The Inescapable Laws of Time Management

In our development of a new, Caribbean-based approach to time management, I have stumbled across what I think is an irreducible framework lying behind all efforts to improve personal productivity. It may well provide the basis for a flexible kind of system that anyone can create for themselves.

In the same way that ALL bicycles are designed in keeping with certain physical laws, all time management systems must account for certain basic facts of how time is used and experienced by humans. For example, not being able to be in two different places at the same time is a simple law that many of us try to break, but are not able to, despite our crazy efforts. Also, another law might be that it is impossible to leave for a 3 p.m. meeting at 3 p.m. – one must allow for travel time in order to be on time.

While the time management that one uses may be customized, enhanced, tailored and even automated, it still must make a certain kind of basic sense to each and every user, regardless of profession. Continue reading “The Inescapable Laws of Time Management”

Designing Your Own Time Management System

Individual time management systems are notoriously difficult to implement.

Most professionals are never taught how to manage their time, and so they cobble together a home-grown system based on whatever software they find on their computers when they get their first jobs, and whatever PDA they can afford. They know little of best practices or universal principles, and they mostly operate without standard processes.

They do learn, however, how to complain about not having enough time, having too much to do and being stressed by how much their job is demanding of them. Everyone they know has the same complaint, so they find themselves in good company.

The Caribbean manager is no different in this regard. He, like others, looks at what other people who accomplish much more than he does with a sense of amazement as these hyper-productive people seem to be using magical methods to get the job done.

In an attempt to close the gap, he may place himself in a time management course, or pick up a book on time management. Unfortunately, the results are temporary.

The reason is simple: no two people are alike, yet the gurus behind the most popular time management approaches tend to advocate a single approach for everyone. Continue reading “Designing Your Own Time Management System”