Time management training programs are generally built on two myths. Firstly, that ‘your’ time goes somewhere special (in the sense that you've lost it) and secondly, that with a little help from the program creators, you will find more time and be able to conquer the world. Both of these claims are simply ridiculous.

The cold hard facts are that your time is not so special or clever that it is capable of hiding out in some exotic location, nor is anyone capable of giving you more time.

Time does not discriminate. Each of us gets a standard 24 hours every day, which does not ‘drag’, ‘fly’, or ‘stand still’. It is constant and irreversible for every single one of us. Once wasted, it can never be regained.

So if it is not possible to find more time, why would anyone bother with time management training? Because we could all do things better and more efficiently than we currently do. The Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule as it is more commonly known, says that 80% of our accomplishments come from only 20% of our efforts. This means that 20% of our accomplishments are consuming 80% of our effort. Engaging in good personal management practice will not only help you to make that 80% of your effort more productive, it will reduce your stress levels by releasing your pressure valve.

So how do we make better use of the time we have? Is it as simple as keeping a diary and to do list? Of course not, although they are useful pieces of the puzzle. Making better use of your time is like engaging in a 12 step program. Today you master prioritizing, tomorrow goal setting and delegating. My favourite light bulb moment in terms of time management is that ‘you don’t need to feel like doing something in order to do it’. Really?

From an organization's point of view, time management training is crucial. 72 million working hours are lost each week in Britain and 275 million working hour are lost each week in America (Australian statistics not currently available).

It is estimated by salary.com that time wasting
costs corporate America $759 billion a year.

That is roughly equivalent to the GDP of The Netherlands.

Time management training should be viewed as an investment in your organizations people and bottom line, as the two are intrinsically linked. If you could halve the current time waste in your organization you could literally add zeros to your bottom line financials. But remember, steer clear of all training that make the big claims that they can find you more time, or recover those few hours you lost in 1987. You need real and practical ‘how to’ solutions to make sure your organization can maximize your most valuable resource – your people.

Anyway - that’s what we think.