Getting things done with internal time management involves the mind, while external time management is more concerned with procedures and methods, organizing and other external and environmental factors.
When it comes to getting things done, the brain has a mind of its own. Your intentions are real and your “surface commitments” are sincere: but your actions often conflict with your plans.
For centuries people have been attempting to increase personal productivity through environmental changes, improved work methods and technology. But unless technology can also do the thinking – including planning and organizing – and generate the will-power, self-discipline, impulse control and other human characteristics that are essential to actually getting things done, we will make little progress.
Technology, for example, increases efficiency in methods; but decreases the effectiveness in minds. Improper use of digital technology is like walking up a “down” escalator. The faster the escalator moves downward, the faster we have to move upwards just to stay where we are. Progress remains the same.
The new battlefield for personal productivity is not on the shop floor or in the office cubicle; it’s in the brain. In this digital age of speed, our internal assets such as attention span, self-control, focus, creativity and problem-solving skills are under attack. Internal time management is the process of harnessing the benefits of technology while defusing its negative impact on our cognitive skills, and more effectively using our minds to improve our personal productivity.
These newer tactics are discussed in our holistic time management workshops.