One of the great ironies of reading about time management and procrastination is that doing so can take up a lot of time. This is true whether that comes from reading a book or browsing websites such as this. And, therefore the less time you have to do the things you want to achieve. Whilst reading is an important part of learning how to do something eventually you must knuckle down and take some action, otherwise you remain stuck where you are. One of the most effective time management strategies is to limit the time you spend each day on ‘research’.
This “theory” seems to be equally as valid when applied to other endeavors. For example, since starting this blog I’ve developed a bit of an interest in Internet marketing – basically looking for ways I can use my site (and the presence I am building online) to bring in some extra cash each week that can be used for things like holidays, presents, unexpected emergencies etc.
The Internet marketing industry is very similar to the self-help one; there are an endless number of blogs, websites, and discussion boards that are all sharing information of varying quality and usefulness that is marketed to help you make more money with your online endeavors. Whatever your question may be, you will be able to find an answer (or at least a very heated discussion) on one of these websites.
One of the things I’ve noticed very quickly from reading these websites – especially discussion boards/forums – is that the vast majority of people there are serial information consumers. They spend what I can only imagine to be a considerable amount of time reading about making money online … in the hope that they will stumble upon a “gold nugget” of info that will lead them to making big bucks with little effort. This leads to months and years of amassing information in the hope that this ‘nugget’ will appear.
In the meantime, there are people out there who find an Internet marketing method that works (or at least sounds plausible enough to work). Oftentimes this just means going for a tried and true method, such as setting up a blog in a popular niche in order to sell affiliate products, or selling services online on a website like Fiverr. These types of people grind away, even if their methods are not the most efficient or well-thought-out. But, in the end, their hard work results in at least modest success; whereas those who have spent all their time reading about Internet marketing have brains swollen with knowledge, and nothing fiduciary to show for it!
It’s just the same as people who spend more time reading about gym routines, supplements, and training advice than actually getting in the gym and doing the hard yards. Invariably, these people are shown up by those who might pursue a less sophisticated or well-researched training system, but who train with intensity, frequency, and a strong desire to get top results.
The moral of the story? Don’t become a time management academic – someone who knows all the theoretical strategies and techniques, but who spends so much time learning them that they are never left with the ability to actually take action.
Instead, be a time management philistine. Even if your approach to getting things done is using brute force and tenacity to succeed, it’s better to be like this than to have all the knowledge in the world but no capability to deploy it effectively.
In most of life’s endeavors – including time management – there are two groups of people: The learners and the doers. You want to be the latter, not the former.
All the knowledge in the world is meaningless without results.
And the only way to get results is to take some action! Anything is better than doing nothing to improve your situation.