Calling Bullsh*t on Time Management

September 7, 2020

Busy is the new stupid.

Warren Buffett

Calling Bullsh*t on Time Management

Time is a tricky business even when the world is normal. Self-help gurus and coaches talk endlessly about time management, as though we can do anything about time.

I've got news for you, folks. You cant manage time. Time will keep marching forward whether you're prepared to manage it or not.And there aren't any shortcuts, either. Gimmicky life hacks on the subject focus on doing MORE with our time, when the real point should be doing more IMPORTANT things instead.

Quality, not quantity.

I know that probably annoys the high achievers reading this and deflates everyone else looking for the secret key to overcoming procrastination, so read on, I've got you covered.

With a bit of mindfulness, or focused attention if you prefer, you can become the master of your day not the other way around.


We all get the same 168 hours every week, no matter how rich or successful or charming we are. We're all dealt the same hand, time-wise.

How we choose to play that hand is up to us.

If you've ever caught yourself saying, Id love to do that, but I'm just too busy, you're guilty of telling yourself one of your 200 daily lies. It's not about your reality; it's about your mindset.

Sure, you ARE busy. Maybe you've got kids at home, a full-time job, volunteer work, aging parents, online school you get the idea. Only too well, right?

That's all true AND, So I'm still calling bullshit on too busy. You're not.


The sooner you understand that the sooner you can get in the driver's seat of your own life.

So if the important things aren't getting done, ask yourself why. Are those things TRULY important to you? If the answer is yes, you either need to change what you spend your time doing, do fewer things more thoroughly, or both.

It really is that simple. Even if it doesn't feel that way.

Simple, but not always easy. Time isn't within your sphere of control, but YOU are. You can manage your own actions, prioritize your days, and decide what gets done and what doesn't.

So often we get into the habit of sacrificing the important for the urgent. The Eisenhower matrix (brilliantly borrowed and marketed by Stephen Covey) reminds us that what we should spend our time on things that are important, but not urgent: family, friends, activities and experiences dear to our hearts.

Instead, we get sucked into the world of tasks that are important and urgent worse, urgent, and not important. Let's not even talk about not-important and not-urgent Oy.

Why are we so prone to falling away from the things that matter to us most?

Turns out, there are forces working against us, and they're even more powerful during major disruptions, like pandemics, than they are normally. Picture that comic book villain who becomes a supervillain after they're exposed to radioactive waste.

I'm talking about the 7 Deadly Time Thieves.


These are the supervillains that will run your days and even ruin your life if you aren't careful. Or at least, it feels that way.

These bad boys are usually the scapegoats for turning that extra time you're saving on your commute each day into where did the time go?!Tell me if any of these have stolen your time in the past 7 days:

  • Interruptions
  • Overcommitting
  • Multitasking
  • Poor Planning
  • Email
  • Meetings
  • Last, but certainly not least Procrastination

I'd wager that at least one of these may be undermining your concentration at this very moment.

That's why they're so insidious. Every single one of these time thieves can sneak up on you like well, like a thief in the night. And before you know what hit you, they're gone, and they've taken hours of your life with them.

Except that, just like that comic book villain again, their power is only an illusion.

YOU have control over how you choose to spend your time, even if it doesn't always feel like you have the agency to say no to a friend or turn down a request to join a meeting.

Yes, these time thieves are skilled assassins of your productivity. But they also have a deadly vulnerability: choice.

At any moment, you can choose to rise up against one of the time thieves or even all 7 at once. The first step is just identifying they're a problem in the first place.

Hopefully, you are starting to see that HOW you've been spending (or losing or wasting) your time is your real problem and that you're willing to try something else.

Because that's the first step toward destroying these supervillains once and for all.

If you think that you just have to try harder and you'll find the magic formula for taming time, you're going to continue to suffer at the hands of these monsters.

If instead, you're open to learning what and how you can get at least the same amount of things done AND with less stress, I'm here to give you the tools to do just that.


Your productivity or lack thereof isn't a time problem. You can't manage time, you can't borrow time, and you certainly can't steal time once it's gone.

What you can do is learn how to master the hours you have, and prevent the 7 Deadly Time Thieves from running the show in the first place.

If you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and out of control of your own life, I've got great news for you. My 90-minute productivity class, which happens this month, was created just for you!

I'll teach you how to reclaim an hour or more EVERY DAY by eliminating these 7-time thieves from your life for good.

Declutter Your Life Podcast by Andrew Mellen. Available on iTunes!