Time Management Is Kinda Pointless
Hear me out….
Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done? Me too.
Regardless of how hard we try, managing time is a bit pointless. Time marches on whether we want it to or not. It can’t be slowed down, sped up or managed. However, we sure do like to try, don’t we?
In fact, humans have been studying, managing and measuring time for thousands of years.
A little time management history
Who decided to break each day into 24-hour chunks? Apparently, the Ancient Egyptians are responsible for dividing our days into 24 segments (later called hours). Why? One theory states that Ancient Egyptians used the joints on their fingers (not including the thumb) to count. That makes 12 joints on each hand. 12 hours for dark and 12 hours for light = a 24-hour day.
Later, around 500 BC, the Babylonians decided there would be 7 days in the week because they could observe 7 celestial bodies. Hence, our 7-day week.
We have our ancient ancestors to thank for our current measurement of time.
Shift Your Focus Away From Time Management
Time is not limited, our perception of time is limited.
The measurement of time is arbitrary. We could have easily ended up with 10 hours in a day, but 24/7 is what we adapted as the amount of time we have to be as productive as possible before it starts all over again. This can become a never-ending loop of busy-work.
In reality, we can’t control time. It was here before we were born and it will be here long after we are gone. Imagine how fulfilled and at peace we would be at the end of each day if we stopped trying to control something that can’t be controlled. Shift your focus away from time management and towards what you can control.
Instead of trying to do as much as possible, do what’s most important. Your priorities will be defined by your goals, your values and the current season you are in.
In the Loving Your Home Club, we are reading Christy Wright’s book, Take Back Your Time, where she explains that your priorities will shift with each new season of life. A season does not have a set timeframe, so allow yourself to focus in on whatever is most important to you today.
Don’t worry about the shoulds or coulds: I should be doing this or I could do that.
If you are focused on your current priorities, you are doing exactly what you are meant to be doing.
We expect so much of ourselves, don’t we?
- Go to school
- Volunteer at the kids’ schools
- Go to the gym most days
- Do chores (some days)
- Pay the bills and manage the finances
- Schedule everyone’s doctor’s appointments, haircuts and vet appointments.
- Drive everyone to the above mentioned appointments
- Cook and grocery shop
- Take care of seasonal duties (meal planning, gift shopping and card mailing)
- Fix broken items around the house or schedule a repair service
- Make sure the lawn is mowed or pay someone to do it
This was my list before I learned how to manage my expectations. I wanted everything to get done right now. Since I work at a faster pace than my husband, I would get frustrated and just handle it all by myself. My high expectations for myself and others left me feeling resentful and exhausted!
Use your compass, not your clock.
Stop trying to manage your time, and simply focus on what’s most important to you in this season of life. Let the dishes sit in the sink if you have a more pressing issue. Cancel an appointment so you can go to your son’s football game. Reschedule a coffee date so you can go to a business conference you’ve been looking forward to. You get to decided what you do and when you do it.
Follow your compass and don’t worry about managing time. Time will always be there.