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Why Time Control is Useless

Useless Time Management

Various methods of time management promise to teach you control your time and even to make you happy. But the authors of are convinced that people just get more tired and more nervous for some reason.

Time management promises that some time you’ll be able to control your life. But the more effectively you use your time, the less time remains. You go on pushing your heavy stone to the top of a mountain, but now you do that a bit faster.

In response to growing demands of modern world, you try to improve your effectiveness. Taking into account a fact, that life has nearly 4000 weeks in it, it is normal for people to worry about how they spend their time.

The question of effective time usage interested Roman philosophers. For instance, Seneka used to think on the problems of time management. He said that time, that human has, flies so fast that a person goes out from their life still not being enough prepared for it.

Seneka proposed to refuse chasing one’s richness and glory, and to spend days in philosophical thinking process.

In modern society, it’s normal to feel that they have to become as productive as possible, even if it does not bring them the promised freedom from stress. Time management claims to make it possible to live consciously and calmly even when the highest income is the biggest value.

It is impossible to be highly effective all the time.

American engineer Frederick Taylor can be called the first time-management guru. In 1898, “Bethlehem Steel” company hired him to improve its production effectiveness. Taylor is thought to introduce an idea about personal productivity as the solution to a time deficit problem.

Taylor provided an experiment and asked some workers to work with their highest effectiveness for additional fee. Their results were four times higher that the normal productivity level. Taylor understood that, ideally, every worker should be much more effective.

But if earlier effectiveness was the way to convince or make people do more job within less time, then nowadays people impose this way of life to themselves.

Effectiveness means that you will do same things you do already, but it will be cheaper, better and faster. What can be better?

The point is, it is impossible to work in such conditions on purpose.

Why Time Management Does Not Work

Time Control Broken

1. You Get Tired More

Taylor’s experiment seemed to be great, but in fact workers were tiring too much and could not do their job at all some time later.

Nearly all time management experts say it is useful to provide notes about using your time. But this only strengthens the feeling of time passing and it is impossible to bring it back.

The more you think about long-term goals, the more you get upset every day because you “still can’t achieve them”. And if one goal was reached, satisfaction passes away extremely fast, because time management rules say you need to set up a new goal at once.

Something like that happened when devices for housewives gained their popularity and spread. Housewives didn’t have to spend the whole day to wash closes, and a vacuum cleaner can clean the carpet in a couple minutes. Still, a particular housewife didn’t gain more free time. As the effectiveness of various devices increased, cleaning standards in the society increased as well.

2. You Can’t Rest

You start thinking that you need to spend your free time productively, too.

People travel not because they like new impressions, but to add more impressions to their album or to take more photos for Instagram profiles. People run to improve health, not to get satisfied from movement. People spend time with children thinking how successful they’ll be once they grow up.

Nowadays, everybody reads to get some profit from the book, visits conferences to find new contacts and make deals. And if they stay at home on a weekend, they start making some home improvement.

In a culture where everyone thinks of productivity, the rest itself is treated as the possibility to restore energy in order to work more after that.

Accept, that you can’t be productive all the time. You can refuse possibilities, disappoint others and not finish your tasks. You mustn’t earn more and more money, achieve bigger and bigger goals and realize your potential in every field. 

3. You Can’t Create

Too much effectiveness hurts business.

In 1980s, the famous American program engineering consultant Tom Demarco already said that it is not worth to limit workers with tight time frames. According to his opinion, it is better to give workers more indulgences, and not to concentrate on effective time usage too much.

Good ideas can’t appear when you feel like there’s a gun near your head. The thought about the time being limited causes anxiety to appear. This leads to negative effects for job results.

4. We Are not Ready for Surprises

Demarco thinks that any productivity increase requires introducing concessions and trade-offs. You get rid of unused time, but you lose its positive features as well.

A visit to the doctor can be a good example here. The more effectively doc uses his or her time, the more loaded will be the schedule. You’ll most probably have to stand a longer queue, because the visit of a previous patient takes more time.

Somehow similar situation appears when companies try cutting off exes and increasing the productivity of their workers. The more precisely their time is planned, the worse is the ability to react on sudden tasks. It is possible to improve reaction time by simply including some free periods into their schedules.

For people, being closer to time-management means being farther from themselves. 

The eternal motive stands behind your will to control time: you are afraid of death. It is not a wonder that the trouble of effective time use seems to be so crucial for you and other people. Solving it allows thinking that you live not in vain.

But a modern enthusiasm about personal productivity went much further. People think that if they find suitable methods and learn how to control themselves, they’ll become happy.

People believe their productivity depends only on them. This is a very comfortable viewpoint for those who have dividends from people who work more and spend more money as a result.

When every minute is planned, people just do not have time to think if they live like they want.

Personal productivity is presented as a cure on people’s state of being constantly busy, but in fact it is just another kind of business. 

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