To Increase Productivity, Stop Trying to Manage Your Time

If you google “time management tips” you will generate “about 2,340,000,000 results.” That’s right, if we are counting our zeroes correctly, that’s over 2.3 billion webpage references!

While there are many good articles and productivity hacks related to time management, the executive coaches at Arden Coaching believe that “time” is not the best way to think about your productivity.

“No matter what you do, there are 24 hours in a day, and seven days in a week. We can’t create more time and we can’t stockpile it,” said Maren Perry, president of Arden Coaching. “This may sound like semantics, but as an executive coach, I’ve learned that viewing productivity through the lens of ‘time’ is not helpful because time is something we can’t control.”

According to Perry, what we can control is our own energy and focus. “What will you work on this week? Where will your focus be? Where will you concentrate your attention this year? Those are things you can manage.”

Meaningful productivity, personal as well as professional, comes from how you use time. How you use your time is driven by your ability to identify your priorities, focus your attention on what’s most important, and bring energy and passion to your work.

For additional perspectives on harnessing your productivity, read Arden Coaching’s blogs, “Time Management Strategies: Role Priorities and Attention,” and “Never Enough Time.”

Energy, focus and attention: how you spend your time is how you spend your life

Take a look at your calendar over the past 12 months. As Perry notes, “How you spend your time is how you spend your life. Your calendar should reflect your priorities.”

A person’s calendar reveals how they are really spending their time — it reflects their true priorities and areas of focus. What do you see in your calendar?

“If Sarah says that implementing a new sales philosophy through team performance training and development is very important, but her calendar shows little time actually spent on that effort, then the reality is that it’s mostly talk.”

If you are determined to be more productive in the coming year, don’t try to manage your time, manage and apply your energy, focus, and attention on those things that truly matter — and make it real by putting it in your calendar.

To learn more about our approach to executive coaching, productivity and performance, and leadership development contact us at [email protected] or 646.844.2233.