Manage Time so that Time Doesn’t Manage You

September 10, 2018 Open Leadership No Comments

Return to your co-workers ‘my time’ as what it has always been and will always be: my time. Take care that at the same time it also becomes your time.

A thin booklet on time management costs 5 Euros. If I read this through, I have as much information as on one day of ‘workshop’.

Even more. I have structured my booklet in my mind. Thus it is the perfect reference work. I check it every few months and I feel my time management grow.

OK. Your employee wastes much time. You send him to a workshop ‘time management’. He returns and it’s likely to go better. A month or so later he again wastes (as) much time. Sounds familiar, no? Was the workshop a waste of time then? Everything depends on the ‘root of the problem’. That root sits firmly in the ground. Well, let’s have a look under the ground then. Allow me to be your employee for a minute…

WHY do I lose time? This question, how simply put, may be too far-reaching as a start. It namely takes for granted:

That I lose time. That may not be the case for me. It may be for you, but not for me.

Indeed. Then you, my dearest chieftain, can do much effort to make me loose less time. You probably consider it as your time. I think of it as my time. And so you send me to a workshop ‘time management’ in … whose time? Anyhow: as long as my time and your time cross swords with each other, you will not find an ideal employee in me.

This is the setting in which we can think about the ‘why’. Note that we are outside the how-to techniques of time management. For those the booklet will prove useful.

A healthy balance between work and leisure is definitely important, as is the quality of both. Namely: if working time becomes more ‘my time’ as well, then everything will blend into each other organically.

So this is my time. The time in which I live and in which I clearly work on my goals.

This at once brings along the motivation to fill my time as efficiently as possible. I’m then likely to read a booklet on time management on my own…. Tricky? What beats everything: people want to perform, use their own time efficiently, be productive.

People want to mean something in this world.

That is what they love doing most! However, by taking ‘their time’ and replacing it with ‘the boss’ time’, their own innate drive to perform is hampered, if not robbed. Somewhere a mistake is made between accelerator and brake. A century ago, when (I assume; I was not here yet) brakes were not as powerful as today, this may not have caused much harm, since there was also enough acceleration. Today however, this is certainly no longer  advisable. I see the future quickly move forward in the same direction. No time to waste!

Why do I waste my time then? Simply, because it no longer is my time.

But give me back my time and I’ll give you double, because: wasting time is a hole next to a hill. Then I’m not only not going to waste time. I will also, if possible, create time. I.e.: I enjoy working on a creative process of continual process improvement. Time is relative, not only so for Einstein, but also on the work floor. And the more so if computers are present. Give to the computer what belongs to the computer and to people what belongs to people. Don’t let them get in each other’s way. Time management cannot be separated from process management, on the large scale as well as in small details. If everyone keeps on running, there is insufficient standing still to see if the running itself is indeed needed.

One often runs better with the head than with hands or legs.

Proof: the existence of bike, car, plane, rocket to the moon. Would any of these exist if no one had ever stood still to dream?

People do not stand still automatically. Definitely not if they are constantly being urged to run with the devil close on their heels. It then even seems paradoxical. Okay. When someone says ‘paradox’, I say ‘leader’. This is someone who also dares to think ‘against the established  opinion’. Actually, that is precisely what ‘paradox’ means etymologically. A leader also helps other people to not only look at established paths. In a very complex environment such as that of modern business life, this is exactly THE way to find all kinds of shortcuts continuously. Not somewhat faster on the roads, but on much faster roads.

Time management, you say? Road management, I yell!

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