If you can’t manage time, what can you do?

by Terry Monaghan, 12 September 2012

Last week, I wrote that you can’t manage time. Time management doesn’t work.

What you have access to is your energy and your actions. So, what do I mean by that?

I was reading an interesting book over the summer – The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, by Tony Schwartz. In that book, they talk about energy as defined in physics: the capacity to do work.

Interesting definition, isn’t it? Gives you a very different way to think about energy. So, what impacts your energy? What gives you the best capacity to do work?

According to the authors, there are four areas that together make up our energy:

  • Sustainability (Physical)
  • Security (Emotional)
  • Self-Expression (Mental)
  • Significance (Spiritual)

There is a reason the first one listed is sustainability – the physical aspect. If you are not taking care of yourself physically, it won’t really matter how well the other three are functioning for you. The body will trump everything.

So, managing your physical well-being is one of the critical factors in managing energy – especially if  you want a breakthrough in your productivity, and any possibility of work-life balance. And you have heard me say before – if it isn’t scheduled to happen, it probably won’t happen. Time for yourself has to be a priority for you to have the capacity to work.

(I highly recommend you read the book.)

My second point had to do with managing your actions. You really have direct control over what you do.  And the only thing that reliably produces results is taking action.

So many are afraid to make a mistake that they will think, plan, overthink, forecast, plot – anything but act. But if we really look, even in those times when we have made a mistake – we have gained valuable data. Even if the only data gathered is that wasn’t the way to go.

Things happen in time (at least it looks that way). But without someone taking action – nothing really happens.

What actions do you need to take to get the result you want? Make a phone call, go to the meeting, write the proposal – DO something!

©  Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.

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7 Responses to If you can’t manage time, what can you do?

  1. Sue Painter says:

    I honestly love your take on managing life and time. It’s true to the core, not just a bandaid up on the top of the issue. Time for one’s self is so necessary, I’ve written about it myself many times – I call them “personal retreats.” Good stuff!

  2. Ellen Martin says:

    I totally agree with you Terry. Another great book to check out is Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life by Paul Hammerness and Margaret Moore. In addition to discussing energy, they focus on how emotions impact productivity. Very interesting stuff. Great blog post once again!

    Ellen Kramer

  3. Yes! You’er speaking my language: Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual – the core of my teachings and what underlies everything – love how you teach these skills!

  4. Oh my … I set aside time for myself … but then I often don’t stick to it to be quite honest. There are so many thing I want to do / write / get done / create that I give up my me time. But I AM working on it!

    • Jennifer, your ME time is the MOST IMPORTANT time in your schedule. I know, we usually push it to the end. But consider this: if you are completely depleted you will have NOTHING left for everyone else. Seriously – give it the priority it deserves!

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