Why There is No Such Thing as Time Management

“Most people have no clue what they are doing with their time but still complain that they don’t have enough.” -Grant Cardone

Most people feel they don’t have enough time.

They want to spend more time with their family.

They want to relax more.

They want to make more money.

They want to write a book.

They want to travel the world.

They want to open a side-business.

But ask them why they haven’t made any meaningful progress in years…

“I don’t have enough time,” they’ll lament, convincing themselves as much as you.

Then, they trudge back to their routines, never really feeling like they can live the life they’ve always wanted.

For most people, having a “work-life” balance is the ideal goal. To live a balanced life would finally enable them to enjoy both work and play.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

“When the goal is merely to ‘get through’ the day as quickly as possible, life will pass full of regrets. Time becomes the great taskmaster when it should be the liberator. Time is endured rather than enjoyed.” -Benjamin Hardy

Most People Don’t Understand How Time Works

Time is an intricately complex concept. Most people have extremely little understanding of how time actually works.

In efforts to make sense of it, society has taught simplified, primitive ideas about time that have become truth for the masses. Trite little sayings like “time flies” and “there are only 24 hours in a day” are used by everyone to justify mediocre results.

Most people don’t realize time is relative; an hour can feel like a week, and one person can do 1000x more in a day as someone else could do in a month.

The average person believes there are limits to how much you can accomplish in a workday or in a week.

It’s not surprising; many 9–5 job environments constantly reinforce this. Tasks and projects are given deadlines with the average worker’s pace in mind. The average worker subconsciously plans the project timeline so they’ll finish right on time. They call this “productivity.”

99% of people don’t realize your projects and tasks can be completed as fast as you want them to. And I’m not just talking about working more hours — I’m talking about upgrading your mindset so that one hour becomes an eternity to you.

There are no limits to time. You can complete as much work as you want — if you have the right mindset and environment.

“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.” -Marshall Goldsmith

How Highly Effective and Incredibly Successful People View Time

“How can you achieve your 10 year plan in the next 6 months?” -Peter Thiel, Billionaire

World-class performers don’t strive for “balance.” They strive for greatness, all the time, in every area.

“Balance” implies partial amounts of energy given to everything: 33% to family, 33% to work, 33% to relaxing, and the like.

But think about it. Are you really satisfied with giving your family only 33% of your energy? Or your work? Or your relaxation time?

This is not the path to becoming an extraordinary, world-class version of yourself.

The world’s most successful people give 100% of their time to whatever it is they are doing.

They are hyper-focused and relentlessly present with what’s directly in front of them: their work duties, their current set at the gym, their family across the table, or their daughter begging to go outside and play.

The most successful people in the world became so successful because they learned how to master time. They understand “balance” isn’t the goal — greatness is. They can do as much as they want.

They learned the most important truth about time there is: the rules are made up. They don’t apply to you. You can accomplish any goal imaginable in an extremely short length of time.

You just have to know how to use the time you’re given.

“Don’t seek time balance. Seek time abundance.” -Grant Cardone

How to Accomplish 3 Years of Work in 30 Days

“Wherever it is you want to go, there is a long and conventional path; and there are shorter, less conventional approaches.” -Benjamin Hardy

Once you cut out all the fluff, distractions, and procrastination, you can accomplish in one week what it would take others years to finish.

4-year colleges are a great example of this.

If you’re like me, you have a 4-year degree. But you probably only ever took less than a dozen classes in your desired field. The rest was fluff, like pre-requisites and “general education” that had nothing to do with your goal.

If you had 3 hours a week in class, for four 16-week semesters, that total comes to 192 hours of learning.

That’s 8 days.

To receive half of a “4-year” degree.

Obviously, there’s more to it than just class; homework, essays, and studying all take time. But for most students, 95% of school is fluff. Remove the forced summer/winter breaks, screwing around, and partying, and you could complete the requirements for a “4-year” degree in a few weeks.

Most people carry this misunderstood “4-year” principle for the rest of their lives.

They hear “15-year mortgage” and assume takes 15 years to pay for a house. They hear retirement is at 65, so they can’t fathom retiring any earlier. They get 2 weeks of vacation a year, so they think it take 5 years to earn that trip to Europe.

Most people don’t see the trap they’re in. They don’t realize they could complete 1000x the results, 100x faster than before.

NaNoWriMo is one of my favorite examples. If you’ve never heard of it, National Novel Writing Month is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Every year, thousands of writers finish enormous books in 4 short weeks. Many of these writers have created six and seven-figure incomes from their NaNoWriMo projects.

I can use myself as an example about saving an incredible amount of time. When my wife and I moved to Korea, I knew absolutely no Korean (except “Annyeong”; thanks, Arrested Development).

But while my coworkers signed up for a 16-week Korean language class, I found a video where I learned to read the Korean alphabet in literally 5 minutes through a pneumonic memory strategy. Months into their Korean class, my coworkers could still hardly read the alphabet. I was reading menus at restaurants and navigating bus terminals for us.

If you remove all the breaks, fluff, preparation, and procrastination, you can accomplish your biggest goals in a few months — or even weeks.

Busyness and Stress Are the Enemy

“People are unhappy in large part because they are confused about what is valuable.” -William Irvine

Most people prize “being busy.” They proclaim it with pride, as if it’s a badge of honor.

But for most people, this “busyness” is nothing more than distraction and procrastination from what really matters. They just like feeling busy.

Said author Benjamin Hardy, “Most people lack the confidence to go big. They prefer the dopamine boost of getting lots done, even if they aren’t making any progress.”

For world-class performers, busyness and stress are the enemy. They’re a sign you’re off-track. It means you’ve been lazy and undisciplined, and have let too many unimportant tasks take you away from what really matters.

“Being busy is a form of mental laziness.” -Tim Ferriss

Bestselling author Jeff Goins once wrote, “The most successful people I know are not busy. They’re focused.” Extremely successful people don’t tolerate busywork or distraction. They have crystal clear vision on their goals, and do what they need to do to get there, every single day.

In his landmark book Deep Work, Cal Newport recounts some choice insights on how to develop insanely productive results through removing all distraction and entering flow states:

“Busyness and exhaustion should be your enemy. If you’re chronically stressed and up late working, you’re doing something wrong. Do less. But do what you do with complete, hard focus. Then when you’re done be done, and go enjoy the rest of your day.”

Deep work means absolutely not tolerating distractions and producing monumental quality and quantity in a very short time. This is how you can complete far more with focused efforts than unfocused efforts with far more time.

Do you want incredible productivity?

Then cultivate extreme focus with whatever you do.

If you don’t manage your time, it will manage you.

“When you have less time available for work, you have to make better choices about what to work on (and what not to).” -Tim Metz

In Conclusion

“If success is a main concern for you, then spend most of your time doing things that will create success.” -Grant Cardone

Most people will continue to live with self-imposed limits on their time.

Their beliefs are flawed. They will stay on the long, conventional path, wasting precious years when they could arrive at their destination in a few months of hyper-focused time.

There’s no such thing as “time balance.” Stop thinking in “either/or” and realize there is an abundance of time.

Be 100% focused on whatever you’re doing. Set distinct, definitive priorities — then never sway from them.

The best way to increase how much time you have is to get more done in the time you’re given. An “imbalance” will always happen when you don’t do enough with the time you’re given.

Striving for a “balanced” life means you’re still operating on a low level. Understand you can have everything you want, if you develop your ability to capitalize on every moment you’re given.

Hi, my name is Amy 👋

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