The Psychology of Time Control

Free spirits think of time management as a prison, the chains being cancelled freedoms. Ironically, the aim of time management is to give us the freedom to do the things we want. But it is based on the recognition that in order to be happy we must restrict our activities to what we want most because we don't have enough time for anything else.

This is an enormous block for many people because they don't want to accept limitations. They don't want to make the decision to give up chocolate for vanilla. They want to have two desserts even when there is only time for one. And despite all of the negative results their approach brings, they cannot force themselves to change their foundational belief.

Again, ironically, while time management is based on the acceptance of a limitation to your power to get everything you want, it does require that you have the power to control what you do. And, that means making decisions. And you can't make decisions if you insist on having all of the options. Inotherwords, if you insist on having complete power, you have no power at all.

Psychologically, people can be divided into Internals and Externals. Internals believe that they have a lot of control over their lives. Externals believe that their lives are largely controlled by forces external to themselves. Based on what was just said about decision-making, it's clear that what externals lack is the power to give things up. We can control some things but not everything but they believe that they cannot be satisfied unless they have it all.

Have you ever started a meal with the feeling that you can eat forever only to be completely satiated a short time later? That's the key to power. Realizing that you don't need everything to be happy. It frees you to let go of what you don't need. And that frees you to make a decision to do something else.

The moral of this story? Don't focus on ends to the exclusion of means. Or, in simpler terms, don't bite off more than you can chew.

No comments: