The most common excuse I hear is “I don’t have time”. I have used it frequently myself. Until I understood that I really don’t have a time management problem.
There is a lot of consultants offering advice and workshops around time management, teaching people and companies to use their time more wisely. Let’s look at another way of approaching it.
You have 24 hours in a day, no matter what you do. You can’t bend space or time, you can’t speed it up, slow it down or maximize it. Even though your own experience of time can vary, a second is still a second. So we all have an equal amount of time.
What if you don’t have a time management problem, but a priority problem, and at the root a self-management problem?
One of the best books I have ever read is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. It’s about challenging the core assumption of “you can have it all” and “I have to do everything” and replacing it with doing “the right thing, in the right way, at the right time”.

Choosing what is essential allows you to take control of your own choices so you can channel your time, energy and effort into making your goals happen and contribute to the world.  

I love McKeown’s take on priorities. The word “priorities” was originally a singular – priority. It was the one thing that was most important for you to focus on, not several things. Today we talk about priorities in plural. The truth is that too many priorities mean you have none.
So, consider change how you are managing your priorities, instead of how you manage your time. Where do you put your energy and your attention?
Ask yourself:

  • What matters the most to me right now?
  • What kind of actions can I take right now that most reflect my priorities?
  • Are my priorities in line with my partner, family, friends, boss, coworkers?
  • What’s on my plate that doesn’t reflect my priorities and how do I get it off my plate?

Share your priorities with someone you trust and ask them to support you.