Behavioral psychologist Chantal van der Leest examines our behavior in the workplace: who or what determines our daily decisions? Today: time management
In our home, the adage ‘never walk empty-handed’ used to apply. There were always books, clean laundry or toys on the stairs. If you do walk up, you might as well take that with you. Smart. No wonder that even as an adult I was still very much concerned with how to do as much as possible in as little time as possible. I ate time management tips, made extensive lists and schedules and felt guilty sitting on a train without reading an informative book.
The weird thing was, the more efficient I got, the worse I felt. I was extremely busy. I knew I was doing really well, but I still felt like I was never doing enough. And to be honest, I mainly got stress from being busy all the time and having to run. When would I start to feel better?
According to business psychologist Tony Crabbe, you will never find happiness in working harder. We are all in a rat race in which one does more than the other and the chance that you will win that race is quite small. His suggestion is to simply not participate anymore. I try to apply his theory to my bulging digital bookcase. No less than 387 books are eager to read. And that while I’ve only read 334 books in my life, about 11 a year.
We are all in a rat race in which one does more than the other and the chance that you will win that race is quite small
So it’s time to kick things up a notch. What I could do is take a speed-reading class, trade in all the fidgeting time for reading time, or subscribe to a podcast that offers summaries of popular management books. But Crabbe points me in his book Never too busy again on an obvious solution. Forget about time management, don’t try to do everything, make a choice. We live in a world of abundance, there is always too much to do. If you’re too busy, it’s because you’re too lazy to choose, he suggests.
But how do you choose? We are often guided by what we think others expect of us, or what you ‘should’ do. You would rather spend more time on fewer things. Think about what really matters to you and what makes you happy.
Want to know more about psychology and work? Read Chantal’s books Why Perfectionists Are Rarely Happy, 13 Tips Against Perfectionism (2021) and Our Fallible Thinking at Work (2018).
Watch all our work and career videos here:
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.