Scott Watermasysk

Still Learning to Code

Time Management

Over the past 6 months or so, I have had a revelation about time management. In the past, I thought it was all about being organized and careful planning. While these things are important, I no longer believe they are the answer.

I now firmly believe the number one thing you can do to effectively manage your time is be very selective about what you choose to do.

In Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero" he has a great line:

Time & Attention are finite.

No matter how hard you try, there are only 24 hours in a day. There comes a point where regardless of how well organized you are, there are things you cannot fit in.

Tim Ferris (4 hour work week fame) has an interesting spin on this same idea:

Time without attention is worthless, so value attention over time

What Tim is saying is that even if you manage to squeeze every last thing into your schedule, you likely won’t be happy with the results. When you are constantly trying to get “yet another thing done” you are not leaving yourself a lot of room to innovate and push the boundaries. You are not likely doing the very things you were hired to do and (at least for me) you are removing the fun parts by going through the motions.

Finally, Lister’s Law:

People under time pressure don’t think faster – Tim Lister

The next time things get really hectic, instead of getting stressed out and trying to squeeze everything in, think about what things you do not really need to do.