Everybody has a Time Dictator inside them. This is the person who when you want to goof off and be totally unproductive, wags their finger at you and says ‘This must be done... NOW!’

I think the Time Dictator is a close friend of the Tidiness Dictator, who always makes sure you put the teabags in the bin as soon as you’ve made the tea. If you don’t have a strong Tidiness Dictator your teabags will decoratively line themselves along the work top because there is a secret part of your brain that thinks the magic pixies will come in the night to take them away. The Tidiness Dictator knows this is silly and just gets on with the job of tidying up, saving time and effort in the long term and therefore keeping the Time Dictator happy.

Some people have a really strong Time Dictator while others have none at all. There’s really no right or wrong here, as you have to find a balance between your Time Dictator and your Time Bandit. But people who have an awareness of time tend to be better at sticking to a time for doing things and therefore they get more done. However if you overdo the Time Dictator function you can become really stressed as you will always be aware of the next thing on your list and you can never really relax.

The straightforward solution is to say, if your inner Time Dictator is really powerful, just chill. And if your inner Time Bandit is very strong, for goodness sake get a grip on your life - but I know, and you know, that you would if you could but it’s not that easy!

Managing time goes a lot further than churning through the tasks on your ‘to-do’ list or activating you inner Time Dictator. Managing time should be part of managing your life, where getting lots of things done and being efficient is certainly important. But your life also involves relaxing, being able to switch off from relentless nag lists and take time out from the hurly burly of daily life.

Going a stage further, true time management demands that you look at your life in the round, consider everything you do or want to do and give yourself a chance of completely reorganising your time and your life so that the nag lists are no longer nag lists... they are activities that will take you towards your priceless future.

Wouldn’t that make you feel differently about them?

Doing this is not an instant process, but to get you started here are some questions for you:

1. How much spare time do you have to do the stuff you really want to do? Be realistic, but be determined to use this time for your best future.

2. How many of your current daily tasks are directed towards furthering your goals? Some of what you do will be busywork or things that you feel you ought to do or things that other people could do themselves.

3. How much focus can you bring to what you do? Time management is really difficult if you are tired or ill, because you need to have some focus to assess priorities and get the right stuff done.

4. How important is it to change what you are doing now? Is what you are doing now working even though it’s occasionally chaotic? Or are things falling between the cracks in your life? Or are you just generally frustrated with your lack of progress in your business or your life?

5. How determined are you to change? As a lot of time management is habit you have to be prepared to rewire your habits and that takes a bit of willingness on your part. It’s not difficult, you just have to become aware of the benefits it will bring you, and then it becomes easy.

By considering all these questions you can set a framework for any changes you wish to make.

(c) 2010 Liz Copeland

Author's Bio: 

Liz Copeland is the True Courage Coach. If you are on the brink of something big and want to move forward or if you are being forced to take a big step True Courage Coaching will support you. So if you’ve lost the job, your partner or your waistline and you want to get to step up and into your ideal future get started right away with your free True Courage Creation Kit at http://www.truecouragecoaching.com