A lawyer I coach told me he had heard a sales seminar where the presenter said “time management is a waste of time.”
The lawyer asked what I thought. Here is how I replied:
Interesting. I did a Google search and saw this article: How Managing Your Time Is a Waste of Time. I noted the writer said:
It’s the compulsive aspect I find problematic. Our national obsession with self-improvement and personal productivity bears remarkable similarities to the self-help genre and our endless pursuit of quick fixes, miracle cures and wonder pills.
I don’t view time management or pursuing excellence to be an “endless pursuit of quick fixes, miracle cures and wonder pills.” If anything it is the opposite of a quick fix.
Then I saw this article by a guy who said he used to think time management is a waste of time: How To Get More Done: Time Management For The Rest Of Us. He says:
I now rank everything that is important to me–both professionally and personally–on one piece of paper. They are the most important things I want to accomplish written done in list form.
I personally feel I am better able to focus on my top priorities by doing what he suggests.
To me, saying time management is a waste of time is similar to saying creating a business plan is a waste of time. Some successful lawyers in my old firm told me they didn’t need a business plan. They kept their plan in their head. I suspect they did not want anyone able to judge whether they were doing what they put in their plan. I wondered how much better they might have done simply by thinking through a plan and putting it on paper. if they thought through a plan and used their non-billable time more wisely.
Time and energy are our two most important resources and I don’t think we can waste either.
One final point: I frequently hear from lawyers that they have been really, really busy and have not had the time to do client development. Unless they are in trial and spending 12 hours a day 7 days a week working on the trial, I don’t believe their lack of client development is because of a lack of time. Instead I believe it is because they don’t have a strong enough motivation to cause them to “make” time for client development.
What do you think?