What is Time Management? If we look at our lives from a distance, what we will observe is that we spend all of our time in three ways: thinking, conversing and doing certain activities. Regardless of where we are in our lives right now, be it a student, a leader, or an entrepreneur, our time is divided, though not in equal portions, Manage How you Spend Your Time, between these three items.
As people who are willing to do something out of our lives, we do engage in a hell of a lot activities. This puts us in a position whereby we crave for that, at least one extra hour in a day so we can finish all those things that we decided to in that particular day. In the early 1950’s, as domestic and professional work activities became mechanized (for instance, we will not clean our rooms with brooms, but rather with vacuum cleaners J ) along with the electronic revolution on its way, futurists predicted that by the year 2000, we will be working 30 hours per week at maximum. Well, that was way too optimistic and way too opposite of what we experience today in 2016. In fact, nowadays, we work more than 40 hours per week so we can finish all the projects we are involved in and we can see our spare time shrinking more and more. The computer chips didn’t free us – they forced us to work at their speed!
And that’s what it is, and nothing can be done about it. But what can we do to use our time more wisely, more effectively? We cannot manage our time, as there are only 24 hours per day. What we can manage however are the three ways in which we spend our time – our thoughts, conversations and activities within these 24 hours.
Here are 5 tips that can help us be more productive and expand, not shrink, our leisure time.
- Everywhere you go, always take the weat… ups, diary with you. Yes, wherever and whenever we go, (and you will do this even when you go partying as it becomes inseparable part of your life), carry a diary and record your days. A diary is of extreme help in learning how to manage your activities. Try this for a week, then throw a look back and you will identify all the unproductive thoughts, conversations and activities that happened over the course of the previous week, wasting your time for no reason so you can make sure you won’t repeat them all over again. You do love your time don’t you? And based on this “self-research”, you can plan the next week.
- A day is not a productive day if it is not, at least loosely planned. That is why we start our days by planning. Try to make a schedule for the day. Use at least 30 minutes, each morning so you can organize the activities and conversations that will happen during the upcoming 24 hour period.
- It is usually during those busiest days in our lives that we fail to finish half the workload we do in regular days. Why? We feel the pressure coming from all directions, we lose focus unconsciously and make the “brilliant” decision to “relax” a bit on social media. A big NO! Blocking all distractions as social media unless they are crucial for our business, is the first step to taking, first our time seriously, take the responsibilities we have and do our job.
- You’ve probably heard from people surrounding you that they manage to finish their daily tasks by multitasking. Have you ever used this word to describe how you do manage your daily tasks or to describe to someone how your friends is used at working? I wholeheartedly hope that you haven’t. Why? Here is the thing: besides our high opinion for multi-taskers, recent studies have proved that it is not possible to multitask and be productive at the same time. Out of all the reasons, here is one: when switching from one task to another we require time and by the time we do the switch, we lose time which we could have utilized for productive purposes. What is more, not only do we lose time, but we also have to recall where we stopped for the particular task to which we just switched. Therefore, don’t praise multi-taskers, and if you are one of them, stop multitasking! Don’t do number of things at once. Instead, focus your attention on one particular task, and when you are finished you can move on to the next one without putting more pressure on you.
- Learn to say “No”. Yes, this is art. According to Warren Buffet, the difference between successful and very successful people is that very successful people say “No” more often. Sometimes we are aware that the meeting we were invited to go, will be a complete waste of time, but at the same time, we feel as if we can’t say no. What we really need to realize is that by saying NO to these kinds of things, we are saying YES to our success and productivity.
At the end of the day, we cannot get everything done. It is really impossible. We just need to remember that only 20% of our thoughts, conversations and activities are generating 80% of our results. I chose them wisely, did you?