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A Final Perspective on Time and Choice
Source: Michael Olpin, Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Human Performance, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

In the final analysis, we always do what we want to do. There are no exceptions to this.

How you spend your time, what events you participate in every moment of each day, is your choice. You may not always enjoy the choices you made, but you always choose to do what you do, and there are consequences for everything that you do. These consequences may be favorable or unfavorable, pleasant or unpleasant.

We commonly hear people say, “I have to do this,” or “I have to be at a certain place at a certain time.” The reality is that we never have to do anything. There is rarely a gun being held to anyone's head requiring them to select certain choices. We always have a choice about how we spend our time.

You say that you have to be in a class at a specific time, or you must be at work during a specific time period. There is no life requirement saying you have to be there. There are consequences for not showing up to work; you may not continue to work there very much longer if you choose to be late or not show up at all. Nevertheless, what we do with the 24 hours of our day or 168 hours of our week is entirely up to us. Deciding beforehand what to do and living flexibly as we do them can make those 24 hours much more pleasurable.


In this chapter you learned three time management systems. As you probably noticed, they have similarities and differences.

All are designed to help you gain more control of your life and thereby, reduce your stress levels.

As you experiment with these systems, determine which has the most appeal to you and your current circumstances.

You have also learned tips for overcoming procrastination and eliminating time zappers.

Don’t mistake activity for achievement. Reduce your stress by focusing your actions on the things that matter.

In the end, time management is really more about managing yourself and your life than it is about managing time.