Most likely, at some point in your life, you’ve attempted to use a planning system in order to organize and prioritize your schedule. Although despite these efforts, you may still be wondering, “Where does all my time go?”
The reason these methods don’t work is simple. These day planner systems place a disproportionately high amount of importance on clock time as being the greatest determinant for effective time management. The main weakness of this approach is its lack of consideration for the influence that human interactions have. Ultimately, successful time management is not a matter of how much time you have, but rather how you choose to use your time. The solution? Less planning, and more doing.
[box title=”Tips on how to make better use of your time:”]
- Begin each day with undisturbed scheduling. Set aside thirty minutes every morning to plan the rest of your day. If you don’t plan out what you hope to accomplish then you’ll likely end up leaving your day susceptible to influence from others. Do not start this until your day is done.
- Discover what’s not working to figure out what will. Carry a notebook around with you wherever you go and record all of your activities for a week. The more accurate and thorough your notes are, the better chance you have in uncovering where your faults lie. The notes allow you to get a sense of what you spend the majority of your time doing. As a result, you’ll be able to recognize how much time you actually spend productively and how much time you misuse. The success of this strategy is directly related to the amount of honest and reliable note taking you do during the week. Fabricating the truth or sugar coating the reality of a situation in your journaling will only serve to sabotage your results. The more honest you are, the more effective this will be.
- Viciously prioritize. Make a to-do list with all of the tasks that you would like to ideally accomplish. Then viciously prioritize. Any activities/appointments/tasks that play an important part in the success of your business should be assigned a specific time slot first. Be sure to assign an exact start and finish time for each specific activity. This will help to minimize the possibility of “losing track of time,” and will help you visualize precisely when you will finish each task and how much time you have left after each one is completed. Again, time slots are only as effective as you make them. The only way this method can be truly beneficial is if you are able to demonstrate discipline in actually following through with each of your scheduled activities.
- Understand your limits. Remember that you are human and that there are limits to the amount you can accomplish in a day. Do not set unrealistic expectations for yourself that lead to discouragement. Becoming proficient at managing your time may take years to accomplish, but it is the small positive steps you make every day that determine long lasting success.[/box]
[alert]What’s important to keep in mind is that you can have the ability to accomplish all of the tasks you set out to do once you are able to take control of your time. Commit to having control of your time and not letting time take control of you. Once you can accomplish this, you are well on your way to success.[/alert]
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Latest posts by Michelle Belko
- Tips for Time Management - March 27, 2013