Time to manage yourself

Finding your time

Our final post in this series looks at how you can manage yourself within your framework of time. How can you make it work to your advantage when so many fail to grasp the real opportunities it provides?

Finding the time in our busy schedules can be a challenge – work, home, family, commitments and sleep. What’s left other than a few minutes to relax before it all starts again?

The biggest challenge is making a start. Decide what you want, be clear on the outcome, break your goal down into manageable steps and make a start. You can get a lot done by allocating just 30 minutes a day. This is certainly easier than finding a two or three hour block.

So, if you find you’ve got no time to spare, make some time to manage your time. Here’s how:

Plan each day. Planning your day can help you feel more in control of you life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimise conflicts and last-minute rushes.  If you schedule it, it happens. One of these days is none of these days.

Prioritise your tasks. Like many people, you may be spending the majority of your time on a small percentage of your tasks. Prioritising will ensure you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.

Allocate time for what’s important. It’s easy to fill your day with the urgent and relatively unimportant, leaving the valuable until later. It’s human nature to want to ‘clear the decks’ before tackling a project that requires focus and energy.

Don’t do too much at once. Decide what’s the most important and focus your energy on that. This will improve your effectiveness. Then you can ‘bank’ some time for you.

Say no to non-essential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.

Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can eliminate or pass on to someone else.

Establish a rhythm of results and focus on delivering incremental value to yourself. There can be a lot of playing around the edges that won’t take you closer to your goal.

Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.

Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.

Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it. Procrastination is a killer of time and energy. It drives anxiety and frustration that can lead to giving up. Don’t let that happen to you.

Evaluate how you’re spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you’re spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.

Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Improved focus and concentration will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time.

Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn’t have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.

Take a break when needed. Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organised. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day off.

The day we start managing ourselves within time is the day we begin giving our selves time to really enjoy life. Our time is limited and must be used wisely, and knowing how to use this one life requires insight and wisdom that only time can provide. That is the great paradox of life. Your time starts now.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: