Some of us live with this fantasy that days should have more hours, since we keep running out of time. Just think about it: What would you change if you’ve had more hours in a day? How would you use the extra time? What different choices would you make with more time? Or would you just use the extra time to add more things into your plate?
The world today demands that we do things faster or add more things for the same amount of time. And we’ve never had as many tools and knowledge as today to get things done. But it seems like is even harder than before.
The truth is it doesn’t really matter how many hours a day have. Because there is no such thing as time management. We cannot manage something as predictable and unchangeable as time. The way we’ve framed the problem – time management – is causing us to fail continuously.
In the late 80’s, Stephen Covey introduced the idea of Importance and Urgency as the main measures to determine how to manage time and tasks. The dominant idea is to focus first on what matters most according to a matrix with these 2 dimensions. Urgency related with How soon does it matter? and Importance being about how much does it matter. 
The thing is we cannot solve today’s problems with yesterday’s time management thinking. Today, time management is emotional. Our feelings dictate how we spend our time. According to Rory Vaden, you multiply time by giving yourself the emotional permission to spend time on things today that give you more time tomorrow. Rory added Significance to the equation – How long does it matter?
Instead of time management, we should talk about self-management and energy management.
I will leave you with some tips to help you reverse engineer how you think about time, self control and energy management:
1- Decision making: every time you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to hundreds of other things. If it is not clear what is really important for you in life, you will never know what to say yes to. Like mentioned before, it is not about the here and now, but your gains in the days or even years to come.
2- Saying No. Often times the challenge with saying NO is related with the need to please others or respond to their expectations. Learning to say NO, is a great way of practicing self control by setting up personal boundaries.
3- Being busy being busy. It became a status in today’s world being recognized as a busy person. There is nothing wrong about having free time or using your time in non working related activities. On the contrary. You need time on a daily basis for deep recovery from your high performance work duties. It is also important to focus on the most important things and eliminate anything that isn’t creating any value to the life you want to live.
4- Asking for help. A skill that we all should master. We are social beings and we need each other to meet all of our most critical needs. Recognizing that we can’t do it alone or we need help for things that we do not know or are difficult, is critical for growth and self management.
5- Managing your energy level. Self assess how you best perform in each hour of the day. Some people do their best thinking and decision making early in the morning. Other people, are most creative at the end of the day. Some others are “brain dead” until noon and only start functioning in the afternoon. And there is nothing wrong about these individual differences. Working from home can be beneficial if you can organize your time around your energy levels. When possible, talk with your colleagues and organize your working schedule respecting everyone’s energy levels so that all can feel and be at their best. Organizations more sensitive to these matters, have a designated time in the day for meetings to respect and create space for everyone to perform at their best. They also have a high level of respect for personal time, creating the space for it. They soon discovered that you need out of work time engaged in different activities to refuel and activate your energy, creativity and productivity.
6- Responding to your basic needs. It sounds like common sense. And it is. What is not common sense is that self-control is directly related with how you respond to your personal and basic needs. If you fail to rest, sleep, hydrate, exercise or have a proper nutrition you are not in control. If you do not manage self-control with the basics about taking care of yourself, everything else will fail. And time becomes the enemy that you keep fighting. Over and over.

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