The 3 Mental Barriers to Effective Time Management
If everyone agrees that excellent time management is one of the most desirable personal skills, why is it that so few people can be described as ‘‘well organized or efficient’’?
I have found that many people have mental barriers and hold ideas about time management that aren’t true. But if you believe something to be true, it becomes true for you. Your beliefs cause you to see yourself and the world, and your relationship to time management, in a particular way.
If you have negative beliefs in any area, these beliefs will affect your thinking and actions, and will eventually become your reality. You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.
Mental Barrier 1: Worries about Decreasing Your Naturalness and Spontaneity
One of the mental barriers, or negative beliefs, of time management is that if you are too well organized, you become cold, calculating, and unemotional. Some people feel that they will lose their spontaneity and freedom if they are extremely effective and efficient.
They will become unable to ‘‘go with the flow,’’ to express themselves openly and honestly. People think that managing your time well makes you too rigid and inflexible.
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This turns out not to be true at all. Many people hide behind this false idea and use it as an excuse for not disciplining themselves the way they know they should. The fact is that people who are disorganized are not spontaneous; they are merely confused, and often frantic. Often they suffer a good deal of stress.
It turns out that the better organized you are, the more time and opportunity you have to be truly relaxed, truly spontaneous, and truly happy. You have a much greater internal locus of control.
The key is structuring and organizing everything that you possibly can: Thinking ahead; planning for contingencies; preparing thoroughly; and focusing on specific results. Only then can you be completely relaxed and spontaneous when the situation changes. The better organized you are in the factors that are under your control, the greater freedom and flexibility you have to quickly make changes whenever they are necessary.
Mental Barrier 2: Negative Mental Programming
Another one of the mental barriers that hinder the development of excellent time management skills is negative programming, which is often picked up from your parents, but also from other influential people as you are growing up. If your parents or others told you that you were a messy person, or that you were always late, or that you never finished anything you started, chances are that as an adult, you may still be operating unconsciously to obey these earlier commands.
The most common excuse used for this type of behavior is: ‘‘That’s just the way I am,’’ or ‘‘I have always been that way.’’
The fact is that no one is born messy and disorganized, or neat and efficient. Time management skills are disciplines that we learn and develop with practice and repetition. If we have developed bad time management habits, we can unlearn them. We can replace them with good habits over time.
Mental Barrier 3: Self-Limiting Beliefs
The last of the mental barriers to good time management skills is a negative self-concept, or what are called ‘‘self-limiting beliefs.’’
Many people believe that they don’t have the ability to develop good time management skills. Their mental barriers force them to believe that it is an inborn part of their background or heritage. But there is no gene or chromosome for poor time management skills, or good time management skills, for that matter. Nobody is born with a genetic deficiency in personal organization. Your personal skills and behaviors are very much under your own control.
Motivating Yourself to Time Management Success
Here is an example to prove that most of what you do is determined by your level of motivation and desire in that area.
Imagine that someone were to offer you a million dollars to manage your time superbly for the next thirty days. Imagine that an efficiency expert was going to follow you around with a clipboard and a video camera for one month. After thirty days, if you had used your time efficiently and well, working on your highest priorities all day, every day, you would receive a prize of one million dollars. How efficient would you be over the next thirty days?
The fact is that, with sufficient motivation (one million dollars!), you would be one of the most efficient, effective, best organized, and focused people in the world. The best news is
that after one full month of practicing the very best time management skills you know, you would have developed habits of high productivity and top performance that would last you the rest of your life.
Thank you for reading this post on developing excellent time management skills by overcoming mental barriers. Please share this article with others and comment below!
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.