Debunking the Myths of Time Management and Work/Life Balance
Time. Cannot. Be. Managed. And. Work. Life. Balance. Is. Unattainable.
Every entrepreneur out there knows that time is money. Time is the most valuable commodity in the world because it cannot be managed, maintained, regained, or stopped.
It is the only commodity you and everyone around you has in equal amounts each day. It is the only asset or raw material that can never be recouped once it is spent. As the famous Metallica lyric goes "For whom the bell tolls...Time marches on."
Time is an invented social construct that means different things around the world to different cultures, but yet all humans seem enamored with trying to manage it. Another myth/made up social construct is this notion of a work/life balance.
Neither of these two ideas (time management or work/life balance) should ever enter your mind as an entrepreneur because they are faulty metrics and completely a waste of your precious time.
What you should focus your mind on is how you can better manage the real resource in play which is energy.
Energy IS. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy is in a perpetual transmutation from one form of itself into another form. Everything.Is.Energy.
This is why time can't be managed, and work/life balance cannot be achieved.
Will Ferrell would say, "It's Science!"
Stop trying to manage time and focus your efforts on where and how you spend your energy (mental, physical, emotional, etc). This start with identifying your top priorities (business goals, relationships that you desire to maintain, the level of health or disease present in your body, etc.)
Create a short list of MUSTS! As human beings and entrepreneurs, we never get our maximums, but we always get our minimums. Note: the reason we set maximum versions of our goals is to stretch our self-awareness and comfort zone. This is important, but when done right we typically will temporarily fall short of those maximums and achieve whatever we subconsciously are willing to accept as a suitable standard. You can always raise your standards and when you do you will be delighted as your old (unachievable maximums) become your reality. Occasionally our business ideas catch a tidal wave of timing, need, and luck and we can exceed our own vision of what was possible. All the more reason to be very clear on what our actual MUSTS/Values are because we can become lost in the success of it all as others latch on to us to catch a joy ride to their own desired outcomes.
The key to increasing your success, fulfillment, and happiness is to get brutally honest about what you value and what you don't. Stop rotting in the expectations that others may have instilled in you with the best of intentions, and start living by pouring your energy only into the things that you truly can't live without.
As these priorities evolve over time (and they will as you age) you will have a repeatable framework to remove old MUSTS as they have been achieved and replace them with the new MUSTS.
Once you have your list of MUSTS (minimums/priorities) then managing the activities that support them becomes much easier to consistently do, and you will watch your "time" free up and your productivity (and money soar).
1) Maintain a current list of MUSTs
2) Manage energy flows (commitments) against the activities that are additive to those priorities
3) Don't worry your brain over anything else.
4) Live happier, Live richer and make time your B#@$%!
Get the Tee below to remind yourself that Time is the ultimate VALUE and let Metallica raise your energy levels with this old classic tune :)