It’s never a time management issue!

Saying ‘I am too busy’, is oftentimes an excuse we use to justify our inability to meet our responsibilities. In this article by Ron Finkelstein, he explains it’s rarely a time management issue – it’s often about setting priorities based on the value. When we have multiple (seemingly) important tasks, we can fail to make the appropriate evaluation to get the most important things done. We could be much more productive. Stop making excuses and start prioritizing better.


I hope you get value from Ron’s article below.


Many times, I hear my clients say they have no time. I question them on what they are doing and how they spend their time. Here is what I found: It is never a time management issue, it is a behavioral issue.


I work with busy, accomplished professionals all the time. The ones that get a lot done are clear on what is important and they stay focused on the results they want.


When I am told, “I don’t have time,” I know that is an excuse.


Why do I say that? Usually because it is true.


I have one client who is months behind in her billing. When I asked her why she does not do it, she gave me many reasons why she could not get to it: I need to fix dinner, I have laundry to do, I must answer the phone, I help my husband in the field, etc.

I turned to the husband and asked if he would be ok if she did billing every Wednesday from 8-10? He said that was fine. This project was important because they just hired a new employee and they need the money for salary. When she realized how important the billing was and saw an opportunity to effectively deal with it, you could see the stress leave her face.


When people say they do not have enough time what they are really saying is that they do not have a plan so they treat everything with the same level of importance. They focus more on being busy than being accomplished.


They are saying, “I have not thought about what is really important to me and so I need to do everything, because everything is important.” I see this with many of my clients. We know life is full of choices and by not making a choice, you have chosen.

Sometimes they are saying no one can do what they do as well as they can. This is possible but usually not true, unless you are a highly skilled neurosurgeon and there are only a few of you. Usually they are right because they have not taken the time to teach someone how to do something, they do not trust them enough to really share the secret sauce, or they find it easier to do it themselves.


How do you address this problem? The answer is simple. Decide to get selfish and protect your time, energy and money. You can protect your time by deciding what is important and focusing on that. Some people will feel left out but that is ok. If they are not contributing to your purpose maybe they should not be such a big part of your life.


Another good rule is to never be the smartest person in the room. If you are, you are probably in the wrong room because there will be little opportunity to grow. We need others who are smarter than us to pull us, challenge us and generally get us out of our comfort zone.


Article by Ron Finklestein





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