Why Old, Generic, Efficiency Driven Methods Failed – And The Future of Time Management Systems Is Promising
Time management systems that are personalized, aligned with your true purpose in life, and enhance your efficiency are the only ones destined to deliver on a promise of lower stress and greater delight. The others are a relic of the past, fit only to be consigned to the garbage dump of time management history!
Time management systems have ruled the lives of corporate wage slaves for centuries. More recently, they have gradually encroached on the existence of everyone else – including you and me.
But despite their ubiquitous presence and constant evolution, not many time management systems have worked well to increase satisfaction, reduce stress or enhance time utility effectively.
What’s the reason for this dismal failure?
Your Life Can’t Be Easily Categorized!
Listen to any time management video or training program, and you’ll hear about how all the events in your life can nicely fit into 3, 4 or 5 generic categories. Go back home (or to the office) and try to put that lesson into practice, and you’ll realize just how impractical it is!
Your life, like mine, is too rich, varied and exciting to be compartmentalized. And the important and special components of it are even harder to group in a general fashion. Your most boring chore may be what I live for.
That’s one of the biggest failings of existing systems that teach you how to manage time better.
Why Most Time Management Systems Failed
Most methods of learning time management are based on a prescriptive approach of drawing up to-do lists and ordering them by importance before getting them done. This is an elegant and simple method, one that should work wonders in everyone’s life.
But the reality is that even when we follow popular time management lessons to the letter, our day isn’t any less rushed, our stress levels aren’t any lower, and our sense of fulfillment at the end of the day isn’t any higher.
And at the core of this failure is the simple, yet often overlooked fact that the things you put on your to-do list and then set priorities on are hardly ever of your own choice.
Usually they are tasks and chores that devolve upon you from someone else. Your boss, your co-workers, and your employees. Your family, your friends, and your community. Your club, your religious associations and many more external groups. All impose their needs and requirements upon your limited time.
The time management powerpoints you studied so carefully taught you how to prioritize and get them done. But…
Time Management Systems Are NOT For Others
They are for YOU!
These systems should focus first on making you happier – by taking you closer to your goals, getting your personal to-do list done, achieving your unique targets and purpose.
That’s where the majority of conventional time management systems dropped the ball. Any system that remains viable into the future must overcome this fatal weakness and embrace these 3 principles:
The only way a system to manage time can be pertinent and relevant to you is if it is designed (or can be adapted) to your uniqueness. It should be flexible and free-flowing enough to embrace the elements of your life and dreams that matter most – to YOU. That’s why Time Management Tao begins with finding the center, the things of greatest importance to you.
Famous effectiveness coach Stephen Covey tells the story of a man who spent a lot of effort climbing up a tall tree, only to look around when he reached the top – to discover that he was in the wrong forest! Many of us blindly follow efficiency systems without realizing they may not guide us in the right direction. A great time management system must help you set course first, before showing you how to navigate more efficiently.
In the ultimate analysis, no winning system can be lacking in efficiency training. But most systems already do a fine job of teaching efficiency. It’s the combination with the other 2 factors that combine in creating the ultimate time management systems.
On this site, and in the Ming Vase Time Management series of guides, you will find this emphasis on showing you how to manage time in a unique, individual, and personalized way. A way that is in alignment with your highest held values and deep, meaningful purpose.
You will find yourself setting goals that are relevant to you, and executing them effortlessly, fueled by the passion and energy that comes from living a purposeful life. That’s the Tao (or Way) to stress-free time management.
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