Time Management is not a Problem Solver: it’s the Problem!

When you get a problem, the natural tendency is to start looking for solutions. So what is wrong with that, you may ask? Nothing, it’s a natural problem solver technique; except there can be a more efficient and effective approaches.

The Problem

Problem Solver
Source: World of Engineering

Take this engineer who has a minor problem, the cable for the electric tool is wrapped around a big metal beam. What is your solution? It could be:

  • Raise the beam
  • Unplug the tool from the wall
  • Cut the cable and reconnect it

I guess there might be several other solutions but, in just over 20 seconds, he solved the problem; identify his approach in this short video.


Problem Solver

So the answer was to establish if there was a problem in the first place and the nature of that problem.

The nature, and the actual words, of Time Management make it a problem, it focuses on managing something you cannot manage. No wonder so many find it difficult. I did explain and examine this more in my book “The Myth of Time Management;” have a look at my free sampler.

My research for the book led me to the solution. I call it Timleyness, it  focusses on your behaviour and creates an environment where you can learn to be more efficient and effective and take control of how you spend your time; you become more timely.  No more missed deadlines, less stress, simple solutions to procrastination, and more control of what you do.

The Great Solution to all human problems is individual inner transformation.

American Author, Vernon Howard.

What is the point of a ToDO List, if you don’t have the time to do it. So let’s look at how you can transform yourself.

Simple Start

The better you start your day, the more chance you have of making it a good day. So let us look at your morning routine.

    1. What time do you get up?
    2. What do you do before starting work?

Research shows that you need 6-8 hours sleep, to be at your best for the day. Needless to say it should be good quality sleep; you can find out more about this in my FREE download “All You Need to Know About Sleep“. However, start by backtracking these hours from the time you need to get up, to establish the key time you need to be going to bed. They may not be the best times for you, but it is a start in understanding when your key routines; Sleep and Morning, should begin. They are the key to setting you up for a good day.

Now I’ll let you into a secret; I don’t wear any clothes in bed. I am sure I am not the only person doing this. However, I started to realise that I was getting up, putting a dressing gown on, making a cup of tea, and then reading the news in order to get myself “awake”.  My wife uses coffee in much the same way. Then the inevitable, I suddenly realise I am running late and all hell is let loose getting ready.

Problem Solver
Grenadiers Last Charge by Edouard Groult

In reviewing my routines and trying to find a problem solver to avoid this “last charge” issue, I changed my routine and it works much better now.

I go straight into the bathroom and get ready. No need to put dressing gown on. After dressing I go to the kitchen and make tea and breakfast ( this you can multitask! ).

Yes and even more multi-tasking as I read the news and eat breakfast. Or I talk to my wife and eat. When I finish eating it’s a cue to check my time. 

Now I feel much better. I have used my time more effectively and I am waking up through the bathroom routine instead of the drink one. I ensure I get some food and eat it properly so my stomach is healthier and is ready to support me during the day.  I am ready on time, most of the time now. Nothing is ever perfect, but it’s much, much better and I feel in control more than I used to.

I am not suggesting this will suit you, and I am certainly not mandating this as the only efficient and effective routine. 

My alternative problem solver technique is to analyse the problem first and change the way you do something. You need to make your behaviour the solution, not using apps and devices to try and control your time. 


Be aware that routines are a natural way to become more efficient and effective. 

Appreciate that your body needs routines to be effective, it has its own clock (Circadian Rhythm)

Create a morning routine that gives you enough time to do the things you need to do and sets you up for a good day.

My routine takes 2 hours and so I know that if I make a morning appointment then I need to get up 2 hours before to be ready.

Do let me know how you get on, drop me a line here.

If you want to know more ways to become a timely person, then take a look at my 7 Steps to Timelyness

Trevor Andrews Timelyness