The busy myth and how to manage time

A common myth about time management is that you have to accomplish more and more in less and less time. However, this leads to an endless cycle. It will always be impossible for you to achieve all the things you want to, and it is likely you will drive yourself insane trying to get more done with less time.

Getting more done is excellent, but it will not increase your impact if you don’t do the right things. To maximize productivity and impact the world, manage your focus by prioritizing the essential items and letting go of the less significant ones. Focusing less on efficiency and paying attention to your effectiveness. With that said, below are the six things that you can do today to manage your time better:

Prioritize and identify what is important enough for you to work on first:

There will be many requests made of you throughout the day. Within the blink of an eye, you will be overwhelmed by bosses, peers, subordinates, spouses, kids, friends, clients, vendors, Etc., and you will struggle to make the best use of your time. So, please choose what you need to do and start working on it.

Carefully analyze your work choices:

Identify the top three tasks you would like to achieve or address on a particular day and dedicate time to those as early in the day as possible. You can even create a short list of the most important goals you would like to accomplish for the day but, do not add more than 20 items to the list.

Then, you can rank the top three tasks that you would like to work on first daily. You can spend at least thirty to two hours of focused effort on each job. You can spend the rest of your day working on other urgent tasks that arise throughout the day.

Filter out the unnecessary tasks and then delegate:

Before you take up a task, ask yourself if there is anyone else to whom you can delegate the task to. Would it be possible for you to get a direct report to do it, or can you teach someone how to complete the job so they can achieve it in the future?

Remember that just because you can do the task doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be done by you. Furthermore, you can also automatically delegate all of the tasks that come your way. Make sure to filter out those items that will become less and less important if left for later. Something that seems essential today may seem unimportant a week from now.

Ensure that there is accountability for the delegated tasks:

The reasons behind under-delegation are that people have been disappointed by poor performance. Delegation isn’t just about handing off tasks. As part of the accountability process, you should also:

Be clear about what you expect and when you expect it done.

Be clear on what’s expected and by when. But don’t assume you were clear. Ensure everyone working on the task is on the same page before starting any upcoming work, and check in frequently.

Maximize motivation by establishing compelling consequences. You do not have to have only negative ones or only those that pertain to future pay increases. Skills development, professional recognition, and participation in high-profile events lead to positive outcomes.

Investigate the evidence behind the statement “fine.” you can regularly conduct checkpoints based on empirical evidence. Avoid asking how things are progressing and accepting the answer “fine.”

Manage your performance:

Ignoring poor performance for too long makes many stuck in time management quicksand. You spend much time fixing problems and doing work that should not be yours. Ineffective conversations and ineffective measurements are some reasons why this happens. If you implement the four fixes above, you can transform performance management into a simple, comfortable, continuous improvement process.

Manage your time effectively by taking full responsibility for it:

It is not your fault that you have too much to do, too many people invite you to too many meetings, you are overwhelmed with emails, or your staff doesn’t accomplish enough on their own. By employing these practices, you can make the most effective use of your time.


Don’t believe the myth that time management is your primary problem. Apply the leadership approaches above instead of trying to manage your time, organize your to-do list better, or use a more efficient scheduling or collaboration tool: They have been time-tested over a long period by hundreds of successful leaders over the years.

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