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The Difference in Time Management and Me Management

Most people don’t really have a problem with time management. They have a problem with “me management.” Time management is easy, “me management” is what’s difficult.

Time management is putting all of your appointments on your calendar. That’s an easy, straightforward task that no one has a real problem completing.

“Me management,” on the other hand is the part where you make your prospecting calls to schedule those appointments. Getting yourself to make your calls is “me management,” not time management.

“Me management” is also saying no to the things that you are asked to do that aren’t really aligned with your goals. “Me management” is how you keep from getting so overcommitted.

Time management is carving out an hour a day to respond to your email. Okay, maybe two hours in extreme cases.

“Me management” is the ability to leave your email program closed during the first two hours of your day so that you can focus on your highest priorities. “Me management” is the ability to turn off email and other distractions while you grind out your real work, including the Internet and all of your social site distractions.

Time management is scheduling time with your team to help them produce better results, to grow, and to develop. It’s one of the most valuable investments of time you can make, as long as you give it your full attention and focus.

“Me management” is shutting the laptop lid, turning off the phone, and giving the person you are working with your full, undivided attention. “Me management” is giving them the coaching and growth opportunity they need, and not giving them the easy answer so you can be efficient.

Time management is setting aside time for life, like dinner with the family, exercising, decompressing, and reading something worthwhile. These things are easy because they are so enjoyable. Why don’t we invest more time there? Because we have “me management” problems.

“Me management” is the ability to set the work aside long enough to make a meaningful life.


Do you have a time management problem or a “me management” problem?

Which of your biggest time management problems is really a “me management” problem masquerading as a time management problem?

How could you develop the self-discipline to eliminate your “me management” challenges?

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  • Rajiv Kumar Luv

    Ti / Me Management that was an interesting way to look at Time Management. Thanks for sharing.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Rajiv!

  • Leanne Hoagland-Smith

    Actually time management is an oxymoron as no one can manage time because time is a constant. As you shared and I have shared with my client for years, this is an issue of self-management or me management. Actually, I prefer the phrase of time strategies instead of time management.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

  • Carol Lynn Rivera

    Interesting take and I see that I’m the problem here… :)

    Seems like me-management is more about the discipline and self-control that keeps time scheduling on track. So it may be awesome that I’ve slotted off 2 hours for “write blog post” but if I keep peeking at Facebook the whole time that’s not exactly productive.

    I like this perspective. It’s always good to wake up a little and consider what’s really happening in our business lives!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Carol: we are each our own biggest problem.

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  • AmyMccTobin

    The biggest challenge I have AND experience with others is determined listening. Turning off the cell phone, shutting down the computer, and just having a sincere conversation – it’s why I like lunch meetings. No computers, and cell phones off. Real people.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Shut. The. Laptop. Lid.

      Turn. Off. The. Damn. Phone.

      I know. It stings.

      • AmyMccTobin

        Nope…it’s what makes great sales.

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  • Diana Schneidman

    Anthony, I love your distinction between time management and me management. I’m great at time management. In fact, I’m so superb at time management that I torpedo my me management.

    My special fondness is my Franklin Planner and putting X’s by the items I have finished. Sometimes this activity interferes with my getting the real work done.


    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      My list seems to multiply, Diana. It seems that crossing an item off causes three more to appear.

  • Amber King

    Another wonderful article Anthony. The two should work together. For me, me management is more important. One should know how to get off that chair, out of the office and turning off that phone.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Amber!

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  • Sheri Bruneau

    This is a great post Anthony! I love the term ‘me management’! I will definitely be sharing this!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Sheri! Please do!

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  • Carmen Johnson


  • Mcpadden

    How do I commit to Me Management?