Do you agree that good time management skills is essential for success? The folks over at findmyworkspace.com think so too and they share some useful tricks to make time work for you!
Have you heard of the concept of clock time versus real time?
Clock time refers to the actual physical time- 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds in one day. You cannot stop it from ticking away and once it passes, you cannot get it back.
Real time is relative – it can either be fast or slow, depending on what you are doing. Real time is mental, you create it. Once you create it, you manage it and you decide how much time you spend on thoughts, conversations and actions.
One problem with traditional time management methods is that we only plot in our actions. We do not allot the necessary time for thoughts, conversations, and also interruptions to our day.
Here are some of the proven ways on how to manage and master your real time effectively:
Always have a notebook and pen with you
Record each thought, conversation and action, for a period of one week.
As you review it after, you will see where the bulk of your time goes. You’ll be able to check what eats up most of your time – and that will help you evaluate whether or not you are using your time wisely.
Use the first 30 minutes of your day to plan for the day ahead
You might be tempted to surge ahead to perform your numerous responsibilities and tasks. You might feel that you don’t have time to “waste” on planning your busy day.
However, a deliberate and detailed plan will actually help you save a lot of time, point you in the right direction and make sure that you are focused on the right and important things.
How to plan your schedule:
Important thoughts, conversations and actions should have time slots assigned to them. Plot in when they will begin and end. Schedule appointments with yourself and make sure that all high-impact and high-priority activities are included.
Keep in mind that at least 50% of your productive time should be deliberately allocated for the thoughts, conversations and actions that produce the most results or have a direct impact on your vision and goals.
Plan for interruptions and distractions and set aside time for them. A good rule of thumb is to allot an hour for unexpected events or delays. This is your time slot to catch up on backlogs to put you back on track. You can call this “my hour”, “catch-up time”, or whatever else you fancy.
Make your schedule realistic and do not overbook your appointments.
Of course, all your planning will be futile if you do not have the discipline to adhere to your set schedule, so discipline yourself to stick to it.
Set aside 5 minutes before tackling a task…
…to carefully map out how you plan to go about it. This is also to remind yourself of the end result that you are aiming for. This ensures that your time spent in performing the task will indeed be productive.
After the completion of the task, reflect again to determine whether or not you were able to achieve your desired results. This will help you know how to approach similar tasks next time, saving you more time and effort in the long run.
Minimize your distractions:
Inform others when you certainly should not be disturbed. Consider closing the door to your office or put up a “do not disturb” sign.
Refrain from checking your phone or email with each ping or signal that indicates an incoming call or message. Respond immediately only when it is urgent and important.
Assign a time slot on when you will answer emails and return phone calls and do these tasks in batches. A batch in the morning and another one at the end of the day might work, depending on the volume of the correspondence you receive daily. Make sure that you get to reply to your messages and return phone calls within 24 to 48 hours.
Avoid time-wasters, such as constant checking of your social media accounts, unless they are related to your work functions.
Remember the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule:
20% of your input or effort contributes to 80% of your output or results.
Identify the activities that generate the most returns for your business or your vision, and focus on them. Devote your most productive time to the thoughts, conversations and actions with the biggest rewards.
Time is a concept that we are all familiar with, but something that is rarely fully understood by most people. It is something that we have no control of, something that we cannot buy more of. But if you practice creating your time in your mind, you can learn how to better manage it and achieve your best and happiest outcome.