- Talking to yourself
- Time Management Tips
Many of us feel feel like there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that we want or need to do.
Well, I am here to tell you that a proper time management strategy will make you feel like a super hero! If you learn from this article, you will be amazed at how much you can get done while at the same time minimizing the stress you feel!
Time is our most valuable resource, and we should treat it as such.
Lets examine time management and apply it in our lives to reap the benefits.
With the great plot twist of the day, I am going to start off by saying there is no such thing as time management (Gasps!)
That’s right, there is no such thing as time management. Time is beyond our control, time will pass no matter what we do. Our only hope in the face of time’s inevitable march onward, is to manage our selves.
There is no such thing as time management, there is only self management.
The issue of what we call ‘time management’ is really a matter of choices. We can choose to be efficient, or we can choose to be disorganized. We can choose to be easily distracted, or we can choose to get rid of distractions and focus. We can choose to concentrate on our highest value tasks, or we can be a leaf at the mercy of the wind and avoid such choices.
We are not concerned with ‘managing time’ but managing self’.
If you see yourself as someone who struggles with ‘time management’ then you will talk to yourself as such, you create situations and scenarios that prove you right, you repeat similar choices subconsciously and you get the same results. If you want new results, you have to learn new processes. And this will also mean you have to start seeing yourself in a new light.
So we are going to use the power of positive affirmations. These are commands that begin in the conscious mind and we transfer them to the subconscious mind. This is very effective in self-management because it will affect all of our decisions, not just one; it will allow us to be consistent in out decisions and our gains will be multiplied exponentially.
So we are going to start by talking to ourself as if we were already the excellent ‘time manager’ we want to be.
Start your days by looking in the mirror and saying:
“I am excellent at time management, I manage my time well. I am excellent at time management, I manage my time well.”
If you are doing it right it might feel funny or ridiculous to look yourself in the eyes and talk to yourself like this. If it feels ridiculous, congratulations! you are doing it right. Saying this to yourself repeatedly will influence all of your decisions, your knee-jerk reactions, and your thoughts. This is the foundation that will help to hold all of the action items we will describe in the next section.
Once you master this technique you have a the tool of a champion, and if applied correctly, this will open doors for you and change your life. Use it wisely, because any thing that is repeated will be accepted by the subconscious mind.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Create a daily plan. Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.
Peg a time limit to each task. Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.
Use an organizer. The organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.
Know your deadlines. When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.
Use a calendar. Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software. Google Calendar is great – I use it. It’s even better if you can sync it to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are.
Target to be early. When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time. For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.
Set reminders 15 minutes before. Most calendars have a reminder function. If you’ve an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.
Prioritize. Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest. Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. The 80/20 principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. Identify the 20% of the work that will give 80% of the results and do those first.
Learn to say “No”. Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period. If someone wastes 10 minutes of your time 8 minutes was your fault.
Delegate. If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.
Take five minutes before every task to decide what result you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start.
Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done. Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and e-mails just because they show up.
Don’t think of the totality of your to-do list. One of the fastest ways to overwhelm yourself is to think about your massive to-do list. All you can do is focus on the one task before you. This one, single, solitary task. One step at a time. Breathe.
Focus. Focus on just one key task at one time, stop multi-tasking. Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.
Block out distractions. What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in? Eliminate your time wasters. Stop checking social media so often. One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. On your phone you can use an app called App Detox that will allow you to put restrictions on other apps such as twitter and intstagram
Track your time spent. Egg Timer is a simple online countdown timer. You key in the amount of time you want it to track (example: “30 minutes”, “1 hour”) and it’ll count down in the background. When the time is up,the timer will beep. Great way to be aware of your time spent.
Don’t fuss about unimportant details. You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Often times trivial details are very time consuming and it may be best to leave them for the end so you can make progress quickly.
Cut off when you need to. #1 reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to. Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.
Take a break. Go for a walk outdoors or, better still, do some exercise. You’ll come back re-energised, with new renewed focus.”
Get an early start. Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. It seems so easy, and you always manage to get it done eventually, so why not?
Create organizing systems. Being organized saves tons of time, and you don’t have to be the most ultra-organized person in the world either. Systems aren’t complicated to implement.
Turn key tasks into habits. If you have tasks that you know pop up with frequency you can try making them into habits at the same time each day for greater productivity. If you know you have a deadline coming up you can block a time each day to do one hour of work towards that goal each day and make it into a habit.
Be conscientious of amount of TV/Internet/gaming time. Time spent browsing Twitter or gaming or watching TV and movies can be one of the biggest drains on productivity.
Do less. Slow down, notice what needs to be done, and concentrate on those things. Do less things that create more value, rather than more things that are mostly empty.
Exercise and eat healthily. Numerous studies have linked a healthy lifestyle with work productivity. Similar to getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthily boost energy levels, clear your mind, and allow you to focus more easily.
Sleep at least 7-8 hours. Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not the case. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally.