So often when people talk about “time management” it’s used in the same sentence as words like “productivity” and “efficiency.” And then the conversation ends.
If you’re reading this you’re probably mildly interested or at least curious about time management as an idea. But it’s possible that you just flat out don’t care about being productive. And that’s OK.
Time management can still be for you. That’s because time management doesn’t have to be about what you’re producing — money made, ideas generated, whatever.
Time management is about using your time for whatever it is you want to do. Time management is about using your time to do what makes you happy.
There are different kinds of happiness, of course. Having a roof over your head and dinner on the table makes you happy (if only because the alternative is definitely not happy), so you have a job. But so does going for a walk in the woods, so you do that, too.
Each of those things takes time.
Time is your slave — not the other way around — and you get to choose what you do with it. And that’s what time management is about.
Time management is important to me, not because I want to use it to produce as much as I can at my job — although doing that gives me joy in a way, too, but because it makes me feel fulfilled. It’s a part of my life because using it well for the things that give me less joy (washing laundry, for example) means that I have more of it for the things that do make me really happy (wearing clean pants on a long walk).
If you’re very scrappy — and we are trying to be scrappy here at Humans Outside — you can use your time management skills to spend more and more of your time doing things that make you happy. You can trade in a joyless job for one you love. You can pay someone to scrub your house once or twice a month so that you can spend more time on outdoor adventures. You can get all of your tomorrow tasks done today so that you can spend the entirety of the weekend binge-watching House of Cards. You can spend 20 minutes outside every single day.
It’s not about what you do with the time you manage — productivity or Netflix — it’s about having a choice.