"If only there were more hours in the day," you tell yourself. You have so much to do and, no matter how effectively you use your time, there always seems to be more to do. Rather than try to use your time efficiently to manage your to-do list, focus on managing the list itself.
Photo by McCready.
As business psychologist Tony Crabbe. points out, time management is a nice idea. If you're careful to make sure you spend your time effectively, you can get more done. The only problem is, the result of getting more done is often having even more to do. The more emails you can send, the more you'll need to reply to later. The more projects you can start today, the more projects you'll need to finish tomorrow.
Rather than try to cram as much as possible into one day, focus on managing your tasks first, then dole out your time:
In our infinite world, we will never be able to get on top of everything, ever again; there is just too much to do. In Greek mythology, when you cut off one of Hydra's heads, two would grow back. Like with the Hydra, when we complete more tasks, all that happens is more appear to take their place -- send more emails, get more replies. In essence, if we do more as a result of better managing our time, we don't get it all done -- we just become busier.
That's not to say that time management has no place in your life. You need to be able to effectively allot your time to the tasks you decide are important. However, if you don't start from a place of prioritising your tasks, your time management is just going to be an exercise in futility, trying to keep all the plates spinning at once.