The average human lifespan consists of around 4,000 weeks. Which sounds like a big number until you consider how many of them are spent at school or sleeping. Hence with only limited time available to each one of us, it’s natural to feel a certain level of anxiety. After all time is really the essence of life.. Isn’t it?
It is one thing that has been given to everyone equally; rich or poor, young or old, regardless of the colour of your skin, twenty-four hours make a day to both the King and the Peasant.
You see.. Time is the stuff that life is made of and therefore wasting time amounts to wasting life. But time management isn’t about quelling the fear of wasting time. It’s about understanding the far-reaching benefits of using our time wisely.
It is about understanding that even being hyperactive and always on the go, always doing something, does not necessarily translate to effective management of time.
Infact, effective time management is about getting maximum value out of the most precious resource that has been allotted to each one of us equally – 24 hours per day!
“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.” – When legendary jazz musician Miles Davis wrote this, he probably wasn’t thinking about how you spend your day. But he hit on a truth that is often forgotten by most people.
So here are a few tips to help you to make the most of your time:
- Know your goals – “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.” Without first setting your goals correctly, there is noway you can achieve them. So first set your goals and then break it down into smaller parts which needs be accomplished in order to be able to achieve this goal.
- Prioritize wisely – “It is not enough to be busy.. The question is: what are you busy about?” Time management comes down to making choices. So create a To Do list that includes all your Important and Urgent tasks and allocate time for each of these. Remember that Time management and Prioritization both go hand in hand. You can manage your time effectively only when you know what is supposed to be done when.
- Just say no – Bring “no” back into your vocabulary. It doesn’t matter how much you prioritize or delegate if you keep adding more and more to your task list. Every time you say “yes” to some urgent yet not important task, you’re saying “no” to time that could be spent on meaningful work. Remember that saying “no” is a decision and saying “yes” is a responsibility so be careful about what you say yes to.
- Plan ahead – One of the worst things that you can do is wake-up without a plan for the day. Instead of focusing on what needs to be done, you wander aimlessly and let the day run you instead of you running the day. So preferably, plan your day the night before.
- Eliminate Distractions – Identify your time wasters (like binging on social media, trying to work around a cluttered and untidy environment, making unimportant phone calls etc) and allocate a small percentage of your day to indulge in it. This will help you to motivate yourself to stay focused on the task at hand while you are at it. Researches show that the true length of distractions = length of distractions + 23 mins and 15 secs. Add that up and just take a look at how much time you are losing in a day.
- Delegate more often – Prioritization and delegation are key to making sure you’re getting the most out of your time. Unfortunately, studies show that most people spend 41% of their time on tasks they could easily pass off to others. Hence if something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate!
- Take care of yourself – Don’t undermine this one! Sleep, Exercise and Nutrition is the foundation of everything good in our life so don’t compromise on this at all. If you don’t want to spend the last phase of your life living in regret that time your time just passed you by, then you must understand that taking care of yourself is the most important task of your day. Afterall, you are all you have truly got.
Always remember that time is our most precious resource. And while we can’t control its movement, we can make sure we get the most out of the time we do have.