Time Management: The Psychology of Time Management

11/03/2023by dang tin0

The Psychology of Time Management

HOW YOU THINK and feel about yourself largely determines the quality of your life, and the emotional core of your personality is your self-esteem, defined as “how much you like yourself.” Your self-esteem is largely determined by the way you use your life and time in the development of your full potential. Your self-esteem increases when you are working efficiently, and your self-esteem goes down when you are not.
The flip side of the coin of self-esteem is called “self-efficacy,” defined as the degree to which you feel you are competent, capable, and productive, able to solve your problems, do your work, and achieve your goals. The more competent, capable, and productive you feel, the higher your self-esteem. The higher your self-esteem, the more productive and capable you will be. Each one supports and reinforces the other. People who manage their time well feel positive, confident, and in charge of their lives.

The Law of Control

The psychology of time management is based on a simple principle called the Law of Control. This law says that you feel good about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life. This law also says that you feel negative about yourself to the degree to which you feel that you are not in control of your own life or work.
Psychologists refer to the difference between an internal locus of control, where you feel that you are the master of your destiny, and an external locus of control, where you feel that you are controlled by circumstances outside yourself. When you have an external locus of control, you feel that you are controlled by your boss and your bills, and by the pressure of your work and responsibilities. You feel that you have too much to do in too little time and that you are not really in charge of your time and your life. Most of what you are doing, hour after hour, is reacting and responding to external events.

There is a big difference between action which is self determined and goal-directed and reaction, which is an immediate response to external pressure. It’s the difference between feeling positive and in control of your life and feeling negative, stressed, and pressured. To perform at your best, you must have a strong feeling of control in the important areas of your business and personal life.

Your Thoughts and Feelings

In psychological terms, each person has a self-concept, an internal master program that regulates his behavior in every important area of life. People with a high self-concept regarding time management see themselves and think about themselves as being well-organized and productive. They are very much in charge of their lives and their work. Your self-concept is made up of all of your ideas, pictures, images, and especially your beliefs about yourself, especially regarding the way you manage your time. Some people believe themselves to be extremely well-organized and efficient. Others feel continuously overwhelmed by the demands of other people and circumstances.

Beliefs Become Realities

What are your beliefs about yourself and your ability to manage your own time? Do you see yourself and think about yourself as a highly efficient and effective time manager? Do you believe you are highly productive and in complete control of your life and your work? Whatever your belief, if you think of yourself as an excellent time manager, you will naturally do those things that are consistent with that belief.

Because your self-concept causes you to continually strive for consistency between the person you see yourself as, on the inside, and the way you perform on the outside, if you believe you manage your time well, you will be a good time manager.

You can take all of the courses on time management, read all the books, and practice the various systems, but if you perceive yourself as being a poor time manager, nothing will help. If you have developed the habit of being late for meetings and appointments, or you believe that you are a disorganized person, those habits become your automatic behavior. If you do not change your beliefs about your levels of effectiveness and efficiency, your ability to manage your time will not change, either.

Make a Decision

How do you develop new, positive beliefs about yourself and your level of personal productivity? Fortunately, it is not difficult. You simply use the four Ds: desire, decisiveness, determination, and discipline. Most importantly, make a decision to develop a specific time management habit, like being early for every meeting for the foreseeable future. Every change in your life comes about when you make a clear, unequivocal decision to do something differently. Making the decision to become an excellent time manager is the first major step.

Program Your Mind

Once you have made the decision to become a highly productive person, there are a series of personal programming techniques that you can practice.

The first is to change your inner dialogue. Ninety-five percent of your emotions, and your eventual actions, are determined by the way that you talk to yourself most of the time. Repeat to yourself, “I am well organized and highly productive.” Whenever you feel overwhelmed with too much work, take a time-out and say to yourself, “I am well orga- nized and highly productive.”

Affirm over and over to yourself that “I am an excellent time manager.” If people ask you about your time usage, tell them “I am an excellent time manager.” Whenever you say that “I am well organized,” your subconscious accepts these words as a command and begins to motivate and drive you toward actually becoming well organized in your behaviors.

Visualize Yourself as You Want to Be

The second way to transform your behaviors is to visualize yourself as an excellent time manager. See yourself as orga – nized, efficient, and in control of your life. Remember, the person you “see” on the inside is the person you will “be” on the outside. If you are already a well-organized and highly productive person, how would you behave differently? What would be different from the way you behave today? Create a picture of yourself as calm, confident, highly efficient, more relaxed, and able to complete large amounts of work in a short period of time. Imagine what a highly productive person would look like. Would the person’s desk be clear and tidy? Would the person appear unhurried and unstressed? Create a clear mental picture of yourself as a person who is in control of his time and life.

Act “As If”

The third way to program yourself is to act “as if” you were already a good time manager. Think of yourself as being well organized in everything you do. If you were already excellent in time management, how would you behave? What would you be doing differently? With regard to your time and per- sonal productivity, what would be different from the way you do things now?
Interestingly enough, even if you do not think that you are a good time manager today, but nonetheless you pretend that you already are, these actions will generate a feeling of personal efficiency. You can actually change your actions, habits, and behavior when you “fake it until you make it.”

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