebooks, sticky pads, and any sort of online task tracker, and think that I was just free-associating, working on whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

And that’s pretty much how it is, although I do keep a notebook that I take out and doodle on at meetings. That is literally the only thing I use it for. Last week I drew an elephant fighting a jet.

The tasks I care about, the goals I care about

I have no time management motivation because so far, my tasks get done and I stay happy. I’ve never felt the urge to become more efficient, or wondered just how much more productivity I could cram into a day. I don’t want to have schedules. I don’t want to have plans. I keep moving and I stay busy because I love to work and I love to get things done, but as far as maximizing the minutes in the day…I feel like I do it just fine, although it doesn’t really fit the ideas of time management in the books.

The point for me is to get the things done that are important to me, do the job I am paid to do, and enjoy life. In many ways I am a horrible slacker. If you want to read an awesome book about being a happy slacker, I highly recommend The Freedom Manifesto.

It hasn’t always been this way. And I’m certainly not saying that you should feel this way. The point for you may be completely opposite.

If you are stressed out because you feel like you’re managing your time poorly, I would just take a moment and ask yourself: according to who? If you are having a hard time fulfilling your obligations because you’re too busy, then sure, maybe things could be streamlined.

If your boss says, “You’ve got to manage your time better,” it’s probably not a bad idea to take that seriously, unless you can just quit.

But if you are holding yourself to a standard that someone else invented, I would gently suggest that you ask yourself  if it’s really necessary for you to be happy. I would argue that the only time you should really worry about your time management skills is if you are not making progress on the things that matter to you–not to someone else.

Josh

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