Time Management, Key To A Better Life
Time cannot be managed, but you can certainly manage yourself. The basic principle is to be focused. According to the socalled Pareto Principle (which is also called the ’80:20 Rule’) we spend about 20% of our time being very focused and generate 80% of the desired outcome. That also means that we spend about 80% of our time being not very focused to achive the remainder of 20% desired output. Of course this is not an exact number if you look closely at your own daily schedule you will probably recognize the fascinating truth of the Pareto Principle. With better time management we hope to manage ourselves and gain more productive time.
You can view time management as a long list of rules to adhere to, like:
- scheduling of appointments;
- setting goals;
- things to do lists;
- and prioritizing.
These are the core skills for successful time management and it will help when these are part of your daily routine. The more you practice the easier it is. And the results will keep you motivated.
There are, however, more skills that will make a massive influence in your personal life. These skills include critical thinking, decision making and emotional intelligence.
Personal management can be a central part of your life. Everything you do, no matter how big or small counts. If you learn each day, acquire knowledge, gain advice and develop a new skill you will become a more effective and productive person in a relatively short period of time. Learn something for an hour a day and you could be an industry expert in three years.
The end result of perfect time management can’t be just about work. Your life has to be balanced. Most people, even ones that teach time management, do not fully understand this.
Time management is all about getting a result. It is not about being busy.
With self and time management you can improve several area’s in your life:
The benefits of having a healthy body are obvious, you look better, have less stress and are in general not so easily tired.
When you keep learning and growing intellectually, you become better at what you do, and thus more valuable.
Develop active contribution to society and healthy relationships. This will be hugely rewarding for you.
Focus on your career, whether you’re still in school or at work. When you effectively develop in this area you will see results.
Emotions are more important than most people think. Your emotional reaction to something that happens gives you a signal as to your core self. Without trying to sound too woolly: “When you take notice of your emotions, you can see guidance as to your most direct path to becoming who you really are”.
At some point in your life you will try and find an answer to the question about the meaning of life. And more specifically: “What is my purpose in life”.
You can plan and create to-do lists for each of these areas of your life. It may not be easy and you probably don’t have to spend time on each one every day. But you do want to make it balanced. A scan to determine if each area has enough attention is part of time management. You will not create a balanced, purposeful and successful life when you are spending all your time on just one of these area’s.
Personal time management is not very difficult, just start and adapt your system as you go along. It will help you be more effective and get more done.
A good starting point is, use a daily todo list with 6-8 items on it. Prioritize them and start at the top and finish the tasks one-by-one in order. Tick them off your list when they are finished. Make a commitment to do a task today. Anything that cannot be done for whatever reason will move to tomorrows to-do list. What also helps is to create a weekly schedule in addition to a daily to-do list and a daily plan.
In the book “The Power Of Focus: How to Hit Your Business, Personal and Financial Targets with Absolute Certainty” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt there is a good system for getting the balance right: B-ALERT
- B=Blue print
Your plan of action
Act on your plan: do it, do it now
Learn something everyday, read for an hour or listen to an educational recording
Be healthy and move your body
Schedule in some time to unwind and relax, you need it and after all the activities, you deserve it
Also take time to think consciously about your actions of the day, what you thought and what your emotions where. Keep a diary.
As you tick off these six items every day of a whole week, you can see in one glance if you have a balanced life.
A good way to learn to manage yourself is writing and reviewing goals. Create long and short term goals for yourself. And review them regularly. Be specific and write them down. You can use the S.M.A.R.T. goal acronym. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound. Don’t file them away but keep them, the same as with your daily plan and to-do list, close at hand.
When you are using the B-Alert system, it’s not always the most urgent goal that has to be done right now. It’s about getting the balance right. Each individual has their own peak time. A time of the day that you feel optimal and in general get the most done. Use this cycle to your benefit by factoring it into your daily schedule. Do the most challenging task at your peak time of the day.
The most important word that you can use is “No”. There are only three things that you can do about anything that comes your way. Do it now, do it later and don’t do it. Learning to say no helps you limit the amount of things you have to do or can do.
Give yourself a reward for good self managment. The reward should be in line with the task at hand. Do not indulge yourself, but on the other hand if you did a good job treat yourself sometimes.
Enlist other people in your surroundings. Most people are quite willing to help. And it will help you get more done. Don’t be too disappointed when someone else says no, they might have read this article!
You get far more done when you don’t procrastinate. Find out why you are not doing some task scheduled to be done now. Maybe you hesitate and are in doubt. That is normally the case. Do what very successful people do: Make a decision right now. Either you do it now or you decide that you can’t make a decision now because some information is missing. Schedule it in to make it at a certain time tomorrow or some date in the near future, so that you can gather the information or get someone’s opinion. When that scheduled time comes, you make a decision and act upon it. No further delay possible.
Be positive and get yourself in a good mood. Nobody else and no situation can get you in a good mood, you have total control over that. It will help you be successful.
I have written about it above, create a journal, write down your activities, who you met and what you felt. Also write down all these little ideas that you think of. There might be a lightbulb moment in there that will make you good money. Review your journal on a regular basis. It will help generate more ideas and keep everything in perspective.
If you do all of this, your life move fast in the right direction. You will be more creative, more effective and productive, healthier and it will also help you see more opportunities to create wealth for you and those you love.