Value your time? Four targeted Steps to Really Manage it

Learn to Manage Your Time

Your life has a set, limited time, making TIME your most precious commodity. How you choose to spend it makes all the difference.

I’ve heard this from family and friends too many times: “I am busy, I don‘t have enough time, my day ran out and I did not…” So here comes time management, a term used a lot in business, to the rescue. Incorporating time management to your daily life is key to focused living.

Ready? Here are the four targeted Steps to manage it

  1. Understand facts about Time
  • Time is spent – Time passes and how you choose to use it and spend it is in your control.
  • You cannot collect it for a later use – You can postpone your actions but not your time.
  • When your time is up, you cannot get more of it.
  • Ponder: “Right NOW, is later than it’s ever been”.
  1. Learn to manage it
  • You daily activities are opportunities to accomplish something. Among those opportunities choose the best ones to do.  Choose those opportunities that align with what you want.  Spend time on those. These are your priorities
  • Evaluate your priorities. Decide what’s important to you and let go of what isn’t.  Take care of top priorities first until they are done. If possible, complete them one at a time.
  • Set goals and work on reaching them – Develop a systematic, short-term to long-term approach to getting your tasks done.
  • Learn where your time goes –
    • Record how you spend your time so you can evaluate where it goes. Here is a free form you can download: Download A Daily Activities Time Form
      • As you record your time, pay attention to the time of day when you are most productive, most energized. That is the time of day to spend on your Top Priorities.
      • Find areas where you waste your time and where spend time on low priorities. Eliminate those.
    • Evaluate your daily activities (it will also help with priorities). Ask many questions like:  Are my actions necessary or needed? Can I delegate some to others? Why did I do it? – Was it urgent? Important?  Am I wasting my time on it? Or Do I like doing it?
  1. Just like Money, Budget it, Have a Plan
  • What you can do with time, like money is budget it. Set up a plan to get important tasks done.  Create a schedule ahead and follow it.  When you have a plan, you are proactive.  Without a plan you are reactive.  Avoid the latter, as it’s a time waster. Don’t put off important matters.  Do them first.
  • Like money, decide how you will spend your time – refer to your priorities and time tracking. Can you consolidate activities?  Can you break “big” tasks to manageable tasks?
  • Learn how to “save” time and how “not to waste” it. Look at your schedule, time budget, and see where you can save time.  Do you have tasks with “wait time” where you can do smaller tasks while waiting? Do you waste valuable time on useless activities?
  • Build a plan that fit and serves YOU.
  1. Take Action by:
  • Reducing your time commitments to what is important to you.
  • Sorting your tasks now to later, urgent first, important next and non-important last.
  • Cutting time wasting activities.
  • Avoiding people who waste your time. Learn to recognize them and tactfully send them on their way.  They are the needy, the complainers, those who seek recognition, the drama queens and kings.
  • Being aware and stopping distractions immediately. Can you control them?  Those you create, cut them out.  Those others’ create, can you say no?  Do you have a choice?  If yes, learn to say NO with a smile.
  • Becoming efficient, ask: is there a more efficient way to…?
  • Delegating what you can and using others’ time to your advantage.
  • Capturing time where possible and adding hours by being organized, working SMARTER not HARDER.
  • Finding dead time. Cutting TV time, will give you time.  Twenty hours a week of TV time equals 26 (40-hour weeks). I know you need some rest and relaxation, but many of us do spend too much time watching TV.
  • Keeping your time plans on time. If you planned a 10-minute break to socialize, for example, Facebook, Instagram, keep it to the 10 minutes, no more.
  • Making decisions. Do you procrastinate?  If yes, ask: Why am I not making the decision or doing it? If I don’t enjoy the task, can I delegate it? What happens if I don’t do it?  If you have to do it, just get on and take care of it. When you perform it, be proud you did it.

Stop wasting your most precious commodity. By managing your time you will be healthy financially, physically, mentally and spiritually. Do find time for family and friends you love and create healthy, lasting, relationship. Remember that you have the ability to choose and exercise control over your time and your actions. So choose to manage yourself wisely making the most of your valuable time.

The choices we make and actions we take using our time, hour by hour, day by day, add up to what we become. – Carmit Brandt

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