Managing Your Time


 

Where Does the Time Go?

The digital age is providing us with many choices.  Along with this, communication has become so much easier.  Consequently, we are being bombarded with information and whether we like it or not, we have to deal with it in our daily lives.

You often hear people say, and we say it ourselves:  “Where has the time gone, the years are just slipping away, it must be an age thing”.  The truth is that the extra information and the ability to communicate better is consuming our lives and robbing us of valuable time, so that we are not achieving our work and personal goals.

Do you recognise any of these symptoms?

  • Your life is one big panic
  • Your life seems to be speeding past without you getting anywhere
  • You seem to waste so much time at work and at home
  • Life is so stressful, there is no time to catch up
  • You always seem to miss deadlines
  • You have dreams and ambitions, but never the time to pursue them.

If you can identify with any of these statements then you need to read on.

To get over these hurdles it’s not just a matter of being well organised and having a plan, as you may think.  It’s about having the ability to sort out what’s important and what is time wasting.  In other words it’s about what not to do, being very selective, focused, disciplined, understanding what you can and can’t do, and saying ‘no’.  It’s about having personal as well as practical skills.

Personal Skills

Let’s start with personal skills.  Having good personal skills is paramount to making the practical ones happen.

The first step to making extra time at work or at home to achieve your goals is that you have to be serious about achieving them.  Trying to save time half-cocked won’t work, you need to be committed.  If you think time management won’t work – then it won’t!

Once you are committed to making important and beneficial changes to your life, then it will change – for the better.

TIP – Know what’s Important

A good place to start is to look at the big picture of time management, rather than all the little bits and pieces that go into making up your every day or every week, which may seem a little daunting.  Looking at the big picture will enable you to easily see the smaller but quality pieces that go to making up your life.

Here are six personal skills steps to take towards freeing up your time:

  1. Work Life Balance - before we go any further, you need to understand that there is work and there is life. Having a work/life balance seems to be a bit of a buzz word, but does your employer practice it, and do you practice it?  Our daily lives can be split into three areas:  work, family/social, and interests.  Do you have a good balance between the three?  Other than work, what areas do you need to improve?
  1. Focusing on Goals - another reason many people don’t have enough work life balance is simply that they don’t really know what they truly want. Around 70% of people don’t have goals.  25% have goals but don’t write them down.  Whereas the 5% who have goals and write them down achieve more than the others.
  1. Being Realistic - when setting goals it’s important not to have too many or to aim too high, understand what you can and can’t do. If you don’t you will not achieve what you set out to do and will most likely become despondent.  You are more likely to achieve realistic goals that are also realistic in number and have realistic timeframes.
  1. Staying Focused - during any day there are many temptations that will divert us from achieving our goals. Don’t worry about giving offence by declining demands upon your time; your first priority is to be in control of your own day.  If you can’t see that there’s something constructive in it for you, say “No”. If you say it in an assertive way, your refusal will soon be forgotten.
  1. Knowing When You Work Best – people usually work better at one end of the day or the other. The trick is that once you have worked out whether you are a morning or a night person, you need to schedule most of your daily activities into this part of the day, and be disciplined enough to ensure they happen.
  1. Beating Procrastination – procrastination is the waiting disease of time. At best it will merely enslave you and force you to squander your days.  At worst it will stop you in your tracks.  It will freeze your ambitions, handicap you at work and keep you under achieving.

TIP – Beating Procrastination

Make a ‘things to do’ list at the end of your day and use it as your agenda for the following day.  Break tasks down into more manageable chunks whenever possible.  As you start the day, pick off the easiest tasks first, crossing them off the list will spur you on to tackle the monsters.

 

Managing Your Time Workbook

Continue with Managing Your Time by purchasing the full workbook on this topic. Learn about the practical skills, such as goal setting, to do lists and diaries, prioritising, meetings, and delegating. The workbook is packed with lots more tips, activities, templates and samples to help you manage your time at work and at home. Sharpen your time management skills further by engaging your own private Coach.  Contact us!  In its original state the workbook can be used by facilitators for short workshop presentations.

 

 

 

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