Managing Time vs Managing Myself

I was reflecting on the post on my recent trip being Short, But Meaningful and I realized that I’m finally begin to learn and understand the difference between managing time and managing myself.

Managing time appeals to the ‘manager’ within.
Managing myself appeals to the ‘leader’ within.

Managing time, hence, focuses on optimization (eg: Scheduling back to back meetings!).
Managing myself focuses on productivity (eg: ensuring I have food amidst back to back meetings).

Managing time focuses on schedule.
Managing myself focuses on productivity.

Managing time is great for short term i.e. fighting battles (crazy deadline).
Managing myself is great for long term i.e. fighting wars (life!).

Managing time appeals to the elephant (quick wins)
Managing myself appeals to the rider (long term)

Managing time looks to say yes and schedules items into my calendar.
Managing myself looks to say no and strikes things off.

Managing time doesn’t care about bigger priorities.
Managing myself cares about whether I care.

I realized this as I realized that in my earlier short trips, I managed time – pretty well. But failed to manage myself and even ended up falling sick once and that is NOT fun on a vacation.

There is no doubt we need both to function well but I realize it’s vital we make sure we are driven by the leader and not the manager i.e. the leader to schedule and the manager to optimize to get things done instead of the manager scheduling.

I find that to be the difference between being busy and being productive. Also, when we understand elephants and riders, we realize why ‘Managing Time’ triumphs by default.

And given how we are constantly educated about the importance of a good manager (thanks to calendars, meeting invites, conventional time management and the stress on time), I daresay we need a bit of leadership.

Not to lead others. Just to lead ourselves.