The more you involve yourself in activities that carry the greatest meaning and value for you, the greater are your chances for experiencing real growth.
Here are four practical tips to help you manage time well:
1. Have a purpose-oriented system
The first step to this system is to understand your purpose. Once you have clarity, the next step is to spend your time around the most important things you need to do to achieve your goals.
The more you involve yourself in activities that carry the greatest meaning and value for you, the greater are your chances for experiencing real growth. This may mean giving up some of the things that you are habitually involved in. By doing fewer of these nonessential activities you free up more time for the essentials.
2. Be Organized and Methodical
Being organized and methodical will enable you to manage time with maximum efficiency. Some practical tips on being organized and methodical are:
• Do the most important work first thing in the morning – as the first hour goes, so goes the day!
• Don’t shuffle papers; make quick decisions. Some people look at the same paper several times because they are not decisive.
• Avoid too many interruptions. Some interruptions are necessary for doing business but you also need to carve out some non –interrupted time to get your important work done
• Delegate effectively. Be clear in your instructions when you delegate.
• Use deadlines to create results. By creating timelines you can increase your productivity.
• Do just one thing at a time, finishing it before you move to the next thing (as far as possible). Jumping from tasks to tasks makes you lose momentum and focus.
• Be decisive. “Sit, walk or run. Just don’t wobble.” Goes an old Zen saying. That’s another way of saying. “Don’t waffle; be decisive.”
• Break large tasks into smaller steps. You chew an apple one bite at a time. Breaking big tasks into smaller chunks makes the task more manageable and allows you to get going.
• Make waiting time more productive. A lot of time during the day gets wasted in ‘wait time’. Make good use of waiting time by spending it in planning or reading important material.
• Write down your goals every morning. Writing brings clarity and clarity helps focus. By writing your goals each morning you become very clear of where your focus should be.
• Eliminate clutter. Too much clutter results in a lot of wasted time looking for things. A clean desk with good filing system not only saves time but increases effectiveness.
• Emphasize results, not activities. Just because you are busy does not mean you are effective. It is not how much time you put in, but what you do achieve that matters.
3. Measure Time
A lot of time daily is wasted because we are not aware of where it is going. There is enough time in a week for work, family, health and even spirituality. Prepare a budget of how you want to spend your time. This is how a weekly budget could look like:
• Family/Activities 20
• Health/Exercise 7
• Spirituality 7
• Work/Training/ Commuting 60
• Reading/ Learning 7
• Sleep 49
• Other 18
Keep track of where your time goes; it will help you understand and manage your time well.
4. Goal - Setting Exercise
Set a goal. For example if lack of clarity is your biggest obstacle to mastering time. Then your goal could be: “I will ensure that I understand my highest priorities at work and the results that are expected of me. I will write my goals every morning so that I keep my highest priorities top of mind.”