What to do When Time-Management Doesn’t Work

Years ago, when I was still working in politics, I decided to start transitioning to the private sector by starting a small business. The problem was that there was not enough time in the day – or so I thought. So I built a crude spreadsheet on Microsoft Word and began tracking my time in 5 minute increments. I tracked everything; I was uber-hard on myself. And thus began my love/hate relationship with time-management.

Years later, I read an article in Harvard Business Review that made the case that time-management is a myth. When I read those words, I realized I had always known that to be true – and I bet so do you. We’ve just not known any other way.

But now we do.

Maura Nevel Thomas, the same author who wrote that HBR article revealing the myth that is “time-management,” has a new book out that tells what is real:

We cannot manage time; the only thing we can manage is our own attention.

The “how-to” of attention-management is an elegant walk to self-discovery and self-control. Learning to manage my attention rather than the constant Sisyphic effort to control time has made such a difference in my own productivity and peace in the process.

Your sane self inside you is begging you to read this book. It comes out today.

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