Do you ever find yourself bogged down with too many things on your to-do list and not enough time to complete them? With ever-increasing productivity demands and way too many tasks on the docket, many people find themselves in a futile race to beat the clock — one they can’t win, no matter how hard they try. There will always be an endless stream of tasks to finish and errands to run, which makes time management an impossibility. How can you “manage” your time when there are only 24 hours in a day and the number of tasks you have exceeds the amount of time you have in which to do them? Simple: you have to find a different approach to managing your time by ceasing to manage it altogether.

Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but instead of focusing on the amount of time you have in your day, zone in on the number of tasks you’re trying to get done in that day. Task management and time management are related, but, ironically, it’s task management that will help you maximize your time.

The trouble with time management is that time itself is measurable. We simply whip out our smartphones, look at the calendar, and assign way more tasks to our 8-hour day than we can actually accomplish. The problem with that model? We’re assigning tasks to a time frame, when we should be doing the opposite. Try making a to-do list of tasks you hope to get done in one work day, and estimate how long each task will take. Once you’re realistic about the math, you’ll likely find that your wish-list of tasks will take you well into the next day. You’re left with a feeling of failure due to not completing your goals in their designated time frame.

Instead of over-scheduling your time and feeling disappointed when you aren’t able to cross off every “to do” on your list, give yourself space and approach each task individually. You’ll find that you work more effectively if you manage one task at a time. Sure, we can’t completely distance ourselves from deadlines, but you’ll ultimately produce better work when you start placing importance on task management as opposed to time management . Stop worrying about the time you’re given to complete a task, and start worrying about how to excel at completing the task itself. Without the endless pressure to beat the clock, you’ll be more efficient and this efficiency will definitely show in your work.

To learn more time management techniques, check out my free course on creativeLIVE October 31- Nov. 1