The idea that you can “do it all” is a myth. Trying to “do it all” usually ends in doing many things poorly or few things with loss of interest. Time management was never designed as a method to get you to work beyond your endurance to exhaustion.
Many people do and call it success. Others end their work years early with heart attacks, strokes, frustration, and burnout. They got more than they bargained for, but they didn’t get it all.
Before any time management system can be helpful in your work, you have to admit that you can’t do it all. This system won’t expand time, it merely helps you to track, plan, and evaluate time use. Get out of your mind the notion that you even need to “do it all”. You’ll live longer if you do.
Set reasonable goals that can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time.
You may want to earn a master’s in business administration in two years, but you can only attend night classes and you have young children at home. Even if the grandparents are willing to baby-sit while you are in class, how many hours a day can you go full speed? You have work hours, transportation times, class hours, homework, and spending some time with your children. Before long, you are barely surviving on coffee, energy drinks, and four hours sleep. That’s abusing time, not managing time.
Granted, in some early career paths and with some companies, you are expected to be a slave to their every whim. If you are willing to sacrifice years of your life, miss your children’s growing up years, and risk your health for a promotion that may or may not happen, then go ahead. Just remember the old saying, “time waits for no one.” You don’t get a second chance to use that time, so think long about how you want to invest your time; in jobs or in people.
Yes, when you are new in a career or get a promotion, you can expect to give additional effort starting out. But always stay mindful that you are trading irreplaceable time of your life for a job that could vanish tomorrow when the company goes bankrupt, outsources your task to less expensive labor, or moves across the country with little warning.
When you develop time management strategies that help you be a dedicated, not obsessive, worker then you are building skills that will be valuable to another employer, too.
You can find another workplace that gives opportunities for advancement yet recognizes that you have a right to your personal time and family time. In fact, smart companies want the well-rounded person who has a life outside the cubicle.
Don’t sell out early and use time management to chain yourself to a company that wants to use your time. Find a company that values your time and encourages you to “do enough, then do for yourself too.”