Your Time Management Problem May Not Be About Managing Time : I often hear people say they don’t have enough time to do the work. They complain social media being a time suck. They can’t fit in the time to do a newsletter. They are not even sleeping enough. They wish they could get the unfair advantage of having a 28-hour day.
They have tried paper calendar, planners, sticky notes, online calendar, scheduling software; they have tried apps to track their time spent online; they have tried chunking, batching, delegating… but they still feel like time is slipping through their fingers. They are still running around like a chicken with its head cut off. They are still spinning their wheels doing busy work and not knowing where it’s leading them.
The problem is, they are not attacking their problem with the right tool! Their “time” problem is not a “time” problem, so using “time management” tools and methods is not going to get to the bottom of the issue.
So let’s get to the bottom of it and solve your TIME problem:
Root Cause #1: You Have a Clarity Problem
Without a clear vision/objective/goal, you don’t know what you need to do to achieve what you want so you try to do everything everyone tells you because they “sound good”. Without a Conviction, everything sounds like the right thing to do – yeah, they may be “right” but are they right for YOU? What is YOUR priority?
The Cure: Get clear on what you want your business to do FOR YOU. Design your business based on your passion, conviction, superpowers and vision. Map out your fastest path to cash that is in alignment with your Truth. You will know what you need to do next. Then make that ONE thing the non-negotiable item in your day.
Root Cause #2: You Have a Boundary Problem
Of course, we need healthy boundary with other people so you don’t say “yes” to taking on other people’s carp; say “yes” to opportunities that are not aligned with your value and big vision; say “yes” to arrangements that infringe on your money boundary (time = money).
But we often overlook the boundary we need to establish with ourselves. It can be much harder because it is much harder to realize that we are infringing on our own boundary. We can always come up with some excuses and get away with it.
If you set “rules” and then break them, you are infringing on your own boundary. If you let your monkey mind take over and derail you with negative thoughts, fears and distractions, you are infringing on your own boundary. If you let yourself do things that don’t serve your big vision, you are infringing on your own boundary.
Nobody is holding a gun to your head and make you read every Facebook group notification, scroll through your Twitter feed 20 times a day, or linger on Groupon for 2 hours. You are doing it because you don’t have the discipline or awareness so you let fears and emotions take over (more on that soon.)
There is no one else to blame if you don’t hold up your own boundary. It is YOUR own boundary crime to commit.
The Cure: let’s help you figure out what to say “no” to – both to others and to yourself. Imagine you have only 16 hours in your day, and you still have to sleep 8 hours (no cheating!) How would your day look like? What can you realistically accomplish (i.e. the important stuff that will make you feel that the day is well spent) and what can be dropped without a hint of guilt (because it would be humanly impossible to do 24 hours worth of tasks in 16 hours)?
Root Cause #3: You Have a Fear Problem
Not managing our time well often means we don’t get to the important stuff. If we know the stuff is important, why can’t we get to it? Are we using “time” as an excuse so we don’t have to look at something more scary?
Because, very often, those important stuff will move the needle and rock the boat… but our caveman (subconscious) brain doesn’t like that. Change is scary… even though that’s what your conscious mind want.
These important things also often require us to put ourselves and our stuff out there. That can trigger the Fear of Inadequacy (what if I/my stuff is not good enough?) and the Fear of Being Vulnerable (what if I get criticized?) To avoid these fears, we procrastinate – aka spend time doing things that don’t matter – so we can delay putting ourselves/our stuff out there.
The Fear of Missing Out can also get the best of us – what if I miss a very important Facebook post? If I don’t read all the tweets I am going to miss something…
The Cure: when you find yourself procrastinating or doing “time suck” stuff, see if it’s a reaction to an underlying fear – e.g. instead of reaching out to potential clients you dawdle on Facebook because you are afraid of rejection.
Cultivate the awareness and acknowledge the fear – by separating the fear from you, you can then deal with it objectively.
Ling Wong, Business Artist, Mindset Provocateur and Chief Freedom Fighter at provides Business Soulwork + Marketing Activation for the Maverick Entrepreneur to build a business that is a full expression of their creativity and individuality.
Ling helps her clients supercharge their actions not only through practical strategies and marketing tools, but also through their growth and development – so they not only grow their business, but also LET THEIR BUSINESS GROW THEM. Through her “left brain meets right brain” approach, she helps her clients uncover their truth and tap into their intuition, then ground those light bulb moments with practical strategies and marketing tactics.