For some time now, I have been coaching and consulting on personal leadership. Some of the topics that we cover in our private groups are time management, goal setting, personal missions, leadership, overcoming limiting beliefs and inside-out techniques for the development of the self. The most popular topic that appears in initial conversations regards our ability to manage and use time to reach our goals. People reach out to me asking for mentoring on time management, but while time management is easy to schedule and conceptualize, it can be extremely hard to follow with consistency if you do not have the right techniques and you skip the inner work.

So what is time management, without commitment? It is an exercise in frustration.

Feeling like your life just passes by, and you are accomplishing absolutely nothing. Depending on your priorities, this frustration can take on many forms: not enough time with family, not traveling, not building your business, not getting that promotion, etc.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Here are the complaints that I hear often in my consulting practice:

  •  “I do not have enough time”
  • “Time flies and I cannot get anything done”
  • “Only if… (Insert situation) is (insert any word), I would be able to (insert dream)”

They swear they have a time management problem, when in fact they have a commitment problem

Time Management – Commitment = Frustration. 

If you went ahead and previously scheduled that task on your calendar…. Why can’t you just get it done? You lack commitment and you haven’t properly identified the catalyst that generates that lack of commitment.

Limiting beliefs may manifest themselves in day to day life as “being too busy.”

Being too busy allows us to escape from dealing with our priorities, and allows us not to commit.

When someone who has the time to get things done comes to me with these type of complaints, I coach them to find the real root of the problem. Where does their commitment get derailed?

Here are two steps you can take today to identify what is getting on the way of your productivity:

Step 1: Identify if you are feeling you are not enough

Feeling that you are not enough may manifest itself as transparent as you have a conscious thought that you are not capable of completing a task, or it might be in a disguise thought, as needing external validation.

You may aim for those extrinsic motivators, but you have to be careful and never attach them to your identity or self-worth. Many times this lack of time issue is just a result of their limiting beliefs or feelings of “not being enough.” They may think that they are not (experienced, intelligent, beautiful, bold …insert alternative limiting thought here), enough … to take that next, big step that could potentially change their lives for the better.

These steps might be:

  • Not going “all in” on your new business, because you (subconsciously or consciously) think you lack experience and feel the need to be prepared to bounce back to corporate America.
  • Not applying for a degree/job, because you (subconsciously or consciously) think you are not smart/experienced enough to be accepted.
  • Not prioritizing the things that need to be done in a given week.

Over and over we are trained to treat the symptoms, and not the problem.

Step 2: Eliminate the “root cause” of your time management issue

If the problem is lack of time, let’s find the underlying problem, whatever your subconscious has been storing for quite some time. Our subconscious mind stores all of these recordings of limiting beliefs that sometimes generations of family members have been carrying around. You might be in the business of self-sabotaging without even realizing it. These thoughts may creep in and derail that train to success or happiness at any moment and any serious attempt at personal leadership development like time management, will be an exercise in futility. 

Next time you experience the feeling of lacking time, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I really lack the time to do this?
  • Is what I am doing consistent with my personal mission?
  • Did I choose to do this, or do I feel like I have to do this? (If you feel like you “have to” this comes from a lack of “enough-ness”)

If you feel like you choose to do this, then make the environment fun so that you can enjoy the process.

If you feel like you have to do this, ask yourself why do you feel like you have to do this? Are you doing this to validate your worth? Are you doing this to procrastinate or avoid doing something else that should be your first priority?

Check your priorities, have they changed during the last 5 years? If so, how are you making your actions consistent with new priorities?

You will be fascinated with your answers. Be raw, vulnerable and open with yourself. You will always lose the battle if you are fighting the wrong opponent.

Your problem is not time management, it is your lack of commitment rooted in a limited belief. So, first try to identify the potential limiting beliefs, or that inner voice that inserts doubt and fear and put those usually irrational and destructive thoughts through the test of logic. When you realize that you are enough, you can do this, your priorities and values are aligned, your personal mission is well-defined and your “inner-work” has been addressed, the confidence and clarity you feel will feed your commitment and you will manage time to your immense benefit.

Formula: Time Management (tool) + Commitment = Success