Perhaps one of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their potential is that they don’t use their time wisely.
The problem is that when a day, an hour or a minute has passed, you can never get it back.
So the secret of success lies in what you do with every one of your minutes.
If you can manage your time effectively, you feel more in control of your life. It helps you feel more relaxed, maintains your energy levels and improves your performance.
It requires time and effort to change your time management habits, but the benefits you reap will last a lifetime.
Here are 7 ways in which you can change the way you think about time.
1. Stop inputting and start outputting: In the age of information overload, it’s easy to spend all your time absorbing new information and never acting on any of it. So here’s the reality. If you’re an information junkie, perhaps you need to go on an information diet! Limit the time and money you spend on acquiring new information and focus on taking action using what you already know.
2. Always remember why you are doing it: If you have set yourself clear objectives, it’s much easier to manage your time. You’ll be able to evaluate what you are doing on the basis of whether it helps meet your objectives. If you are spending time doing something that doesn’t move you toward your goal, you have to challenge yourself about why you are doing it.
3. Plan your day and stick to your plan: Planning is the foundation of time management. A minute spent planning can easily save you an hour later on. The best way to schedule is to split large tasks into smaller steps. It feels wonderful when you are able to tick each step off at the end of the day and this is a great motivator.
4. Prioritize Your Time: Prioritizing is your ability to figure out which tasks are most important at a particular time and focus your attention, time and energy on them. This means recognizing the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’.
- Important activities are those that help us achieve our goals.
- Urgent tasks seem to demand immediate attention but may relate to other people’s priorities more than our own.
So, before you decide something is urgent, make sure it fits with your own priorities.
5. Say No to yourself as well as to others: The truth is, no matter how efficient you are, you can’t do everything. So, before you get into doing the things on your ‘to-do’ list, consider whether they are really necessary. Sometimes it’s worth creating a ‘not-to-do’ list of things that aren’t really important. Another vital time management skill is learning to say no to others . This can sometimes be hard but saying yes when you want to say no will stress you out and send your time management totally out of focus.
6. Develop systems and processes: It’s very useful to be able to write out what you are doing in the form of a process. This not only helps you do something more efficiently, it also makes it easier to delegate the task to others. As Productivity expert William Edwards Deming said:
‘If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing’.
7. Take care of yourself: If you are going to get results and still enjoy the lifestyle you want, you have to allocate time to doing things that you enjoy and looking after your own health and fitness. So, make sure you eat well, drink water, get plenty of sleep, relax, and take time off!