If you Google “time management hacks,” you will receive 1.4M search results, meaning you can spend the rest of your life reading about how to save time. If you are not familiar with the term, “time hacking” often refers to experimenting with your approach to life, schedules, and time management to ensure you are finding as much time as possible for what is most important. From rising early to using “time hacking tools,” advice abounds. Yet the sheer number of articles about “hacking your time” shows the hacks are not always helpful. If they were, why would we need more and more advice? So here are three reasons time hacks are not working.
1. Time hacks don’t help when you are focused on the wrong things.
If you are focused on the wrong things, it matters little if you are “hacking” to maximize time devoted to those things. If you get better at time management but deploy your time toward things that matter very little, your time management is ultimately a waste of time.
2. Time hacks don’t help if you are focused on too many things.
If you are focused on a myriad of initiatives or tasks and you “hack your time” to free up an extra 45 minutes a day, you have only found a few moments for each of the things you are focused on. Better time management is meaningless if you lack the discipline to focus on the most important things.
3. Time hacks don’t help if you are focused on efficiency, not effectiveness.
Peter Drucker said “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” You can be both effective and efficient, but don’t fret over efficiency so much that you take your eyes off of effectiveness.
If you are focused on the most important things and care about effectiveness in those things, then hack away. If not, hacks won’t help much.