Have you ever noticed that even the best time management techniques, systems or methods never seem to work?
Believe me, I've tried them all - day planners, desk calendars, egg timers, computerized reminders, etc, etc etc. If there's a good time management tip out there, I've tried it. And I've come to one very obvious conclusion about them all...
The failure is not in the system or the method, its in the implementation. Almost any decent time management technique will work - if you implement it properly.
Applying the great tips we learn, or putting a new system in place for getting organized and managing our time more efficiently, requires change. The main problem being that new habits are as hard to create as old habits are to break.
It's not that difficult to get organized, but for most people its nearly impossible to stay organized. There are simple ways to lose weight, yet the majority struggle following the plan and maintaining their weight. Even smokers know that quitting is easy (we do it all the time!) - its constantly starting back that becomes a problem.
Old habits die hard. And that's just as true with Time Management and Organization as it is with anything else in our lives.
If you truly want to get a handle on your schedule, your goals and your time then you have to be prepared to make serious changes in your routine. It requires being consistently persistent about making deliberate changes.
The one key being that you make the right changes.
What works for one person may not work for the next, not because of the technique itself but because of our personal goals and our individual strengths. The best thing that you can do is determine what will work best for you.
There is only one person that I know that actually addresses this point in a step-by-step guide to becoming more organized and efficient: Julie Morgenstern. And actually she has two books out, for each of those all-important topics:
Organization and Time Management often feel like a cycle of madness. In one huge burst of energy you get everything in perfect order... only to find yourself sitting there one week later with piles of stress and clutter all over again. Ring a bell?
True time management wont come in a tip or a dayplanner or an egg timer. It comes by developing a whole new set of habits.
The first step is to determine what the bad habits are, and kick them. That might include using systems that dont work with your personal character (ie going against the grain). Procrastination. Not delegating or automating ("do it myself" syndrome). Whatever tends to contribute most to your stress and your time issues likely falls in the 'bad habit' category.
The next step is to figure out what will work best for you, and then to do it. This is not going to come easy, and it's only going to work for those that truly want to see positive change in their lives.
It boils down to getting determined and taking action.
Keep in mind that the true purpose of time management is to ultimately reach your primary goal in life. While it can make your day to day life run much smoother in the short term, you want to make sure that you are working towards your main objective on a daily basis as well.
If you're serious about getting where you want to be 5 years from now... start today.
P.S. If you already have Julie Morgenstern's books, make it a point to read (or re-read) Time Management From The Inside Out. If you dont, put it on your Amazon order today. This is one book that can truly change your life for the better 😉