Does your “to do” list seem to grow longer and longer regardless of your efforts?
If your life is out of control, it could be because you believe and practice one or more of the myths below about how we manage our time to get things done.
Myth # 1 – The more you sweat, the more you get. Edison perpetuated this myth with his definition of genius. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. We often overstate the value of hard work. While you may be working hard in one area of your life, you may be failing in others such as family, marriage, school etc.
Myth # 2 – Activity means productivity. Don’t confuse activity with results. We can measure activity and it may become an end in itself. Activity should be a means, not an end.
Myth # 3 – Efficiency means effectiveness. Many times we think by multi-tasking, we can become more efficient. But unfortunately, we become less effective when we take on too much.
Myth # 4 – Burning the midnight oil. As students, we may have pulled an “all nighter” to cram for a test or finish a report. Are you holding on to old habits that are not relevant in your life today? With multiple responsibilities and obligations, your life today needs balance. And the price is very high – ill health, stress, divorce etc.
Myth # 5 – The best way to get a job done is to do it yourself. Are you an expert at everything? If you feel you must do it all, you dilute your effectiveness. You may give yourself to too many things but devote yourself to nothing. Realize your limitations – and delegate!
Myth # 6 – There is only one best way. We are taught very early to look for “the solution” or “right way.” Many times we don’t look for or want to accept alternative solutions to doing things. If you only found or used one way for doing something, how do you know if it was the best way?
Myth # 7 – We work best under pressure. While we may think we work best under the gun, we often invite Murphy’s Laws – Nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you expect. Whatever can go wrong will – at the worst possible time. Procrastination leaves little room for error and no time for correction.
Myth # 8 – More discipline means less freedom. When we impose high self discipline, we actually provide more freedom in our lives. By setting goals and strategies, we impose order so that we make the most of our time and our energy. We work less and accomplish more.
If you found yourself defending your belief in one or more of these myths, you are not alone.
We may want to hold on to old habits and ways of thinking because they are comfortable, and change is uncomfortable. Think about the difference it could make in your life if you were to change some of the ways you think about “time.”