Time management is analogous to trying to manage the energy of a raging river. You begin to realize you are caught up in the river’s relentless, forward moving current. Panic sets in because you now know you are not in control; the river is in control.
If you are paying attention, you hear the crashing sounds of the falls ahead. You and your boat are headed for disaster. Time management? Does it really matter at this point?
What are your final thoughts before plunging over the falls to your demise? Who do you think about? What do you think about? Do you have any unfinished business? Any regrets? Do those close to you know you love them? The waterfall ahead is your realization of mortality. The boat, with you in it, is your life. Time is the raging river. The waterfall is your awakening in regard to, “Who and what really matter in your life?”
Time management is the unrealistic belief we can somehow manage the white-water rafting experience where we currently find ourselves. Regardless of how hard we try to manage our time, time passes from moment-to-moment, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year… just like the raging river.
Time Management does not address finding meaning, purpose, contentment or happiness.
In a recent 60 Minutes television program, Morley Safer asked the question, “What is the happiest country in the world? The answer? Denmark. Does the fact Americans came in 28th on the happiness scale surprise you? Americans have been led to believe more is better. More what? More Stuff?
The pursuit of “more stuff” usually means “less time.” This elusive “more stuff” pursuit devours our life energy, our lives, as well as, our time. We are left feeling empty. We are tired. We are stressed. We are overworked. Our energy levels have been taxed beyond our natural ability to cope.
Knowing this is “key” to your success, happiness, peace-of-mind and fulfillment of your dreams. Time management seminars are filled with attendees trying to make better use of their time. Upon graduation, more time is spent in organizing and prioritizing the lists, which consumes yet more time.
Time management doesn’t work. Time management hasn’t worked. Consider the following energy management concepts:
Expectations ÷ Successes = your level of happiness, contentment, stress or misery.
This simple formula shown above can lead you to an understanding of the benefits of energy management. If your expectations are too high based on your successes, you will most likely be miserable and/or stressed. If your expectations are more in alignment with your successes, you will most likely be happier or content. If your expectations are too low, you are a deadbeat! Deadbeats wouldn’t be reading this article anyway! Deadbeats are doing what they always do – waiting for something to happen.
Recently, I visited a student who was enrolled in all advanced placement classes. By most people’s standards she would be considered “gifted and talented.” Her list of classes included: Physics, Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, and the like. She was taking 23 credits during the semester. She received all A’s except for Calculus. In Calculus, she received an A minus. Upon seeing her grades, her world came crashing down. She became broken and depressed. She felt she was a complete failure! I forgot to mention she was working full-time. All A’s and one A minus was her demon. Her life was (and is) miserable.
Her expectations were too high based on her successes and she went into a tailspin downward.
So what is she supposed to do? Manage her time better? She doesn’t have any more time to manage. She is so miserable, her energy levels have dropped due to severe depression.
Managing her energy levels is something she can do.
Consider this. When your energy levels are balanced, you get more done and enjoy doing it more. When your energy levels are depleted, it takes more time to accomplish the same tasks. When your energy levels are too high, you become more stressed, make more mistakes, as well as, the proverbial, “…running around in circles” getting nothing done.
Time management is not the answer. Doing what is right to keep your energy levels balanced will open new door of potential and possibilities.
Your assignment for the week is to begin identifying the people, places and things, which rob you of your energy. No one has the right to steal your sunshine. Balancing your energy levels is your starting point.