Being Bad at Time Management is fine, learn how to become a Time Maestro instead.

Time Maestro
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

When you read articles on Time Management, they tell you that it is an important skill. That you need to achieve this skill to be successful in life. Furthermore, to do this you need to define your Life Goals. This article will tell you, no you don’t. All you need is one goal to become a Time Maestro, instead of a Time Slave.


Time Management Goals

A recent post I read said, “Once you have a clear vision for the life you desire, your priorities are the key areas of focus which will allow you to make that vision real.”

Now that is fine, if you already have the clarity of mind and an idea of the life you desire. The problem is, if you do not. How do you get a “clear vision” when, like the Titanic, you are in the middle of a fog and icy sea of emails, paperwork, tasks, projects, and change initiatives. Instead of being at the helm, you are being dragged along like a rudder through this rough sea and picking up seaweed and debris along the way.

Time Maestro or Time Slave
Scene from the 1980 film ‘Raise The Titanic’

The more goals you set, that you can’t achieve, the more stressed and inadequate you feel.

To develop a clear vision, you need a clear mind and to develop a clear mind, you need to be in control of your life. To get control of your life you need to become a Time Maestro and be creator of your day and not a slave to someone elses day. 

I remember going away to a weekend retreat. I came back from it, with a much clearer mind but found a salesman, I had just recruited, had handed in his notice after just a week. Normally I would have hit the roof and stressed out. Instead I surprised myself how calm I was. I then rang my second choice and he became one of my best guys.

Here a Timelyness there is only one life goal, – to be happy, and one work goal, – to be effective at carrying out your job. 


Be Happy

Now I guess you may be thinking:

Happiness is fun and having a laugh, an impossible goal to achieve every day. You cannot be happy all the time, life is not like that. How can you be happy stuck in commuter traffic? how can you be happy with a pile of paperwork and constant change. 

In her book, “Why Be Happy When you Could Be Normal”, Jeanette Winterson wrote.

Our primary meaning now is the feeling of pleasure and contentment; a buzz, a zestiness, the tummy upwards feel of good and right and relaxed and alive . . . you know . . .

She went on to say, “But earlier meanings build in the hap — in Middle English, that is ‘happ’, in Old English, ‘gehapp’ — the chance or fortune, good or bad, that falls to you. Hap is your lot in life, the hand you are given to play. How you meet your ‘hap’ will determine whether or not you can be ‘happy’.

In The Art of Happiness” the Dali Lama wrote, “the very purpose of life is to seek happiness.” He goes on to explain that happiness, is derived from a state of mind, rather than external events. Happiness as a function of how we perceive our life and how satisfied we are with what we have.

Look around you. Are the happiest people the rich ones? Are the happiest people those in power? Are the happiest people married or divorced?



Effectiveness is doing the right thing and Forster (1) wrote, “You are likely to be processing it efficiently anyway, acknowledging that there is always room for improvement.” It is alright being efficient, but what is the point if you are doing the wrong things. If you are doing the right things, then you are on the right track and can develop more efficient methods as you go along.

So, you should be focussing on what are the right things to be doing. Time is a finite resource, you only have 24 hours a day, and you need to get a clear view of what you are doing and how much you can actually achieve within this time. In trying to please you boss, your colleagues or your clients you may find yourself saying things and making promises you cannot keep.

Promises you cannot keep

The mere act of saying these things creates just more stress for you. You look at your diary and that “get it to you today” means another task in an already busy day.

You need to stop making commitments that you can’t or won’t keep.

Your mind is not finite, it has the capacity to create false impressions, to make you think you can achieve far more than you can in reality. So you need to become more aware of it.

You do need to focus and to achieve focus you need to be more aware of what you are doing  now and how it fits in with the role and responsibilities defined by your job description. You were employed to do a job and this is what your employer will measure you on. So what are the right things you should be doing?

So you need a clear view of how you are spending your time now. Once you are aware of this, you can start to take control.

In survey studies conducted by iOpener, of employees who reported that they are happy at work, 78% also say that they feel energetic while at work, whereas a mere 13% of unhappy employees claim the same. Jessica Pryce-Jones

Therefore, if you are happy at work, your energy levels will rise, then you are likely to be more effective and efficient.



  • You can create a clear vision of the future, once you have a clear awareness of the present.

  • Happiness is about being content with what you have.

  • Effectiveness is about doing the right things.

  • Become a Time Maestro rather than a time slave.



So, start developing a clearer mind yourself through Timelyness, the 21st Century alternative to time management.

Become a Time Maestro. In Timelyness we are looking to help you be content with how you are spending your time. We do this through a logical process of evaluating your time now and guiding you to creating a schedule that suits you, the unique you. The you, you want to be. Start here:

1. Get a clear picture of your day now by using my free 24 hour Activity Exercise.

2. Then see if you are happy with your life now. If not change is required and my free book sampler might help you get started on the Time Maestro pathway.

3. Check your job description and what it defines as your role and responsibilities. This will help you identify the right things you should be doing.

1) Forster, M. (2006). Do it Tomorrow and other secrets of Time Management.

Best Wishes


The 21st Century Alternative to Time Management



Please do share this with your friends and family.

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