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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Where Lists Fall Short - Breathing Space Blog

Lists of time management tips can leave me cold. The notion that merely following some set of guidelines without understanding the magnitude of the situation relegates any such list, however important, to the status of a temporary fix that will soon lose potency.

Understanding the "why" has an impact for those who are willing to make significant and lasting headway on the issue. Otherwise, you're continually attempting to put out brush fires as they appear. Consequently, there is no enduring list of "ten all-purpose ways" to fight terrorism.

With information management, or time management, for that matter, however satisfying such lists may be, ultimately they fall by the wayside. As a case in point, virtually every career professional has read at least one time management book and many articles, and all have encountered time management tips in list form. Yet virtually everyone remains continually pressed for time.

So, is the solution to retrieve one's list and apply it more diligently? Or would a more sound approach be to understand the pervasive nature of time pressure, to take a big picture look at one's life and career, and begin to creatively address situations? I would opt for the latter every time!

Still, we all like lists, though, in five to seven days, most people will not even be able to *find* whatever list you give them, however valuable they regarded it at one time. It is far better to strive to attain understanding of the issue than it is to add yet another list to the one's personal "collection." The best of both worlds might be to strive for understanding, then apply some guidelines from a list.

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Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, Executive Director -- Breathing Space Institute  © 2019
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