Firstly start analyzing the way you use your time. The way you think you spend your time and the way you actually spend your time are rarely the same. Don’t guess, make sure you know. The key to managing time well is to ensure your activities are consistent with your goals.. that they will help you achieve your intended results. Everything you do either helps you or hinder you. Ask yourself often: “Will what I’m doing, or about to do, help me achieve my goals?” Once your time is spent, it can’t be recovered.
Ask others to tell you how you waste your time or how you might use your time more effectively. They see things about you that you will never see.
Good time management is a systematic way of thinking and working. It requires that you constantly analyze what you are doing and look for ways to improve. Keep a record of how you really spend your time for 2 to 4 weeks every year. A month is usually the best. The first three days are tough; after that, it becomes part of your daily routine.
Ask questions to help analyze your time log:
• What problems do you see?
• What habits, patterns or tendencies do you see?
• Was the first hour of the day productive?
• What was the most productive time of the day?
• How much time was spent on high priority items?
• What were the biggest time-wasters?
Secondly check your attitude towards time. Approach something with a positive attitude, things will definitely work out better. Recognize that you face a daily dilemma: too much to do and not enough time to do it. Instead of simply working faster or working longer, try working smarter. Some of your time will inevitably be wasted by events and people beyond your control. Don’t fret about it. Learn to control the controllable and allow for the uncontrollable. You cannot control all the events in a day, but you can control your response to those events.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale taught that attitudes are formed by the words we use when we talk to ourselves. Talk positively and you develop positive attitudes; talk negatively and you develop negative attitudes. Listening to 60-cycle music produces a relaxing brain wave, which makes you more susceptible to positive thoughts. Laughter helps maintain positive thoughts. Listen to funny cassette tapes. Listen to humorous tapes as you commute. Laugh all the way to work and you may have a far more productive day.
Managing time really means managing yourself. If your time is out of control, it means you are out of control. If you don’t manage yourself, you relinquish control of your day to other people and random events.
When facing a new idea, don’t jump to criticize as most people do. First, look for all the positives then consider the possibilities and finally, think about any problems associated with it. This approach will yield far more good ideas.
Managing yourself requires self-discipline. Don’t think about it; don’t talk about it; just do it. The key to self-discipline is simply doing what you know you should do, whether you feel like doing it or not. Doing what you feel like doing will never develop self-discipline.
Thirdly balance your life and work. Time is more than just a work issue; it’s also a life issue. The way you spend your time defines the life you live. The way you spend your time is the way you live. If you want a different life, you’ll have to spend your time differently. What changes do you need to make?
Keep a personal time log for a month to find out where all your non work time goes. Study the record to decide what changes should be made. Think about where you get satisfaction from living. How much time do you spend on those things? How could you spend more?
Many of us spend more time on the C’s of life than on the A’s of life. (A’s of life are the tasks most important to us that will help us achieve our life’s purpose and goals. C’s of life are merely routine tasks that do not contribute to the attainment of our major goals in life). Do not allow trivial things to crowd out the important ones. Drop unimportant activities.
The key to a balanced life is spending an adequate amount of time in all aspects of your life: spiritual/religion, family/relationships, community/charity, social/friends, career/business, health/wellness, playtime/hobbies/fun, wealth and personal space/quiet time.
The way you spend your time is the way you live. Keep a personal time log to find out how your life-time is allocated. What parts of your life get too much time? Where do you need more time? How might you achieve a better balance?
- Live for now. All time is real time. Do not postpone your life waiting for someday to arrive.
- Write a personal mission statement for yourself, describing the person you intend to be.
- Write long-range personal goals and assign priorities to them.
- Minimize television in your life. The average person watches too much. Keep a record of your viewing habits for several days and decide for yourself. Ask yourself if there is something more exciting you could do with your life than watching TV.
- Make a list of 100 things you could do to improve your life. Start doing them.
- Ask yourself: “What do I wish I had more time for?” Develop an action plan for making it happen.
- The best use of your time is not necessarily the same as for someone else. A time-waster for you may not be a time-waster for others.
How Balanced Is Your Life?
- What are my long term goals?
- What are my goals for the next six months? Make a lifetime goals list; Make a work goals list
- Go for quantity first, then quality