One of the major flaws with our efforts to better manage our time is that we believe we can accomplish more if we have the right system in place. Take your pick from any number of time management systems that make this promise. Before we can manage our time better, we need to take a step back and redefine what it is we are trying to manage. Most of us are simply trying to do too much. We need to reduce the number of items or we’ll waste time checking off things that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Once we’ve whittled down our list we can revisit the various systems for getting things done. But should we consider throwing out the list altogether? Give some thought to a compelling approach suggested by Linda Stone at The Huffington Post. She suggests we not be so list-centric and instead focus our attention on scheduled and intentional times; moments devoid of interruption.
She makes some great points. Maybe the reason we have such difficulty managing our time isn’t just that we are trying to do too much, we also have unprecedented technologies interfering with our lives:
Untethered technology gives us the freedom to do nearly anything, anytime, anywhere. It can also enslave us – we feel compelled to use it where ever it is. Technology is neutral. How, when and where we use it is up to us.
Is our fear of the off switch resulting in more encumbered lives more difficult to manage? Maybe. But I won’t be throwing out my task lists any time soon. I will, however, start filtering better what gets on that list and how I tackle my daily tasks.