By Ibn Abi Omar – Leadership trainer, freelance consultant, and project manager
The challenge with time management used to be figuring out how to be productive with your time. As knowledge work has increased and access to information multiplied, that advice has evolved into one of optimization. Want to be productive while watching sports? Read an article on your phone during the commercial break.
Now our lives are filled with queues waiting to eat up our time. A series of videos are on YouTube that you started last Ramadan. But you only caught 13 episodes, so now it’s saved in your watch later playlist (9 hours).
So again, we optimize. How do we squeeze more out of less? How do we get done more? Maybe we need to wake up at 4 am? How are all these other people accomplishing so much? Then we start to study those people doing more than we are to reverse engineer a solution – solutions that worked for people, whose life context is drastically different from our own.
This causes more problems, because we start to see the things that ‘eat up’ our time as limitations. “I will be productive, if I can quit my job… so let me spend our family’s emergency fund on the latest online ‘thingamajig’ promising to let me make six figures of passive income every year.” “I can’t be productive, if my kids are always bothering me… so let me sacrifice some time with them now, because I will definitely have more time later.”
Our problem is one of learning how to deal with the overwhelming situation of everything we want/should/need to accomplish, while also balancing the responsibilities we have – all within the same 24 hours everyone gets in a day.
Let us look at a two-step model for solving this situation.
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