Time is our most valuable resource in life and dictates that sometime in your life we should take some initiative to manage our most important resource? If you haven’t already, I advice you do, you can begin by mastering the tips and pointers shared in this article on how to go about it.
Those who have already taken a time management class or read about it or even just heard about it and tried to use a day planner to organize, prioritize and schedule your day but still felt like they couldn’t get everything done must have realized that time management devices, gadget and systems don’t totally get you there in as much as it sets you up closer to home.
Reason for this is that the devices are designed to manage clock time, keeping track of time by using the clock and this is irrelevant when it comes to managing your ability to make use of the time.
We live in real time, at times, time flies especially when we are having fun or it drags when we are anticipating something and dwelling out of the present we are experiencing.
The good news is that real time is mental and exists between our ears, we create it, and anything we create we can manage.
We usually find ourselves saying, “I do not have enough time for / to ____because ____.”
Fill in the first blank with something on your goal or bucket list, such as “go to the gym,” “take up a class,” “Keep a journal” or “write an article.”
Fill in the second blank with your favorite excuse, such as “It’s not for people like me,” “I have work,” ‘I have to hang out with friends,” or “I don’t know how.”
In a mystical way, we keep coming up with excuses inform of reasons as to why we are not doing the tasks, completely forget how handling the task is contributing towards our set goals.
This brings me to the perspective that our problems have nothing to do with the available time we have within a day, but the priorities we focus on during the day.
My article this week seeks to make us the masters of our own time by understanding, accounting, organizing, planning and executing our tasks within the time we have to get the most out of it.
While we plan to make maximum productivity and better of the day, we need to put in mind and practice the below.
- Invest in a good planner, diary, calendar, agenda, to do list or application to help you organize your time. Effective time management requires that you are organized while making use of a good tool to help you make this possible with ease. It goes a long way to declutter our minds when we write it down.
- Start your day early. To increase your productivity begin early, the more time you take to think and plan, the better organized you will be in the different areas of your life. In the biography of successful men and women, almost all of them seem to have the following in common; 90 % of them start their day early, they have great organizational skills and get enough time to think and plan for the day. As a result they always are more effective in achieving their daily tasks compared to those who sleep until the last possible moment.
- Take the first 30 minutes of your time in the day to plan, do not begin your day until you complete your time plan, this is one of the most important time of your day, when you schedule to schedule your time. Make a list of things to do and update it several times within the day. Plan to spend some good % of your time in thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
- Have a log of how you spend your time and monitor it for about a week, take some time to analyze it, taking note of how much time you spend on major tasks and activities as well as conversations and actions. By analyzing time usage on a regular basis, it becomes possible to understand the most efficient way to make use of it, both in and out of your work place. If you want to use your time efficiently to accomplish what you need to, you have to be aware of your habits, those that shape the use of your time. Rethink those poor habits and find good ones to replace them with.
- Have your day divided into slots of 30 minutes, plan your activities within this time allocating tasks to slots while ensuring every slot is put into productive use and accounted for.
- Any activity that is important to your success should have a time assigned to it, schedule appointments with yourself for high priority activities, schedule when they begin and end.
- Take some time before important tasks to decide what results you wish to attain as well as after each task and activity to ascertain your desired results were achieved.
- Prioritize, planning and delegate to minimize time wasting at every level. Plan to have the most important tasks and activities during prime time while those that don’t necessarily require your expertise can be delegated to those capable persons. Your internal prime time is that time of day according to your body clock when you are most productive and alert. For most people, it’s early in the morning after a good night rest. Be sure to find your own prime time when you function at your best, whether it’s in the night or day. Go further and arrange your most important projects accordingly to ensure productivity. While at this, take note of external prime times so you can balance when to make the most of your day.
- Dissect your big goals to small reasonable tasks achievable in portions, take that big task apart, organize the components, see how many sub-components you can break the main components into and bring it down to manageable levels, this is because you can get more done when the tasks are smaller.
- Prepare in advance, ever heard of the old saying, “Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance”. Prepare your work for the following day the evening just before you come from work or the last thing you do at the end of the day depending on your setup. If not the entire day, prepare for the most important and productive parts. Your subconscious mind then goes to work while you are asleep to finding you solutions, very often, you wake up in the morning with ideas and insights that apply to the work of the day, put it down on paper so you don’t lie awake trying not to forget to remember everything that you have to do the following day.
- Avoid multitasking, in as much as some of us can multitask, it is advisable that you channel all your mental resources to single tasks, one at a time to realize depth, as opposed to just getting it done. Focus thus becomes key, allowing the rest of the brain to dwell on creativity and other functions it can attach to a single task. Multitasking goes a long way in handling numerous repetitive tasks we are used to but denies the luxury of focusing on one task. Handling more than a single task can be dangerous and is associated with risks including accidents on the roads or while operating machinery. Take note NOT to confuse this with task switching.
- Schedule time for breaks and interruptions, plan for some time you will be pulled away from what you are doing or by interruptions demanding for your attention. Using your organizational skills to plan your day, week and month gives you better control while keeping you in charge of your time.
- Block out some source of destruction when you are working; Facebook, What’s up on both the computer and the phone as well as other forms of social media, unless you use these tools to generate business.
- Organization skills. Embark on improving your organization skills and use listing and a filing system, at-least 30% of normal days are spent looking for misplaced information and material, this are resources temporarily out of reach or vicinity because they have not been filed correctly. This am certain sounds quite familiar to many of us who allocate lots of thought and time to finding misplaced resources that were in the beginning, not given a filing and a retrival system.
- Consistency and habits; effective time management is all about creating effective routines composed of smaller habits that we do day in, day out and every single day.
- The most strategic time management tactic is striving to manage ourselves, our planning skills, our perspectives, organization, prioritization as well as executions to attain our goals while we use time as a marker on when we need to switch tasks. Remember, it is about how well you manage yourself to use time.
- So work towards improving on how well you use the time you have. Know what you want to achieve out of the day, the activities you wish to pursue as well as be aware of how they contribute to your bigger goals.
- We have 24 hours in a day, what we do with ours is what makes the difference between us and them. They equally have the same in a day to get their “to do list” completed. The quality of our lives at work and home is greatly impacted by difference in the small and big decisions we make every day about how we spend our 24 hour day standard time.
- From client meetings to dentist appointments, it’s impossible to avoid waiting at some point. But when you find yourself in the waiting bay, don’t just sit and crack your fingers. Get something done. Technology makes it easy for us to work wherever we are; your tablet or smartphone can help you stay connected, if that is not possible read something, a report, article, check list, a spreadsheet or even that to do list you still are on.
- Your ability to say “No” saves you incredible amount of time and frustration that is normally of jumbled and squandered by others while getting their tasks done. Instead of saying “No,” most people say “Maybe” or “I might be able to do that” or “I’ll see”, creating expectation you are not ready to meet.
- Good time management requires an important shift in focus from activities to results.
- Manage your time utilizing skills to realize the best of what time provides.
- Remember it’s impossible to get everything done and get that list cleared.
The highest achievers manage their time exceptionally well. By using time-management skills and techniques highlighted above, you can improve your ability to attain effectiveness, efficiency and productivity inclusive of times when scarcity and pressures are high.
Take note that this is only a guide and can be worked on, twitched or customized to best fit your specific needs and career to make the most of your hours in a single day. Repeat this exercise day in day out without fail, until you realize mastery in management of time utilization.
Manage Your Time, Improve Your Life
Time management is all about spending your time in the right places, and on the right things. It’s about knowing your priorities, obligations, and schedule. When you manage your time, you benefit in all areas of life.
I leave you with a few mind spinners on this subject.
- Human minds are goal oriented, you either program it or have it programmed by jumbled up activities.
- Be sure to get plenty of sleep and exercise. An alert mind is a highly-functional mind and one that’s less tolerant of time-wasting activities .
- The bad news is, Time flies and the good news is, you are the pilot.
Mind grid Perspectives