Tons of ink in the literature of the Personal Development, Self Growth genre is dedicated to the problem, analysis and solution for time management.

From prioritizing and scheduling to accountability measures, countless publications have weighed in on the fruit that awaits all who sow the time management seed.

I really don’t think time can be managed. Not unless we have the power to stop the heavenly bodies from moving in their orbits and the seasons from changing.
Time management as a concept is in itself- stress inducing. It makes the clock the focus of our attention and the measure of our productivity. Placing a psychological wedge between us and our personal power.

A more helpful approach to getting the most out of our day and the time available to us, is to adapt systems to manage our energy and focus.

These are resources we have greater control over. We are able to manage our intensity of effort and our attention to task.

We can still use the clock as a tool to assist us in achieving our desired ends, without being at the mercy of it’s Tick-Tock-Tic.

The emphasis on focus and energy also serves to unveil the higher reality of self improvement activities.
The activities and concepts presently covered by the personal development or self improvement umbrella, anciently could be found in the literature and schools of spiritual discipline. The training and management of energy and consciousness are directly related to the body, spirit and soul training of the mystics, shaman and saints of old.

This re-framing of so-called time management work, serves to place us in the psycho-lineage of the ancient self improvement masters. Thus opening the way to tremendous resources in the arts and science of human potential.

You shall eat of any tree in the garden, except . . . .
It is known by all those initiated in the esoteric traditions that the oft mentioned straight path of the scriptures, the path of the rightly guided, is the path of focused attention.

Developing the ability to focus on the task at hand, for a significant length of time, is in a seed stage in children – about 5 minutes, and increases as we mature. By adulthood, most of us have a sustained attentions span of about 20 minutes.

It is very difficult to maintain focus on the straight path, while being bombarded with distracting stimuli. In our present high tech communications environment this could be a problem for many.

We are never out of reach of those petitioning for our attention.
From print media, television, radio and email to web browsing, cell phones, pda’s and iPod’s. And this does not include actual close encounters of the first kind: co-workers, clients, suppliers, friends, family, children, spouse. Need I go on?

How do we guard against being lured into eating the forbidden fruit of distraction, that if unchecked, can reduce us to the level of mere pawns in the game of life? The suggestions below are a good place to start.

5 Tips To Cultivate Your Power of Attention
1. Learn basic meditation technique and practice everyday.
Work your way up to a minimum of 20 minutes of uninterrupted practice.

2. Keep a notepad near you when working on a task.
Whenever you get distracted, write down what your distraction was; ie. relationship, finances, career, health, etc. Set aside time to address this issue. Resolve it or begin the process of resolving it, to the best of your ability.

3. Learn an internal movement or internal martial art.
The internal arts place a great emphasis on being in the moment (attentive) while engaged in activity. Find a class or private trainer in Tai Chi, Ba Gua, Xing Yi, Chi Kung, Yoga, Yara and certain dance forms.

These arts are both mindful and strenuous without being brutal on the body. Get your exercise in while developing your attention. Two birds, one stone!

4. Learn to acknowledge when you have lost your focus and bring your self back.
The mind can be very much like a wild animal that needs to be tamed. Allow it time to roam free, explore and graze. But when it’s time to work. You take the reigns and direct it’s motion.

5. Resolve outstanding emotional issues promptly.
Emotional energy is a Goliath that thought energy can not meet head on. If you deny emotional blockages their due, they will most certainly manifest in some other form (disease, depression, distraction, fatigue, loss of creativity or mental capacity).

Address the elephant in the room before she/he wrecks the furniture or the entire house. Practice emotional Akido.

Author's Bio: 

Kazi is Chief Lifestyle Officer at My Body Temple-Lifestyle and Fitness Coaching. Kazi is Lifestyle Coach, Personal Trainer and Massage Therapist servicing Central New Jersey as a mobile practitioner.

Kazi's presentations amd workshops allow kindred spirits to discover and evolve their personal self-healing lifestyle in a supportive and encouraging environment.