Most people think of time management as a way to make the most of their most precious resource—time.
And time management is certainly about doing that.
But what is often overlooked in discussions about time management is the fact that managing your time well will have a pretty remarkable spillover effect to the rest of your life.
That’s because effective time management is effective organization.
Are You Well-Organized?
Have you ever noticed that most people are either well-organized or constantly on the brink of disaster?
It seems like it’s one extreme or the other.
I haven’t come across many people who are only partly organized.
That’s because, when it comes to organization, you’ve either got it or you don’t.
If you’ve got it, pretty well everything in your life is reasonably organized. Your shelves, your desk, your calendar. Sure, there is always room for improvement, but, on the whole, if you’re an organized person, most areas of your life are under control.
But when you don’t got it, you’re a mess.
It only takes disorganization in one little area of your life and it seems like you’re falling apart.
You’re constantly misplacing papers. You’re always the one walking into meetings five minutes late. And you routinely run up against (or miss) deadlines.
You might survive as a disorganized person, but you you don’t have a chance of hitting your peak level of productivity.
Organization is a prerequisite for productivity.
Your Brain Needs Time Management
Now, whether you’re organized or not, here’s a secret you might find interesting: Organization spreads when you start with time.
Let me explain.
Time is the one thing that conditions each and every human brain. The brain can’t perform the most routine tasks without it.
Everything your brain does is time-bound. One thought must proceed after another in a sequence. And that requires time.
Every one of your actions that your brain governs also requires time.
I mean, just try and imagine brushing your teeth or singing a song without time.
Your brain needs time to function.
The Time Management Secret
Now, before you zone out on me like a lecture hall filled with 18 year old undergraduates, let me get to the point.
Because time is a fundamental condition for your brain, taking control of your time has a disproportionate ripple effect on every other area of your life.
You could think about it like this: Time is the one thing that is present in every single thing your brain does. So, if you take control of your time, you have effectively taken control of the fundamental part of everything your brain does.
Or you can think about it like this: Time is like the first domino in your brain. Once you knock it down, all the others naturally follow.
When you get a handle on how you spend your time—that is, when you manage your time well—you will naturally become more organized in almost every other area of your life.
So the lesson here is that, if you want to be more organized (and, if you want to be more productive then yes, you do want to be more organized), you need to begin with time management.
Once you do, you’ll find yourself becoming more organized everywhere. And that means you will be able to improve your productivity by leaps and bounds.
So time management isn’t just a way to manage your most precious resource. It is, more importantly, a way to manage your brain.
Time management is brain management.
And, since what happens in your brain determines your productivity, it turns out that time management is incredibly important.