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Why time management so often fails

Time-management tools

They offer the promise that you would gain certain control over your life, but there's no guarantee it will work.
When it fails to work, most people try another app or another technique. The available evidence suggests these tools and strategies work for some people in some settings, but not for others.

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Why time management so often fails

Why time management so often fails

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20180904-why-time-management-so-often-fails

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Time-management tools

They offer the promise that you would gain certain control over your life, but there's no guarantee it will work.
When it fails to work, most people try another app or another technique. The available evidence suggests these tools and strategies work for some people in some settings, but not for others.

Uncritical Productivity

Pursuing productivity for its own sake is counter-productive. 

Most people feel able to complete more tasks when they start using time-management tools, but they don’t bear in mind that they can’t keep increasing their productivity forever, and they commit to more and more. In a few weeks, they are more productive but still frustrated. 

Balancing act

Back when more people worked in factories, laborers did not have to deal with time management. At the assembly line, time was managed for you.

Freedom comes with responsibility: you have to think a lot more about how you manage your time.

One size does not fit all

These time-management tools assume a lot of things about the environment where they are used and the individual personalities of people who use them.

  • Some people have a better awareness of how much time they will spend on a particular task. 
  • Others are very prone to be optimistic when ‘budgeting' their time.
  • Some prefer to do one thing at a time, while others feel comfortable multi-tasking.

Created by software developers

Many of these time-management tools are made by a very particular group of people: software developers. “We always want to solve a problem we have ourselves." Unsurprisingly, tech workers are among these tools’ biggest enthusiasts.

Many of the most popular apps and techniques evolved this way, as a particular solution for a specific problem someone else had – someone else who most likely does not work or think like you.

Take control of your life

You are going to die – and this is a crucial fact for time management that is very often neglected.

Time management tools should allow you to take control of your life, and then structure your work around it – not the other way around.

No holy grail

Bear in mind that productivity is not an endless race, just a tool with limits. 

Experiment often, as finding an approach that fits your personality and habits can be hard.

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Some people find that taking a 5 min break destroys their flow. But it does help to break long complex tasks into a series on manageable sprints.

The 2-minute rule

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Ask yourself if a task is going to take you 2 minutes or less. If so, just do it.

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Time Management And Personality

In order for any time-management method to be successful, you have to take into account people’s individual behaviors at work. There is no one-size-fits-all method for time management.

The Action Hero

Give them a seemingly impossible list of tasks and they will have them done and dusted faster than a speeding bullet. But in their haste, they can miss things and prioritize nonurgent tasks.

Strategy: For this type, ranking tasks according to urgency is a good call. 

The Diva

Very sociable and upbeat but with a tendency to procrastinate, they often boast about their nonexistent achievements giving the impression they are more productive than they really are.

Strategy: breaking tasks into tiny steps, scheduling their resolution and setting reminders works well. Email management according to urgency is also crucial considering how much time it usually consumes. 

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There isn’t enough time
Complaining that you don’t have enough time is not getting to the root problem. It may be that you’re lousy at time management. Admit to yourself that there is enough time -- you just don’t know how t...
A one size fits all solution

Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you. 

For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.

Less anxiety

Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life. 

In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.

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Defer

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Delegate

You might find it disconcerting when the results are somewhat different than when you complete the work yourself.

To delegate effectively, create a playbook breaking down a project or task step-by-step and detailing what the outcome looks like.

Do

Simply put, act on your tasks. The 2-minute rule can help with that:  If you can complete a task in two minutes or less, do it now.

It's amazing what you can accomplish in just 120 seconds: write an email, make a quick phone call, pull a report and so on.

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Find purpose

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Visualize the outcome

You're not failing to reach your goals because you are incapable - you're failing because you're trying to focus on too many things at the same time.

Instead of focusing on what you need to do to reach your goal, visualize the outcome. If you think of the outcome instead of the steps to get there, you're more likely to pursue your goal. Then the steps will become a couple of manageable tasks.

Utilize N.E.T. time

N.E.T. stands for “No Extra Time,” and it’s based on the concept that you always have time during your day that you can fill with learning.

An important step in achieving any goal is to continue learning at every opportunity. Feed your mind during downtime. It could mean listening to a podcast while commuting.

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What Time Management Is

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Eat That Frog!

Your “frog” is your most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

If you have two important tasks, start your day with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Focus on completing it before you go to the next one.

Failure to execute

We tend to confuse activity with accomplishment: we attend endless meetings and make plans, but at the end of the day, no one does the job and gets the results required.

“Failure to execute” is among the biggest problems in organizations today.

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Maintaining weight loss

The actual food you eat isn’t the main thing that enables you to keep weight off.

Maintaining a weight-reduced state is a lifelong journey and many dietary approaches can work to facilitate weight loss and keep it off.

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All these things revolve around you as a lover. You are all that really matters in the equation.

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Procrastinating and emotions

According to traditional thinking, procrastinators have a time-management problem. They are unable to understand how long a task will take and need to learn how to schedule their time better.

Short-term mood lifters

Studies show low mood only increases procrastination if enjoyable activities are available as a distraction. In other words, we're drawn to other activities to avoid the discomfort of applying ourselves.

Adverse consequences

Procrastination leads to two primary consequences.

  1. It's stressful to keep putting off important tasks and failing to meet your goals.
  2. Procrastination often involves delaying important health behaviors, such as taking up exercise or visiting a doctor.

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