No Virginia, there’s no such thing as time management. Only self-management.
It took me a long time to figure this out. I tried quite a few organizing tools, various tricks and planners, some of them were helpful, but none of them really helped me to become the miraculously organized person I thought I should be.
I grew up with a father who was career military, who believed if you weren’t ten minutes early you were late. My mother grew up as local gentry in Texas and believed the party didn’t start until she got there. It’s no wonder I have a split personality with regard to time. I grew up believing I ought to be squared away, but resistant to being tightly scheduled — even when I’m the one making the schedule. I like keeping my options open.
I finally figured out I was trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Everybody has to find their own way. What works for me is making a weekly list and from there, a daily list. I’m always tempted to put more on the lists than I can possibly do. Some things get pushed to the next day, week, or month. But the three most important things are at the top of the list. They become my deadlines, my must-do’s. Doing this over and over and over is a clarifying experience. It’s shown me that my priorities aren’t always what I think they are. (How dirty does the house have to be before it moves to the top of the list?)