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Do you have the time for “time management skills”?

Tips for better time management for the busy professional

Do you feel stuck in projects, overwhelmed by responsibilities, and being under pressure by the lack of time to do everything you want to? If so, you’re not alone. A growing number of people share the same feelings as you do. They feel their life is out of control because there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. More and more people are saying, “I just don’t have any time.” Time is important! By recognizing what it stands for in managing the clock as well as your people, you will achieve success in practicing your skills innovatively, within a working environment that is efficient and cost effective.

After careful consideration, there are two obvious contradictions. First, as long as we are alive, how can we say we have no time? Life is time and if we are alive, we have time so the problem is not the absence of time, but how we choose to use it.

The second contradiction is while men and women complain about how little time they have, they simply waste it. How can we use time by wasting it and later complain that we have not achieved the level of success we had hoped for? If we wish to feel in control and enjoy all the benefits of life, we will have to change our attitude toward time.

Advantages of good time management skills

If time management didn’t have any advantages you wouldn’t do it. It would be wasting time and that is not what you are trying to accomplish.

Time management increases your motivation. That’s a big advantage. Why do you feel like you are going through the motions every day? You don’t need motivation to live your life on auto-pilot. Once you see how your productivity increases, you are motivated to keep using time management tools and share them with everyone you know.

A happy family is another advantage. Are you sacrificing your family for your business? The two can co-exist peacefully. You can find the balance through time management.

timemanagsmYour business will take off in many ways. Now, you might undertake one project a week depending on the nature of your business. After implementing some time management processes your productivity could double or even triple.

Time management can be learned by anyone. All it takes is a willingness to get your life in order. That is half the battle right there. Once you decide that your life needs to change so that you can stop putting off until tomorrow what you didn’t have time to do today, the benefits to your life will be amazing. You’ll wonder why you didn’t implement time management techniques sooner.

What follows is a list of things you can do, or avoid doing, to align you with the true nature of time. We won’t be able to master time until we understand it better, so let’s go through the list:

1. First be honest with yourself. For example, to say “I don’t have the time to do that” is dishonest. If we were truthful, we would say, “I am unwilling to take the time and make the effort to do that.” Consider the results of being honest or dishonest. When we say “I don’t have the time.” we feel powerless and adopt a victim mentality. We end up avoiding responsibility and taking the easy way out. This is the path that leads to failure. Yet, when we are honest and say to ourselves, “I’m not willing to do that”, we place ourselves in a more powerful position because we are reminding ourselves that we are using the power of choice. We are not victims, but decision makers. And “I’m not willing to do that” can quickly become “I’m not willing to do that yet”, and it can later become, “Now that I have considered the benefits, I’m willing to do that.”

2. We always find the time to do what we want. But the problem is we are torn between two wants, what we want now and what we want in the future. The reason is because our brain is hardwired to seek out pleasure and avoid pain. For example, a student wants to be the best in school because that will lead to a successful life. However, there is a conflict between the desire to party with his friends now (the pleasure part) and the desire to study hard, which will result in future joy and immediate `pain’ (the hard work part). The first step in overcoming this dilemma is to be aware of it. The second step in overcoming temptation is to focus on the pleasure of our future success rather than the present ‘pain” and the third step is to take action, because when we do so, we will discover that the task was not as difficult as we had imagined it would be.

3. We cannot create time, but we can save it. One way to do so is by doing our job correctly the first time. When some people are faced with the mistakes they made, they give the excuse of “I didn’t have the time to do it properly”. If they don’t have time to do their job properly, will they ever find the time to correct their mistakes? As humans, we will make mistakes, but we need to learn from them. Repeatedly making the same mistakes is a waste of time.

4. Don’t pretend you’re going to live forever or that you have an unlimited supply of time. You don’t. Some people say time flies, but it is not time but ourselves that fly! Here today, gone tomorrow. Others don’t mind killing time, unaware that time is killing them. But because there’s so little time, like gold or diamonds, it is precious. Value it. Cherish it. Wasted time is worthless whereas time that is carefully used has the power to change, transform, and develop our lives.

5. Focus your attention on one task at a time. When you try to do too many things at once, nothing gets done.

6. Take advantage of spare moments to do the things you love doing but never get the time for them.

7. Use time wisely. For instance, use it to become a better person. Since time is an intangible object which we cannot influence, neither speed up nor slow down, it is a valuable gift. Each of us has a few minutes a day or a few hours a week which we could volunteer to help for a good cause or for charitable purposes. As an added bonus, when we spend time on improving ourselves, it is time not spent on disapproving of others.

8. Don’t spend your time worrying for the past. Not only is a waste of time, but it prevents us from acting in the present and thereby degrades our future.

9. The key to mastering time lies in finding the right balance. To get all there is out of living, we must use our time wisely, never being in too much of a hurry to stop and enjoy life, but never losing our sense of the enormous value of a minute.

10. When we procrastinate, we make the mistake of believing that this moment is not particularly important because we can always postpone our task to a later date. This way of thinking is a waste of time. Does it make any sense to postpone life? Of course not. The master of time understands that this present moment is a critical one and to ignore it is to walk away from opportunity and life.

11. Start early during the day. If you wake up at 6:00 and go to the gym for an hour and then to work until 5:00, you still have the rest of the afternoon and evening for your family and your hobbies. A little change can make a big difference in life.

12. Don’t waste time by trying to stretch time. Reading book after book on time management is time better spent on getting things done. Sometimes research on a cure for a problem is really an excuse for procrastination that only further delays the cure.

13. Prioritize. Do what is most important first. By not doing so is a waste of time.

14. We need to balance work with play, so take time for recreation. Any time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. People who cannot find time for recreation, sooner or later will find time for illness.

CONCLUSION

Time management is important for a well-balanced life. Juggling family and work is a constant concern. But, both can have their time in the spotlight with effective time management. Each day has 24 hours. You get no more and no less. How you use that amount of time makes all the difference to your life. You can create a happy family, a growing business and realize personal goals during that time if you really want to change your life. Time management takes time, though. It may not be weeks, but months and years to get all of your needs and wants satisfied. But, every step of the way, there will be tangible benefits to show that you are progressing in the right direction. Pull out that calendar and get the ball rolling today!

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