Time Management is vital, because time is the basis of what you do (or do not do!) . Did you know that each and every time you choose to do something you’re also concurrently choosing to NOT do everything else on the planet? Another way to think about time is that it is your life – all you get is time, not enough of it, and you do not know just how much more there is left.
Good to know
Though strangely enough, if you did know how much you had left, you would do a lot more planning and be a whole lot more assertive, but because none of us know just how long we have got we act as if we will live forever, and we waste the days and years. But no more, as you’re about to read this report! The essence of time management is to work out what is important, and then spend as much time as possible on the important things. Most of us are quite poor at this.
We do not spend time thinking about what is really important, and even if we have vague ideas about it, like maybe our loved ones, we allow ourselves to be pulled naturally by short-termism, crisis management, mistaking’pressing’ for’important’, procrastination, laziness, and other people’s priorities beating our own. Did you know that the average American father only spends 4 minutes daily with his kids? Importance’ is a personal choice; it is to do with your worth, and it depends on what you value.
Maybe football is important to you, perhaps it’s not. Maybe gardening is, or perhaps music is. Nobody else can tell you what’s important to you. The end result of importance is NOT if you do it – there are plenty of unimportant things which need to be done, such as buying food or putting antifreeze in your car – do they pass some of the tests mentioned previously? No!
The end result of significance is how long you should spend on it. You should use as much of your time as possible on the things that actually matter. The offense is to invest too little time on important things because all of your time was frittered away on unimportant things. And because of this crime you pay the price later, and the cost is regret. Crisis’ is probably not a massive sum of your day (well I hope not! If you can not prevent repeats then develop systems which let you respond quickly and easily. For instance the fire brigade attempt to minimise homes destroyed by fire by both prevention and by maximizing their capacity to react.
Hassle’ is likely a much bigger part of your daily life, and is the most important area to hit. Don’t do it’ is much like hassle but less pressing. Hassle could consist of interruptions, badly run meetings, most e-mails, requests from colleagues team and boss, sorting out problems and fixing mistakes, or overall’maintenance’ tasks and procedures. There are five strategies you can use so as to decrease the time spent on all this little stuff. None of them are easy, but if you do not pick any of them (or any mix of them ) then you’ll find yourself taking the sixth option: saying yes and then not doing it. This is a bad alternative! 1 Saying no.
Are you assertiv
This requires assertiveness, but whose life is it? But is it selfish to say no? Maybe it is, a bit, but who is going to look after your life and time if you don’t? And maybe the individual to whom you’re thinking about saying no is also becoming somewhat selfish in placing you under pressure to do something that you do not wish to do?
- Negotiating. A little more polite than saying no. It is possible to negotiate to do it to spend time on it, to only do a part of it, to get help with it, or to just do this one time. If you could obtain an hour every week you would save 50 hours each year – that’s more than a week extra you might have in your life annually!
- Delegating it. May not be an option for you, but if you do have people working for you then this is a large one. Delegate more! People prefer bosses who assign too much rather than too small. Monitor and support, along with the assigned task can’t fail. Train and empower, and they may even do it better than you!
- Doing it well. All you perfectionists out there will not enjoy this one, but for some tasks you know it makes sense. Don’t let perfectionism down you, in order to spend all day fiddling with insignificant things and have no time for the important things. Should you organise your CDs or play with your kids? Should you perfect that plan or report next year’s strategy?
- The last choice, and there are no other people, would be to have more efficient systems. These might be computerised or they might just be lists on paper, or they might be things like maintaining your car keys on a hook, or using two vanities (one for whites and one for coloureds) or making a prepacked travel tote.
Whatever your repeating tasks are, establish a system to either stop the issue (e.g. laminated checklist, better information on intranet, clear responsibilities of staff ) or to make the task faster (e.g. files organised on pc, automatic excel forms, organised desk). A master list of all you’ve to do, all written down in one area. It might be on a computer, on paper, in your journal, on the wall, on a whiteboard, it does not matter, but it should contain all of the big things that you’re going to do, sometimes unknown.
You could have two of them, one for home and one for work. A daily jobs to perform list. This might be a little bit of paper, or written in your journal, or maybe using Outlook on your PC. These are the tiny tasks that you’re going to do now. Maximum of 10 items, written as a daily habit either first thing orbetter in my view, at the end of every day prepared for another one.
Then you can sleep easy. A journal, which is modest, always with you, and comprises work and home. Again it might be as a palm-type PDA or a paper journal, whatever works for you. Write everything down in one of those three places. If you promise anything to anybody, write it down in your own lists. If anyone promises you anything, find out when they will do it, and write it down in your journal for follow-up. Underlying all are the two attributes or abilities that are inevitable: self discipline and assertiveness.
Every problem you have, such as every time waster, either comes from you (lack of self discipline) or from other people (lack of assertiveness). Somehow you need to conquer both of these. Well, it is my view that problems with inadequate self-discipline and assertiveness stem from not having clear targets. If you have got no objective in mind, why should you bother with being disciplined about your own time, or being assertive so as to defend it? But in case you’ve got a clear objective that you’re excited by, and determined to accomplish, then you will have the essential edge necessary to make it happen.
Did you know?
Most people drift through life – no wonder that their time management isn’t great, because why should it be? Your goals in life have to cover both home and work, and they will need to include things you enjoy doing, and things that you want to attain. That’s to say, things that you would like to do more of in the present, and things you will need to do in the present so as to accomplish the future objectives which you have. Just enjoying yourself without a feeling of achievement will not be sufficient in the long term, and accomplishment but at the cost of not enjoying yourself isn’t what life is all about either.
Enjoy and Achieve
The sport is to do both! Many of us are unsure about what we would like to accomplish in life, and perhaps note even entirely clear on what makes us happy. And those who do have a strategy usually mean to accomplish at work and to enjoy themselves out of work. But I’d suggest that the ultimate plan is to enjoy both work and your time outside work, and to attain worthwhile objectives both in work and outside work.
So how would someone go about doing so? Well, the solution is to write down what you need to accomplish in your home and at work, and to write down everything you like doing in your job and outside your job. Write it down in detail, in any format that is suitable for you. If you’ve got clear goals written down, then you’ve made the first step toward getting them. And in fact you’ve made more than the initial measure, because your subconscious will now focus on achieving these items, without you even knowing it is doing so. You’ll discover that things happen, like by chance, but it is not chance in any way. So in the event that you’ve got clear goals you’ll be more aware of what is essential and what is not.
You will become more self-disciplined and much more assertive in your time, and your subconscious will create little decisions that are correct constantly and will make you aware of the information that you need so as to get you where you need to go in life. But remember that your systems are required also. If you’ve got both aims and an efficient system for handling your day daily then you’ll see wonderful results. Goals with no system is will result in disappointment. A system without targets is just sad!