What is time management ?

What is time management - Importance of time management - Advanced time management - Time management solution - Time management system and structure

I want to answer the question: what is time management? by asking and answering other questions:

What do we do, when managing ?
If we manage something we act on something, we move something. Therefore, time management from the words only is moving time.

What do we really do, when we say, we are managing our time?
We act on things, we move things, we deal with tasks we handle Todos – but where remains time? Time stands unspoken and self evident and powerful eternally behind. We normally do not manage time, we handle things and force them into a given time-frame or -order, so more or less time has the real power and rather manages us.

So what is time management ?

How can people talk about time management if calendar scheduler and even most Todo-lists apparently freeze (immobility) the fact of time?

What is time management really? An advanced system collects tasks first and slides (moves) the time frame over it, this at least is really managing of time on paper or in the computer (guiding by hand).

Stick a time stamp on to your tasks!
Not squeezing tasks into a frame but allocating time to the tasks. Conventional practice is rather managing work instead of managing time!

Time doesn't care, where our tasks and dates are fixed. Time has its own dynamic, and we only can try to make actual dates of accomplishment congruent with written dates and time. We never can guarantee or be sure, that this will be possible.

It is an old fashioned endeavor to force ourselves to accomplish a lot of work at a specific date, within a given time. The fact, that we succeed very often in doing so, is no proof, that this is our breadwinning. How often do you have to rearrange your daily plans?

Does this behaviour really answer what is time management?

However, try to perform your work within a reasonable short time
Since you cannot say what will happen in 1 hour, even not in one second, why planning more? Dynamically deciding to work at the very next step, having all steps and a goal in front of our eyes is enough to lead us a successful and stresspoor way.

Having to rearrange plans and lists wastes precious time. Anyhow rearranging is normal, but keep it minimal. This attitude approaches the “here and now” philosophy, by which many successful people have created great things.

Nevertheless, we should schedule our dates
Try to change your point of view temporary and look at your feelings:

Again ask what is time management compared to your current way of dealing with time?

Supposed you know actions to be performed, where the exact date is not given, jot them down and then (later) apply, delete or move/change the time information based on the current working situation to the next single task only.

If you cannot fulfill a given in-depth time or priority setting you in any case have to set a new time frame or priority structure. Therefore, the more micro steps (Todos) planned ahead, the more complicated and time-consuming is rearrangement. Do you feel the difference?

Writing dates into a scheduler or calendar should always be things that have a real definitive date or time demand (appointments, deadlines, time imposed by others). Avoid scheduling tasks, that can be done at variable time settings.

The real time bound dates are not really managing issues but rather time planning and allocation. Would you call somebody a manager, who can write a date into a calendar? However, dynamically manage a Todo-list, regardless of kind, with many distinct decisions involved, needs managing skills.

If you would have a clever means to rearrange the time information then you can say you are managing time. Jotting tasks down into a fixed time system and rigid formal structure means subjection to your time frames.

What's encouraging more ? 
Having stubbornly worked at a fixed plan, or knowing at the end of the day, which meaningful and satisfying things you have done for your job, regardless if planned for this day or not?

What's the goal ?
To have accomplished important things aiming to a goal, or to have worked at a plan?

With this attitude you have more freedom to work dynamically towards a goal and move mini-time demands at need. You are less forced to fulfill a rigid plan.

Working a plan naturally is a very comfortable means of documenting and projecting work for the next chief, rather than self dependent aiming at a goal. In some aspects it equals the attitude of a public servant.

Two examples further may enlighten the definition of time management and the question what is time management?:

Unplanned interruptions 
are good examples, of how we can decide to give a “time stamp” to an arriving not awaited task. That’s managing time. Interruptions disturb our Todo-list, our day plan and our fixed ideas from the morning.

I hate sudden interruptions sometimes too, but I made the experience, that loving interruptions and the ability to discern real incidents from important chances to better reach goals, is great.

Be prepared to do what is necessary. You are not always forced to act on an interruption immediately, except first accepting it and throwing it as a new task into your Todo container, or saying no or delegating.

Buffer time 
You don’t have to care for spare time or buffer time and such stuff. You normally cannot always place buffer times within your Todo-list or even mark it in a scheduler, and comply with your plan.

However, you have the chance to define buffer time as the next task within a dynamic way of managing time. I admit, that this affords a certain level of discipline. However, after some time of exercise you won't miss this way of using your time.

These small changes of your point of view you can satisfyingly answer the question what is time management.

Dealing intensiveley with the question "what-is-time-management?" finally will deliver the right answer for you and your special working situation.

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