time management

Why Traditional Time Management Theories Aren’t Working for You

February 20, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s Not You – It’s Them: Why Traditional Time Management Doesn’t Always Work

Have you ever wondered why all those time management and productivity “hacks” don’t work for you? It’s not you – it’s them! You don’t need to get up earlier and force yourself into focus mode. Or buy another planner and fancy pens.

It’s time we drop the ball on traditional time management theories.

I know, I know, a time management coach saying this probably sounds kind of weird. But I’m not exactly saying every piece of time management advice you’ve heard should just be tossed to the wayside.

But the problem is that these “established” modes of time management don’t take into account modern work and life. Many of those theories were created in the 60s and 70s by men, who probably had a team helping them with their ideas (and a wife at home helping them with their kids).

Why they don’t always work

Today, we have dual-income households managing work, kids’ schedules, family support, and self-care…. All the things. If you’re a single parent or you have other responsibilities, this just adds to your mental and physical workload. Those old time management theories haven’t taken all of that into account.

Even more modern theories and time management strategies don’t help us feel more productive or balanced. They just make us feel like we have to do more, more, more. That’s because they don’t get to the root of the issue — they’re too surface-level to make a lasting impact and create habits that stick. 

If you’re tired of time management books telling you to prioritize your work using a specific matrix or hearing that a 5 am wake-up call is the only way to get it all done… I’m about to offer something new. 

Let’s lead with HEART

Let me cut to the chase: If your time management tips aren’t helping you do more of what matters to YOU, they’re pointless. While we all want to be productive, contributing members of society, we also want to have time for the things that matter to us, like spending time with family, taking care of our bodies, and doing something besides working or laundry. 

This is why my time management theory is all about HEART, which stands for

  • H for Habits – cultivating good habits
  • E for Energy – harnessing your energy 
  • A for Attention – focusing your attention
  • R for Recharge – rest, recreation, and relationships
  • T for Time Management

The HEART method is something I came up with on my own time management journey and is basically just a way to direct your time management so that it puts all of your values first. And it has three steps!

HEART Method Step #1: Let your values guide your time 

This is so important for figuring out what matters to you. Create a vision for your future…what does it look like? Define your core values from there. 

When you know where you want to go, you’ve got an amazing foundation in place that everything else you’re doing can stem from. You’ll know what to say yes to, what to say no to, and what deserves your time.

HEART Method Step #2: Create a plan

Start goal setting, and then break those goals down into smaller steps so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Good time management takes having a vision and partnering them with your values to work. 

For example, it’s been one of my biggest dreams to write a book about time management (you can preorder it now!). I want to be a traditionally published author with a major publishing house to share a message of purposeful productivity on a bigger level.

But writing and publishing a book is definitely not something that happens overnight! So I had to break it down into smaller steps and adapt a few things based on my values. I had to learn about what it takes to write a book. Then learn about what goes into book proposals. Then outline a book proposal. All the things!

And without doing this, I wouldn’t have been able to write a book (which I actually did — Time Management Essentials hits shelves June 2023!). 

HEART Method Step #3: Live each day with HEART

Okay, this isn’t just another cheesy mantra from a poster in a yoga studio. Remember, HEART is an acronym that stands for…

  • H for Habits – cultivating good habits
  • E for Energy – harnessing your energy 
  • A for Attention – focusing your attention
  • R for Recharge – rest, recreation, and relationships
  • T for Time Management

These are the key ingredients for being productive with a purpose! That’s it!

Remove the frameworks and strategies that don’t work

When we try to shoehorn time management methods to fit our lives and work without really thinking about how we want our lives and work to look, nobody wins. Some strategies may work for you, while they don’t work for another. 

The main difference isn’t brains or “hustle” or any of that. It’s values. If you value having more time with your family on a weeknight, you’re not going to use a productivity tool that has you working til 7pm. If you value travel, you’re going to choose strategies that help you work hard to make room for those trips.

You get the idea. It’s all about HEART, and leading with yours!

The HEART Method

If you’d like to learn more about the HEART Method and how it can help you, grab my HEART Method Roadmap:


In this episode, we talk about: 

  • The difference between the life optimization time management philosophy and the HEART method 
  • Why going with value-based time management practices are always a better idea
  • How to lead your time with your values for productive days, weeks, months, etc

Resources Mentioned: 

Subscribe & Review In Apple Podcasts

If you’re enjoying It’s About Time so far, I hope you’ll take a moment to subscribe if you haven’t yet – I don’t want you to miss an episode! Click here to subscribe on iTunes.

If you really like what you hear, I’d be so grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Your review plays a HUGE role in helping others find out about It’s About Time. And honestly, they’re really fun for me to read! Click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what you’re loving about It’s About Time. Thank you!!

Related Episodes


with anna dearmon kornick

Get the details here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hey Anna! I'm looking for an episode about...

Hey Anna! I'm looking for an episode about...

Overcome overwhelm and tackle each day with confidence with this free mini course!

I created Blueprint to Balance to share that simple method with you.

(and save you TIME in the process)!

Get Access Now!