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There is a myth that we can manage time, in the same way that we manage, say, our finances.

We can’t manage time, we can only manage ourselves. That means our behaviour, our attitudes and our thinking.

The usual time management advice is useful, obvious, and no good, apparently. If it was that easy the web would be awash with stories of people bragging about their time management skills. When did you last see an article entitled “I now have a richer life because I’ve learned to manage my time well”, or “I’m a paragon of time management and you can be too”? 

I’m not saying that the standard advice on time management isn’t sound. it’s good old reliable common sense, so it must be. It’s just that like a lot of common sense, people don’t do it much. Take, for example, one of the time management nostrums, ‘make lists’. Lists are good of course, because people who make lists get more done. But is that because of the list, or because they are more disciplined, organised, or whatever?

Time is entirely democratic, we all have exactly the same amount of it allotted to us each day. What we choose to do (I know, you have no choice, right?), is up to us.

And that starts with our philosophy of life, with what we want our life to be like, and how we want to be thought of by others (now and after we’ve gone, when time finally has run out).

We might as well try to manage the weather, as manage time.

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