Have you ever experienced preparing three to four hours earlier than your designated time of appointment just so you can make it on time only to find out that the person you are meeting will be an hour late? Well, if you live in a place where traffic is bad; unfortunately these things can happen. But is traffic a legitimate excuse? Definitely, traffic should never be used as an excuse. If you live in an area where traffic is a nightmare, then this should already be taken into consideration. We should always respect other people’s time because time is gold not just for you but for others too. Time is precious. By being late, not only are we wasting other people’s precious time; it is also a sign of disrespect. There is a way on how to prevent this thing from happening and that is through time management. Learn some tips on how to better manage your time.
Time is precious because you can never get it back. If you lose money or some things, you can always earn it back. But not time. No matter what you do, you cannot get back the time that has already elapsed unless of course you are brilliant enough to invent a time machine.
Have you ever heard people say that there is so much to do yet so little time?Think about it. Every person on the planet gets exactly 24 hours a day. How come other people are so productive and accomplish so much with their time while others complain of not having enough time?
The answer is simple, time management. Time Management is the process of organizing, planning and allotting time for your day-to-day activities. It is managing your time efficiently. It is accomplishing more tasks by working smarter not harder. The most successful people in the world manage their time efficiently.
Tips on How To Better Manage Your Time
Here are some tips on how to better manage your time:
1. Set Some Goals
The first step in time management is to set some goals. Always start with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish? Write them all down. Arrange them into weekly, monthly and yearly goals. If you don’t have any clear idea on what you want to accomplish, chances are you’ll end up wasting your precious time.
In a Harvard School study done in 1979 to the graduates of Harvard Master’s in Business Administration Program, they found out the following:
- 84% had 13% had goals but did not write them down on paper
- 3% had clear written goals
Ten years later in 1989, the interviewers contacted the MBA graduates of the 1979 class and found out that:
- 13% who had goals but not written, on average, were earning twice as much as 84% of those who had no specific goals
- 3% who had clear written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the rest of the 97% put together
The study shows not only how important goals are but also the importance of writing them all down on paper. Success always start with a vision. Having a vision board will help in keeping you stay on course.
2. Take 15-30 Minutes To Plan Your Day
The best time to plan your day is the night before you go to sleep or in the morning before you start your day. Do not start your day without a complete plan. Practicing the daily morning habits of highly successful people will also help you start your day right.
3. Prioritize Your Work
Always start with the most important task first. Tasks that need to be accomplished within the day should be given priority. The unimportant tasks can be done later in the day as these can be carried over the next day.
4. Schedule Time For Interruptions
Let’s face it, there will always be interruptions. People are going to talk to you, your cellular phone will ring or you might need to go to a bathroom break while working. So as not to stress yourself, you need to plan for the interruptions. If you think you can finish a report in one hour, block an extra 15 minutes or half an hour in your calendar to accommodate the interruptions. Unless it is an emergency, don’t let the interruptions disrupt your work or your frame of thinking, rather treat it as one task and do them all together in your allotted time.
5. Take a Break After Each Task
Include a 5-10 minute break after each task. Too much stress will take a toll on both your mind and body. This will only lower your productivity level. So, give yourself a break.
6. Put Similar Tasks Together
Schedule similar tasks together. If you need to make several phone calls, schedule them all together. In a similar manner, if you need to attend meetings or clients calls away from the office, schedule all those in one area together. For example, you have a meeting in a certain area, schedule everything that you need to do in that area on that day. Avoid scheduling meetings in different places on one day. Traveling and going through the traffic will only eat up your time.
7. Learn To Say NO
Be honest. Don’t just accept all additional tasks delegated to you especially if you are already overloaded with work. Learn the art of declining politely.
8. Block Out All Distractions
Unless you need it for your business, block out all social media distractions like Facebook or Instagram. There is always a time for everything. Finish your to do list for the day first before checking your social media accounts.
Revised Edition. First published in Pinoy Smart Living on 02.11.2016
Feature Photo by Jeffrey Paa Kwesi Opare