Not Time Management

It’s dawned on me lately that I’ve been wrong about time management. Watch the following video.

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  • Dave Thackeray

    Chris, there’s no such thing as controlling time, or managing time. You mentioned early doors we all have 24 hours in a day. The challenge is not in controlling time, but in managing yourself.

    All the distractions can be filtered. It’s not a weakness, unless you count it as a pan-civilisation defect. We simply have to focus on how we act, how we are, how we do.

    It’s me management. Time will do what time has always done. You cannot change it.

  • Anonymous

    Nice video, Chris. I think Trey Pennington said it best to me when he told me of – I think it was his daughter – that one day heard him say, “I’ve just got so many things to do still tonight..”
    and she said : “that’s why you get another 24 hours tomorrow” :)

    (..he’ll have to tell me if I quoted that wrong)


  • Anonymous

    Hi Chris – thanks for this. I find task/time management is an eternal struggle…. needing to schedule the time to decide how to use your time.
    Part of the issue, I have found, is that entrepreneurs do not have a predictable day – you set up your plans and ten minutes into the day a call or opportunity comes up that hijacks your day. By the end of the day – NOTHING on your to-do list is done. It feels like you have accomplished nothing – yet if you look at actual use of time, you have completed a great deal.
    Another issue is that the entrepreneur needs prep time, administrative time, meeting time, marketing time, creation time and production time… and these cannot be set up to be one typical day. Could there be more than one type of day? Maybe more than one set of routines?

  • Jaky Astik

    Yeah, so true Dave. I think we just have to make a list of our priorities and try to possibly complete them one after another. You can’t do more than time anyway. Managing priorities is all you can do to manage your time :)

  • Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

    I think we need to have mind shift as how we see time. Time is being seen in a negative light. Time is neutral. It is how we view it that needs to change. We can’t change or control time, but we can work with it by making choices.

  • Craig Jarrow

    Good stuff, Chris.

    Right up my alley. :) Best wishes on the projects.

  • Linda M. Lopeke

    Dear /Chris,

    When we die, the inbox won’t be empty.

  • Daniel Decker

    Ironic that so often we’re our own worst enemy. We sabotage ourselves and try to blame others for it (at least I do sometimes). Learning to have a better sense of self-awareness has proven big time important in this area and like you said, realizing that we have more control than we think we do (with how we manage time) is key.

    I have a friend who complains all the time about how many people call his cell at all hours of the day, etc. My response when he does is… “Isn’t your cell for YOUR convenience and not theirs? If you are busy, simply don’t answer it. That’s what voice mail is for. It’s only a digital leash if you let it get wrapped around your neck.”

    Point = I think we put false expectations on ourselves a lot. We aren’t super heroes. We can’t be all things to all people and we have to choose what we’ll be / who we’ll be to the people and things that matter most. Sometimes it’s not an easy choice and it certainly ebbs and flows with the pace of life.

  • Leon Noone

    G’Day Chris,
    Believe it our not, I’ve just written a post for my blog on this very subject’. Two things to remember
    1. If you have people working for you it boils down to this; if you wont delegate you wont manage you time. If you don’t manage your time you wont delegate effectively
    2. So called “time management problems” are symptoms. They are symptoms of poor priority setting. This may seem like heresy to some but all the list writing on the planet wont solve time management issues. But if your priorities are clear, ypur time management will improve out of sight
    Make sure you have fun.



  • Jade Handy

    Raw. Real raw. I like it. Although, you know, if this “It’s all about me” thing catches on, we might just see that our ego controls thee. On another note, Gary Vaynerchuk mentioned in his web 2.0 speech that he recommends working tons of hours in order to do what we want to do. I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

  • Marjorie Clayman

    Well I’ll tell you what I like most about your thought, Chris. You’re giving yourself a break.

    Everybody is being so hard on themselves these days because of the crunch crunch crunch. Sometimes everybody needs to stand back and say “geeze” (or something stronger).

    Don’t forget to make choices that include not-work. :)

  • Kevin

    Chis, you’re obviously spending too much time working because those Maker’s Mark bottles behind you are still uncracked!

  • Susan M (commoncents)

    Good thinking on your (not) Time Management article, Chris.

    Time away from overwhelming work in a 24 hour day doesn’t always need to be called a distraction. Sometimes it’s medicine for the body, sometimes that few hours is simply enjoying some needed pleasure. If you are feeling guilty about the time “away” from work, then that time is truly wasted.

    ‘Getting work done on an organized timely manner can be a positive action”. Being rigid about it can become negative very quickly. Learning to use the word no, is a great time management tool.

    Love the comments about the inbox being full when you’re dead. .Remember the words to the Vogues’ song It’s a Five O’clock World? Here’s 2 min. 16 sec. time management video for everyone. (hope this isn’t a waste of your time) :)

  • DJ Waldow

    Chris -

    Love the honest, raw nature of this video post. It has been and always will be about choice. The rub that you started to touch on is *what* to choose. This becomes somewhat of a circular discussion, but choosing that to choose to do … I think that is the tough part.

    I need coffee.

    DJ Waldow

  • Andy Smalley – SocialFlyMedia

    Guten Morgan Chris,

    Time is a precious possession. Without it nothing else matters, but as you mentioned, we only have so much of it. Because of having just so much time ahead, people incline to become impatient: impatient with themselves, impatient with others…all to see the attainment of desires and goals.

    You hit the nail on the button my friend, but NEVER forget to buy out the opportune time to crack open that Maker’s Mark, crack the lid to those tinker toys, and relax a little. Yes, even that takes time, but future time with recharged batteries becomes more effective :)

  • Jonyeo

    Earl Nightingale said “You don’t manage time, you manage activities” so right on Chris.

    You may want to check out Getting Things Done by David Allen. An old classic on activity management

  • DSimpsonBeck

    I know exactly where you are coming from, especially since I just finished the 7 Habits book. What happens to me during my time is my problem. I can choose to squander my time or I can choose to do the things that I’ve always dreamed about achieving. It takes clear insight to figure out the right choices and courage to make them, but the results are infinitely more rewarding than repeating the same mistakes over and over.

    Also, I should thank you too for introducing me to the 7 Habits book. It’s been extremely useful in helping me defrag my way of life and become focused and productive. I’m grateful that you mentioned the book in one of your blogs, thank you sincerely for that.

  • Joanne Kennedy

    Great video post. It sends two messages: we need to remember that we control our time, and you have a liquor cabinet next to your desk. (! ?)

  • Hania Whitfield

    Thanks for the great reminder, Chris. I’m finding it especially relevant today as I got laid off Friday and am in overwhelm on how to get rolling in my own business.

    It’s far too easy to get caught up in emails and get led astray by interesting links…not yours, of course :-) The web can be too much like opening an encyclopedia to look up one thing and getting caught up in all the cool things you stumble on while working your way to the intended page….Big time eater!

    Step 1 for me is to set time limits on certain tasks and stick to it!

  • Anonymous

    I chose to have KIDS, I chose to own my own business, I chose to be married, I chose investing in RE, I chose, volunteering in my community, I chose, coaching, I chose IT ALL.. you are 100% correct… What a BLESSING of a VIDEO BLOG today…. WOW….. Best, Brian-

  • LynetteRadio

    Two words for people that get easily distracted – Pomodoro Method. “Stay on target…”

  • Bethany_H

    An excellent reminder of not just the freedom to choose but the power to control it by predetermining the outcome of choices made.

  • Andre Natta

    I recently started using Focus Booster on my laptop to help me stay focused on a particular task. It’s an AIR app built for those following the Pomodoro method but I’m using it in a slightly different way.

    I use it “out of the box” so it forces me to work in 25 minute blocks with 5 minute breaks. It’s the best way I’ve found so far to begin to control how I use my time and it’s allowed me to feel like I’m getting things accomplished.

    Thanks for the reminder that we need to stay on target…

  • Nathan Hangen

    I could be wrong here, but I think most are missing the point. I think what Chris is trying to say is that if you let your audience dictate your responsibility to them, then you lose your power to choose.

    Sometimes, even the distraction of catering to other people can be enough to screw with the way we spend our time. It becomes a two headed monster.

    Liked the video Chris.

  • Nathan Hangen

    That scares me to death really.

  • Brian Willingham

    This really hit home with me. We all choose how to spend our 24 hours in the day and fitting everything into everyday is impossible. Prioritizing those hours and focusing on the most important things is the key…practicing what you preach is a whole different story.

    Now back to work!

  • The JackB

    Hi Chris,

    Your video reminds me of a quote:

    “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • DJ Coffman

    Good thoughts. Also, I wish I could grow a normal man beard like you.

  • DaraghBell

    I am doing the things you describe, above Chris. Also I am carrying around my filofax, but am in some small meltdown today, as the pages run out in August and I have not picked up the replacements. (This is not a crisis much like your account)

    I guess you are talking about control, I realised with a uni application, a Book proposal to another publisher, something has to be put to the side, email n that. I used to keep a file saying priority this is kinda of mental now. So I just said today into the folder, IT CAN WAIT. Re-adjusting, I think it is the daily re-drawing, the redrawing of time itself. People only really want quality or you arriving not burnt out at meetings, so I see this as again as a service to both parties. Win-Win as Covey would say.

    Some of the small rocks Covey talks of to can be removed to remain Pomodoro or on target. I think limted your choices to say one or two things, is what I think he was alluding to, your approach is is a reframing. I feel going to college really taught me about time-management, not so much about the subjects just prioristising. I feel if I got one or two things a day done, -three as the ideal- This is great day. I feel I handle time with great efficiency but of course there are the days when the filofax runs dry.

    Dara Bell

  • Elizabeth Drouillard

    Hmm…I dunno. I get the main point – we all have 24 hrs. and are all responsible for our choices and most could use time better. In learning to build an online business, this is true. But in being a mama and dealing with other people’s drama? Not so true. I can control my reaction, but not when I’m “distracted” and my time is eaten up.

  • Bob Stanke

    Read the latest issue of Men’s Health – there is a great article in there about time and how it can be managed.

  • Kelly Marsch

    System’s work people fail, You have some great insights Chris. Thanks for that.

  • Sirtomster

    I think this is Chris’s way of saying that he is going to ignore all my requests for ponies and dragons and focus on other stuff besides me.

    That was cruel. I want my pony and dragon. Note. Not a pony IN a dragon.

  • Chendry

    Sorry, the main thing I want to say here is I really like the beard.

  • Eric Watts at Yorba Linda CA

    Great vlog! It seems like a never ending struggle trying to find time but you definitly put a bit of perspective on it.

    Great to hear that you are re-thinking time and are taking action, stay positive & “you control time” – Great Quote

  • Kimberly

    I’d never heard that quote, JackB, it’s fantastic. Getting out of our own way so our light can shine in this world, so we can bring the best of our gifts to others, that’s ultimately what it’s about — and it applies not only to business but to family and friends. Pay attention to what’s truly important and get out of your own way. xo.

  • Sarahjanedalby

    Take the (time) power back! Awesome – thanks Chris! (although reading/watching yu is one of my time-eating distractions, LOL).

  • Jay Hagstrom

    Personal media overload. You’re on the bleeding edge, and we’re all right behind you. I’m thinking of getting one of those darkroom timers to manage my minutes. I like that it’s analog, and that it is NOT part of my media architecture. Time management apps, useful as they are, might just be a gateway back to the original problem, and just another thing to fidget with. It’s sometimes really hard for me to get up from my desk, and just walk away. I always think about this story:

    My brother is a symphony musician who, since childhood, has dedicated countless hours to practicing his instrument. His friend, once a national new anchor, called him up one afternoon and said “meet me at the park, I’m going to get you high”. My brother met his friend at the park, and he was waiting there with a couple of colorful kites. It’s hard to repose. If you’re like these guys, you need to put it on the schedule and make it a priority. We’re all fresher after exercise, rest and socialization. You’ve got to keep the “SS Chris” afloat, and take care of number 1.

  • LesleyKeffer Russell

    Thanks for the useful distraction! Now I’ll close my browser and Outlook and get to work on something that deserves my full attention today.

  • Rose

    I needed that reminder that it’s me allowing the distractions. Thank you

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  • Bob Griffiths

    Good video from the perspective of saying I’m responsible for how my time is used. I would take it a step further to say that it’s really about “todo management” or maybe even “decision management.” So, yes, I choose how to use my time but I don’t really manage time since it does move on without my permission or encouragement ;)

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  • Jens P. Berget

    We control time, but it doesn’t feel that way. Most of us have a boss, he or she tells us what to do. Many of us have a family, and if you’re a man, I bet your wife tells you what to do, even your kids are telling you what to do. When it’s time to do what you want to do, it’s not enough time left :)

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