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We can’t control time but we can certainly control our attention. Hence, attention-management skills are critical to taking back control of your life. This analysis has been based on the best and most practical time-management guidelines.

It’s been said: “ Set your agenda, state your priorities, and communicate them throughout your organization.”

O.K., that’s been done, but what if people have a different understanding and value of the priorities?

Here is where things get quite complicated, especially if the whole process, i.e., agenda setting, priorities stating, and communication, are done within a bureaucracy!

You see, the real culprit in poor time-management is not the time or the process in itself, but the environment within which it takes place. In other words, our lack of attention!

Regardless of our attention, though, it does very little to assess a meeting’s efficiency and effectiveness if, afterward, the bureaucratic structure takes over, in fact, this only creates further frustration, cynicism, and apathy.

To require business cases for projects sounds like a very good idea, and it is. However, to do so within a bureaucratic structure defeats the whole purpose of learning from it, creating further frustration and stress.

Delegating authority for time investment, requiring meeting approval, reducing default time, and limiting attendees are also valuable guidelines but, once again, only if all this takes place within a participative democracy. Within the typical bureaucracy….. well, you must already know the outcome!

Standardizing decision rights, establishing meeting discipline, and providing feedback, could also contribute to better time management but only if exercised within a non-dominant hierarchy or tropophilic organizational structure. It is obvious that we can’t manage what we don’t measure but measuring within a bureaucratic structure is a self-defeating exercise, in other words, the “cure” is worse than the “malady.”

So, based on the fact that time management is deeply entrenched in cultural norms, in order to truly achieve best time-management practices and sustain them, you must first simplify your meetings and your organization!

By transforming the restrictive and tropophobic nature of your organizational structure, you will, by default, create an organizational environment conducive to fully focused and mindful work. When you are laser-focused and fully absorbed in a task, you are disengaged from your sense of self and work become effortless and fluid. This flow state happens when your organization is on a Tropophilic path.

To the Health of Your Time Management!

JC Wandemberg Ph.D.

President & Founder

Sustainable Systems International

About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant, stocks trader, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.

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