The Eleven Biggest Time Management Lies
By Dr. Donald E. Wetmore | December 31, 2006
In the world of Time Management there are things said to us that we accept as truth and we act accordingly. The problem is sometimes they are not truths. They are lies and as we believe them, they waste our time.
Those who speak these lies to us are not bad people at all because you and I are among them. We all speak these untruths to one another from time to time. So let's not wish harm and doom to the liars. Let's avoid the time traps their lying may cause us.
Here are the eleven biggest lies to shield yourself from.
"This will just take a minute."
Has anyone grabbed you with that line? Does it ever "just take a minute"? Rarely. What typically "just takes a minute", generally consumes several minutes and more.
Next time, when someone asks for your time and assures you,” This will just take a minute", tell them, "You're lying. You may not realize you're lying, but you are. I'll give you five minutes. You may begin now."
"I need this as soon as possible."
No you don't. That's a lie too. You need it by a certain date and time because you are going to do something with what I provide for you. And if you're not going to do anything with what I provide for you, why am I doing it for you in the first place?
Don't lie to me. Tell me when I have to get it to you. Be specific. You and I probably have two difference dates in mind when we think in terms of "as soon as possible".
"I want this now."
I doubt it. In this 24/7/365 world, everyone is under a sense of artificial pressure to get it done "now" or worse,” yesterday".
Things are generally not that urgent. Don't get caught up in someone else's urgent trivialities.
Call the liar to task. "I'm not sure I can get that done now. What if I got it to you one week from today?" Use an outside deadline to give yourself ample time to prevent getting into crisis management.
Oh, and if they reject that alternative, try three better dates for you. Why? Because they may keep lying to you.
"It's not about the money."
When it's not about the money, it's about the money.
"This is the best (investment, business opportunity, book, movie, restaurant, boss, job, etc.) you'll ever find."
Not true. There's always something better. The best is yet to come.
"I can get this done in an hour."
It's a fib. Ever notice how it almost always takes twice as long to get something done as what you thought it would? That's because few of us have a very accurate internal clock to estimate the time required to complete most tasks.
"He's a 'late' person."
Most people who are "late" have a consistency about their behavior. My friend Dwayne is 20 minutes late all the time. If we need to meet for lunch tomorrow, it will take him 24 hours and twenty minutes to get there.
Dwayne is not "late". He's "On-time; 20 minutes later".
You don't get “nothing for nothing”. Everything has a cost. It may not cost you your money but more often it will be your time and more of it than what you are getting in return for “no cost”.
"I'll prove you're wrong if it's the last thing I do."
And it may well be. No one wants to be proven wrong. Everyone likes to be caught doing things "right". Most, however, don't mind being shown how to do things better.
"By the time I show him how to do it I could just as quickly have done it myself."
If it's a one-time proposition this may be true. It doesn't make a lot of sense to spend an hour to show someone how to do a task that takes only10 minutes.
But if it's a repetitive task, it's a lie. If that one hour investment will save you 10 minutes every day, then in about a week you have your investment back and now you have a dividend of 10 extra minutes a day. What if you do that six different times? You get an extra hour in your day and 365 hours over the next year.
"This is going to be really hard."
Not true. Going through whatever you have to go through is almost never as difficult as you imagined it to be.
Mr. Smith, my high school principal, taught me that 95% of what we fear coming at us will never hit us. It will ditch itself before it ever reaches us. And as to the remaining 5%, God has given us the tools to deal with it.