time management

Time management is critical when it comes to being efficient, getting work done, and staying focused.

Numerous exercise techniques and apps that help you organize all your tasks are useful, but only if you let them.

The problem might be that you postpone using them or dismiss them altogether. We are left with the feeling the techniques don’t work.

Time perception is something that cannot be outsourced to an app. If you think you have all the time in the world, you will not use the app properly (or at all).

Time flies when you’re having fun

Do you know that feeling after an enjoyable holiday when you scratch your head and wonder how did this week passed by so quickly? Or when you’re engaged in an exciting conversation and don’t even notice how hours are just flying by.

On the other hand, consider any weekday at the job you don’t enjoy so much. It drags for forever. I could swear that one time, during my summer job in high school, I saw the clock hands turn backward. The task was extremely repetitive, and I was hating every minute of it.

We perceive time differently depending on our perception of the situation. But these are examples that happen to us. The situations we are already in. What to do when there is a task at hand, and we already agreed on so many more. How to squeeze a new project into other basic chores?

Think of a whole free day with only one task to do. Things will get in the way, you will think you have enough time, and you will do other things. Prioritization is a must.

Outsourcing time perception doesn’t work

Above mentioned time management techniques could help us with that, but they often seem as they are not working. They are, all of them actually if you use them. But to do that, you need to stop depending on them and start using them.

The difference lies in perception. We use the technique because of our belief that it (application) will do it for us.

If I schedule a meeting and put it on my phone and set a reminder three hours early. It will startle me or go against my other plans. If this is not secondary, if you do not already kind of have a good enough structure of daily, weekly or even monthly and yearly tasks you will be rushing around, catching your tale and quickly loose or believable excuses with others who are waiting for you to do something or get somewhere.

Building time frame perception

Day has 24 hours, one week has 7 days, one month 30-ish days, and a year 12 months.

It’s obvious. But when it gets to our brains a month from now seems like a lot. Even a week from now might seem like a lot.

Try structuring your perception. Think of all the hours of the day. Now start subtracting.

You start with 24 hours. Minus your 6–8 for sleep (insert your number). Minus eating time. Now include the work, time spent with your close ones, don’t forget about the commute.

Those are the easy ones. How much time is there left?

Now think of all the small things. Using the toilet. Washing your teeth. Applying makeup (if you do). Answering e-mails (remember to leave room for the unexpected ones). Try to get as detailed as possible.

Brake it down one by one and try to organize it.

Now think of that one extra thing you want to get done. Start a new project? Finnish the novel? Meet that friend you haven’t seen for forever? When will that happen?

It might seem an alien idea to think about the time more thoroughly. Maybe even restricting one. But it might just end up being the choice between letting outside tasks dictate your tempo or you taking matters into your own hands.

In my experience, the more I work, the more I organize my time, and the more I have a satisfacting feeling of doing what I love. In the opposite case, I just deny myself enjoyable stuff because, supposedly, there is still so much to do. Which I don’t do. Considering time more seriously worked for me. How is it with you?