Time Management: Characteristics, Laws, and Thieves of Time.

Time Management: Characteristics, Laws, and Thieves of Time.

We talked about two key elements in effective time management in the previous post: prioritization and not putting off. Make a distinction between the important and the urgent and develop the habit of the act now! What we have learned so far helps us decide what to do and when to do it. And it is an essential issue since, every day, a considerable number of things to “into our inbox.”

However, prioritizing is just one of the pillars of time management. Being effective in taking advantage of our time implies mastering another series of elements. It is precisely the object of this post.

We’ll talk about the defining characteristics of time, its unbreakable laws, and the main “thieves of our time” that influence our effectiveness.

The Unique Characteristics of Time Management: Know them to be able to Manage our Time.

Time is our leading resource. It is already something known. However, it is a problematic, outstanding resource. It has a series of characteristics that make it unique.

As you can see, time is a unique resource. It forces us to manage it specially.

Let us now look at the unbreakable Laws of time. Some patterns that time follows and that, like its characteristics, define it as a unique resource. Knowing the fundamental laws, we can generate strategies to govern it.

The Unbreakable Laws of Time:

Time always follows basic principles The unbreakable laws of time: time always follows basic tenets:

First Law:

“The time required for a task grows when we interrupt and resume it.” Have you noticed this? Have you realized that when you are doing something, leave it, and then come back with it, start from the beginning? It is an ordinary reality of our day today. Interrupting what we are doing is wasting time and efficiency. When you’ve prioritized your tasks and activities, and start with one of them, finish them before moving on to the next. Meet the times and deadlines that you have defined.

Second Law:

“For a short task, there is always a minute. For a long time, there is never time”. People feel good when we “do a lot of things.” This gives us security and a feeling of “duty remains done.” However, the truth is that we do not always do the things we have to do. We do many things, but are they essential? Do we think long term? On the other hand, it is usual that the important thing is precisely that activity that takes us the most time. It is a tedious and almost effortless task. Well, the key is that cost or not, we have to make time for it.

Third Law:

“Every task stays indefinitely delay until it occupies all the time available for its complete performance” (Parkinson). Deadlines are critical to effectiveness. When an activity has no deadline, we tend to put it off indefinitely. We have a common tendency to leave things “until the last day.” It is essential that we define our activities’ deadlines and then plan our work to meet them.

Fourth Law:

“The perfect is not profitable.” On many occasions, we spend too ample time on specific activities to later obtain results that do not justify this time. Perfectionism leads us to waste time since it prevents us from undertaking part of our plans. It is necessary to do things well, with quality, but effectively. Review your performances and spend adequate time on each item to obtain good results.

The weather and its characteristics. Time and its unbreakable laws. We are already learning something more about this fundamental resource’s operation, which will help us improve. Let us now turn to one last important question in the management of our time.

Although we have prioritized and are clear about what we should do throughout our day, many elements appear that make it difficult for us to fulfill our plans. We have measured the time we will spend on each activity and task, and then, wham, something appears and annoys it. These various things distract us and make us less effective are what we call “time thieves.”

The Time Thieves: Root Causes of Inefficiency.

The different factors that appear can be external to us and even be generated by ourselves. There are self-generated and external thieves of time. Let’s see each of these groups below.

Some self-generated time thieves


our organization depends on ourselves. We are owners of our resources and sovereign to make decisions. If we do not define plans and do not organize our tasks, we will hardly obtain the best results. The organization helps develop a more significant number of activities and is a fundamental piece to achieve objectives. Hence, using bullet journaling shorthand is a quicker way to plan and organize your tasks.

Work Style:

our way of understanding work, our daily habits, our individualism, or our constant need for relationships. The way we work influences our effectiveness. Some behaviours steal time and affect performance.

Inability to Say No:

Lack of assertiveness is one of the great thieves of time. What do you do when a colleague or work colleague comes and asks for your help? And when does the next one come? And the next? What do you do when a client or supplier appears that you did not expect and break your work rhythm? The fear of conflict, the fear of transmitting a lousy opinion, in short, the fear of rejection that many people have makes them unable to “say no” to interruptions. Review this question to optimize your results.

Lack of Interest in what we do:

motivation and enthusiasm are essential for good results. If our activities do not interest us, they bore us and awaken all our defense mechanisms. We quickly tend to procrastinate and change tasks. Put enthusiasm in what you do to take advantage of your time. Keep in mind that what you have decided you have to do will help you achieve your goals.

Some external time thieves

Indeed you have experienced some of these “thieves” in your day today. Indeed you have thought at some point, “I don’t own my time.” And this is because fighting and stopping the thieves of time is something complicated. However, you have already learned some concepts that will help you in your management. Remember the following points:


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