I read a line that said, If you don’t take advantage of your days, they will soon run out.
Days are expensive; they will not come forever. If you think about it, time is more important than money. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.
Now, given the way the society has changed, we are daily faced with growing distractions. In the workplace, our social lives, our relationships, TV programmes, sports entertainment, the internet, and the inevitable Facebook. It’s like there is never enough time in the day.
If there is ever a time for us to stop, to think and reflect on how we currently use our time and plan on how better to use it, that time is now.
The question is: how do we reprogramme ourselves to make a better use of our time at this time? How do we reorganize our activities to reduce procrastination?
Here are top 6 key time management ideas:
Set Your Goal
This is the first step in good time management. Setting goals and working toward achieving them is the axle around which the wheels of life turn. If you do not have clear goals, you are liable to end up someplace else.
That seems the case with many people today. It is like watching the clock tick-away and waiting for the day to end so you can go home. I remember the ancient phrase, “Without goals and dreams, the people perish.”
It is important to set goals in order for us to use our time well, and for a sense of purpose and alignment
Prepare Your Daily To-Do List, and Go to Work
The interesting thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. A productive life does not happen by a sudden flight. A productive life happens by a series of productive days, and a productive day happens by working from a to-do list, step by step. So take time to prepare your to-do list of all the stuff that should happen during the course of the day, and go to work. This helps you to take advantage of your day and be productive, away from the ever increasing distractions in our society today.
Study the Majors and the Minors
The Pareto Principle says, 80% of the value of what you do will be contained in 20% of the things that you do. This means, in a list of ten things to do, two will be major and eight will be minor things. In fact, the two major things are worth all of the others put together.
Before you begin a task, always ask yourself: Is this the most important thing I should be doing right now? The rule is, spend major time on major things, and minor time on minor things. If at the end of the week, you are spending 90% of your time on the minor stuff, then you are not using your time well. Don’t major in minor things.
Another thing is the futurity of the task. Important tasks have an impact on the future while unimportant tasks only have an impact on the present. So ask yourself the question: What impact will the accomplishment of this task have on my future? And never look back, unless you are planning to go that way.
Concentrate on Your Task
We have all seen this happen to colleagues and friends: people believe they are having important discussions with other colleagues but it turns out they are wasting time on socializing. Some think they are having an important meeting with a customer, it turns out the meeting is off track 50% of the time.
Concentration means when you work, you work; when you play, you play. Don’t mix the two and don’t play at work. Concentration also means single handling. When you pick the most important thing on your to-do list, work on it and stay with it until it’s finished.
Manage Your Meeting Time
From my experience, up to 50–70% of the time spent in meetings is wasted. People wait until the latecomers show up before they start. At other times, the meeting goes off track, and the discussion becomes irrelevant. Always assume that the latecomers will not come at all: start and stop your meetings at the specified time. Make sure there is an agenda, and schedule shorter meetings.
Deal With Your Transition Times
On an average, knowledge in every single field today is doubling every 2 years (soon to double every year). In order to stay even, your knowledge base has to double every 2 years. On an average, we spend one hour a day during lunch break. This translates to two hundred and fifty hours in a year that we spend eating lunch.
You know what most people do? They let this time slide. If you can just use half the period, and spend the second half reading on a particular subject every day, this will amount to one hundred and twenty-five hours in a year. And you will become an expert in that area before the year runs out.
Finally, I will be remiss if I don’t share with you a common mistake that most make about time management. Mistakenly, we say, I will work twice as hard tomorrow to regain the time I have lost today. This is not correct. A day not used is lost. A day lost can never be found again.
Now it’s your turn. Did you find a tip or two from this article that you can use? Let me know how you plan to use them to increase your productivity at work, your career, your business, your income, or indeed your life satisfaction. I promise to read every single one of your emails.
Photo Credit: Fotos.com.ng