Oct. 6, 2020

Why Everybody is Wrong About Time Management

Why Everybody is Wrong About Time Management

Inside this episode of The Systems Made Simple™ Podcast, business systems expert Courtney Elmer shows you why most time management tips are highly ineffective.

Are you frustrated with time management tips that don’t work?

I was too… until I discovered WHY most strategies for time management are highly ineffective, and what to do instead so you have more time on your calendar to do the things you love. 

That's why inside of today's episode, I'm going to show you the only strategies for time management worth keeping, and what strategies for time management to throw out the window altogether! 


  • The TWO types of time, and how to use them to your advantage

  • WHY most strategies for time management don't work

  • The REAL reason the strategies for time management you've tried haven't worked for you

  • How to multiply your hours and start getting more done in less time

Ready to finally experience what it's like to have more time on your calendar and freedom to do what you love? Let's dive in!

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.





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You’re Listening to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, Episode #38! Are you frustrated with strategies for time management that don’t work? I was too, until I discovered WHY so many strategies for time management are ineffective, what you can do instead to finally experience what it’s like to have more time on your calendar to get things done and do the things you love. That’s coming up next, so stay tuned.


Before we jump in, I’ve got to give a shout out to our featured listener of the week: Rene @PureandCoco who says: “Courtney shares tips you can implement right away -- her perspective on life, work, and appreciating the life we have in front of us is so refreshing” This means a lot! Thanks so much for this kind review. Remember! For you listening, when you leave us a 5-star review you’ll get the chance to be featured as our next listener of the week and I’ll give you a shout-out here on the show! 

Have you ever felt like there’s never enough time in a day to get everything done? Finding effective strategies for time management is one of the TOP things that entrepreneurs struggle with. If you were to go around and take a survey, I’m 99.9% certain that 100% percent of entrepreneurs would answer YES. Because chances are, you’ve experienced what it’s like to feel overcommitted and overworked by the overwhelming amount of things your need to do in what little time you have. 

We’re on a mission to help YOU learn how to work less and make more. When it comes to your time and energy, waste less, and have more. My hope is that when you walk away from today's episode, you’ll finally know how to unlock the secret to experiencing more time in your life because you will learn where time itself comes from, why most strategies for time management are ineffective, and the simple steps you can take now to regain control of your calendar and find more hours in your day. 

Now, what’s fascinating about most entrepreneurs is that they are usually VERY skilled at overestimating what they can get done in a day. As an entrepreneur, you’re a visionary. You see a much bigger and broader and far-reaching than what’s in front of you. This is a tremendous gift because it’s what allows you to build something out of nothing, and to create something that wasn’t there before. That’s powerful. The average person doesn’t think like an entrepreneur thinks. In a recent study, the rate of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. was 0.32 percent or just a scant 320 individuals per 100,000 adults. This means you, my friend, are a  rare breed. But before you let that go to your head, listen to what I’m saying. With great power, comes great responsibility. You already know this. And this power, to see and hold a future vision and bring it to life, comes with a shadow side. And that is to overestimate what you can feasibly do in a day. You see the bigger vision… and you want it all NOW.

Here’s what I want you to realize: we all have 24 hours in a day, from Oprah to your Amazon prime delivery man. Do you think the reason Oprah has more time is because she's found some better strategies for time management? Or that your Amazon delivery man delivers more packages in a day because he's better at executing strategies for time management than you are? You get to choose to make time for what's most important to you. But what happens to most entrepreneurs is that instead of choosing the highest-paying, most impactful activities, they fill their time with low-level, low-payoff activities that rob them of their most valuable asset: time itself. And it robs you of something else too, it robs you of your energy, and your focus.

Now, the world offers you one solution: "just learn these strategies for time management" so you can have more of it.

Seems logical enough. So, you go out, looking up new strategies for time management. You might buy a new planner, or try to time block your schedule, or implement different strategies for time management. But what happens? The planner doesn’t work, the time-blocking isn’t effective, the tactics and strategies for time management might work for a little while but they don’t last. So what most people do is they'll go out and try to find new strategies for time management. Well, that one didn't work. Let me try this one instead. But instead of finding more hours in the day, all you wind up with is disappointment. You might wonder why other people seem to have their act together and feel like something must be wrong with you, and you spend more time wondering why you can't seem to find strategies for time management that work for you. 

But my friend, you’re not broken. The real problem is not that you haven’t found any effective strategies for time management. The REAL problem is that the strategy of trying to ‘manage time’ is a broken strategy... and that's why the strategies for time management you've tried haven't worked.

I'll say that again for those in the back… the reason most strategies for time management don’t work is because: “time management” itself is a broken strategy.

Time can't be managed. Time is what it is. You have what you have. Not a second more, not a second less.

So as the visionary, as the leader of your business: what's more important? Worrying about and focusing on how much time you don’t have in a day? Or learning how to utilize the time you DO have to create the bigger impact in the world you want and show up for your audience in the way that they deserve? 

The ones who lie there on their deathbed wishing for more time are the ones who never learned how to work WITH the time they had. 

This is the first problem inherent in this whole idea of time management itself. Time is what it is, you have what you have, and it’s up to you to work WITH the time you have, or against it. You can work IN flow, i.e., in a flow state, or you can go against the flow, forever racing against the clock.

When you focus on what you don’t want, or what you don’t have… what do you create? You create what you don’t want. If you’re always focusing on there never being enough time… guess what you’ll experience in your life? You’ll have the experience of never having enough time. 

This is where so many entrepreneurs give away their power. Saying “I don’t have time” becomes an excuse to RATIONALIZE why they don’t have the RESULTS they want yet. 

You do have the time. 24 hours on the clock per day, just like everyone else. But when you make the mistake of filling your time with low-level, low-payoff activities, you experience the feeling of not having enough time to get to the higher-level, higher-payoff activities. And because your focus and energy is stuck on the time you don’t have, that's how time shows up for you. All the strategies for time management in the world won't help you grow until you really get this.

How you currently think about time is how it will show up for you. If you think you don’t have enough, you’ll experience not having enough. If you think you have plenty of it to get what you need done, you’ll experience having plenty of it. 

So the GOOD NEWS here is that it’s not about finding better strategies for time management… it's simply about you learning how to think about time differently altogether, so that time can start showing up differently for you. 

It’s about you taking complete ownership of the time you DO have, and learn how to use it to your advantage. Not giving your power away by blaming it as the reason for why you don’t have the results you want yet in your life or in your business, but instead taking personal responsibility and learning how to get time back on your side. 

So the question then becomes, not how do I find more effective strategies for time management or make these strategies for time management to work for me, but how do you start utilizing the hours you have in a way that helps you hit the priorities on your list without things falling through the cracks or feeling like you're just running through your day, trying to get everything done.

A good first step is to go back and listen to Episode 36, where I dive into the 3 revenue drivers you should be focusing the majority of your working hours on in your business. And then, listen closely to what I’m about to say next. Because what I’m going to share with you is something very few entrepreneurs realize… even though they’ve likely experienced this phenomenon before. 

Did you know there are TWO types of time? There's Chronos, and there’s Kairos. Chronos is what you’re most familiar with, when you think of time. It’s the clock… the way the clock counts time. At the time that I’m recording this, it’s 3:00pm. An hour from now, it will be 4:00pm. Chronos time is the way you “tell time,” and it’s important in the sense that it can be helpful when you have meetings that are scheduled or you’ve got a haircut appointment or you’ve got somewhere you need to be at a certain time. 

The caveat is that’s about all it’s good for. And the problem most entrepreneurs face is that they get stuck here, thinking this is all there is. It’s what the clock says, and there’s “only” 24 hours in a day, which is why they feel like they never have enough time, because they’re limited to those 24 hours, they’re limited by what the clock says. 

Now, you might not realize that there’s another type of time. You’ve likely had an experience of this type of time before, but you didn’t realize it. This type of time is called Kairos time. This is the kind of time where you reach what we might want to call a flow state… where time passes, and you have no idea how much time just went by because you were so joyfully engrossed in whatever it was you were doing, that it could have been 3 minutes that went by, 30 minutes… 3 hours… you have no idea, and frankly, you don't care. It just went by like you didn't even think about it. Can you think of an experience recently where you were in that flow state, doing an activity you loved. Maybe it was playing a game with your kids. Maybe it was baking or painting or some sort of creativity you love. Maybe it was this experience of sitting down to write an email to your audience, and you thought it was going to be hard but then somehow you got into the rhythm of it and really connected with your ideal client and the words just seemed to flow out of you. It’s like reaching this place where you’re suspended in time, where it stops, and you experience the beauty of living IN THE MOMENT. This is the state most entrepreneurs want to be in every day, but because they’re so focused on what’s happened in the past or worried about the future, and because they’re so focused on the time they don’t have, that it prevents them from living, fully alive, in the present moment. 

Sadly most entrepreneurs have had an experience of this but they don’t know how to access it, how to get there on a daily basis. They’re so focused on how much they have left to do that they spend their time in a race against the clock instead of in a flow state. 

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you’re asking yourself. So if you’re asking yourself: how can I get more done in less time, you’re asking yourself the wrong question, because that’s a question that’s based in Chronos or ‘clock time.’ 

Instead, all you need to be asking yourself is, “how can I spend more time in Kairos? What are the activities that I enjoy that get me into that flow state, and how can I duplicate this EXPERIENCE OF time in other areas of my life?” 

Sure, the clock might say one thing. But it’s your experience of the clock that will determine how you’re experiencing time itself. 

The more you spend in Kairos, and the less you spend worrying about Chronos, or clock time, the more you'll be able to get done in a day, the more accomplished you'll feel when you put your head on the pillow at night. And the easier and more effortless it will feel to actually tackle the things on your list.

Wouldn’t you rather spend your hours in that flow state, and know how to access it more often vs. feeling like you’re always racing against the clock? If your answer is yes, then let’s continue, because now I imagine you’re asking, ok Courtney but HOW do I access this flow state more often? How do I spend more time in Kairos vs Chronos?! Where do I start? What’s the first step I need to take? 

Accessing this flow state is not about implementing the best strategies for time management. You’ve already learned that is a limited perspective to operate from because it limits you to what the clock says, it limits you to those 24 hours on the clock every day. 

The key difference between those entrepreneurs who are always racing against the clock vs those who operate in that flow state is really simple. Those entrepreneurs who operate from that flow state don’t try to manage time at all. They focus instead on managing their ENERGY. 

Unlike time, your energy and your emotional state is something you have COMPLETE control over. You know when you feel tired, or run down. You know when you feel alive and energized. You know when you’re feeling sad, or happy, or confident, or bold. You can close your eyes at any moment and ask yourself, “how am I feeling right now?” in order to get a read on where your energy is at any given moment. So throw out all those strategies for time management you've tried, and focus instead on becoming a master of managing your energy.

Those entrepreneurs who succeed in business, those who start from zero and go on to have massive success and create multi 6 and 7 figure businesses, aren't successful because they've found some ground-breaking strategies for time management. Those who have become masters at managing their energy and managing their emotional state.

Now, learning how to do this is something we teach our students inside of our programs like the Visionary Leader Incubator™ because learning how to do this is ESSENTIAL to your ability to reach the next level in your business AND to avoid burnout along the way. 

What breaks my heart is seeing entrepreneurs like you, with a huge vision, with a huge heart and a huge desire to help people and make the world a better place, burn out along the path to their dreams, because they don’t know how to manage their energy well. They either think it's all about time management, and because the strategies for time management they've tried aren't working, they think something is wrong with them, which couldn't be further from the truth. Or, when they think of 'energy management' they think it means self-care; taking care of themselves and working as hard as they can to build their business as quickly as possible so that they can relax and enjoy their success, but they have it all wrong. Managing your energy has absolutely nothing to do with the trendy self-care movement you see across social media today, it has nothing to do with how successful you are with strategies for time management, or fast your business grows, and it has everything to do with how attuned you are to your biggest opportunities for improvement both in your life and in your business, and how committed you are to seizing those opportunities to grow, to do the real work, the inner work, the mindset work, that matters.   that’s where things become effortLESS… and when you hear me talking about becoming a true Visionary Leader, that’s what I mean. It’s about learning to think like highly successful entrepreneurs think so that you can start creating the same kind of results that the other highly successful entrepreneurs you look up to are out there creating.

By the way… I did a video on this topic of Kairos vs. Chronos recently over on my IGTV channel, so speaking of effective strategies for time management, if you want to learn one more top-secret way to multiply your time, then head over there, check it out the video, and share your biggest takeaway in the comments with me there. And just for fun, share a strategy for time management with me that you're throwing out the window from now on! I’d love to see your name in my notifications and show you some love!

Make sure you share this show with your friends who are struggling to find good strategies for time management too, and tell them that coming up next week we’ve got a special guest who is going to show you how to tap more deeply into your audience’s pain points, nurture them in a way that keeps them coming back for more, and scale to 6 figures simply by learning what numbers to track in your business, YES -- even if you believe you’re not good at math! I'll see you back here next time, until then go live YOUR EffortLESS Life®.