The Importance of Effective Time Management
As we all know, there are only 24 hours in a day. These days, with all of the distractions, especially those originating from our new online world, it is so easy to fill those hours quickly. This highlights the need to have an effective Time Management Strategy.
At the end of the day it is easy to look back and ask yourself questions like:
- “How productive was I today?”
- “What did I really accomplish today?
- “If I set goals for today, did I finish what I set out to do?”
- “What did I actually spend most my time on?”
Without an effective time management strategy, you likely won’t enjoy the answers to these questions.
Time Management Is Especially Needed in Today’s “Modern World!”
With all of the increasing distractions happening these days, it is so important to get on top of your use of time now more than ever. If you don’t learn to manage your time too often you will find yourself going to bed with your “to-do” list barely touched. Managing your time effectively can be one of the biggest factors that make a difference between success and failure!
Now more than ever it is so important to have a methodical daily, monthly and yearly plan for all areas of your life. Thoroughly planning and having a set of tasks on your to-do list for each of the key areas of your life is paramount. This process can dramatically affect the quality of your life.
Determining which area in your life is not getting enough attention is a great start in implementing your time management strategy. Each area of the 6 main areas, which are discussed below, creates a part of the “whole you.” If you are ignoring one area then you are ignoring an important part of yourself.
What Is Time Management Is about?
As mentioned, there are six areas in your life where you need to manage your use of time if you want to be successful. By managing your use of your limited time it will give your life balance while at the same time dramatically increasing your productivity. The 6 priority areas include, in no particular order, your physical wellness, intellectual, social, career, emotional and spiritual growth.
Most of All it is About Making Life More Enjoyable, as Well As MORE Productive.
- The physical aspect involves having a healthy body, which includes eating well, exercising, and having less stress and fatigue in your life.
- The intellectual aspect involves learning and growing intellectually, having control of your thoughts, having a positive focused mindset, and utilizing various intellectual focus growth activities such as meditation
- The social aspect involves having time and enjoying personal and/or intimate relationships. It also includes time to give back to humanity.
- The career aspect involves school and work and is likely that these parts will take a big chunk of your allotted awake time
- The emotional aspect involves appropriate feelings and desires and manifesting them. This process is ongoing throughout the course of your day and will come to your attention as actions or more importantly reactions rise to the surface.
- The spiritual aspect involves your own personal quest for the meaning of your life and of human existence in general.
The Importance of a Balanced Time Management approach
From the moment that you integrate time management skills, you will have opened several new and powerful options to improve your life. This can provide you with a broad spectrum of solutions to your personal productivity and growth. It also creates more doors for new and exciting opportunities to knock on.
The Purpose of Time Management
The purpose of time management is to utilize your time in a way that suits you best. The main goal is to increase your productivity, all the while giving you more time to do what you enjoy.
In no way is time management meant or designed as another way to beat yourself up or to judge yourself. It’s simply supposed to be a gift, not a penalty. The process should be supportive, growth-oriented, support your overall quality of life, and be a sensible and reasonable approach in solving problems big or small.
Get this 2 page “Principles of effective Time Management for Balance, Well-Being, and Success from McGraw Center at Princeton University HERE
The Need To Manage Distractions
As I mentioned above, our day-to-day list of distractions has grown dramatically over the last 20 years. Much of this is a result of the introduction and utilization of various forms of technology, especially “Social Media. ” As such, it so important to get on top of how you manage your time as soon as possible.
Some of this is going to require discipline to eliminate or manage utilization of things like social media, online entertainment from games to video distractions-okay porn, to even just sitting reading the news.
For me, many times I found myself sitting down to write something, say a blog post or article, and then come up against a mental block. Instead of working through the block, I found myself playing solitaire. The next thing I knew, 30+ minutes (or more) had gone by. The time was absolutely wasted time.
When I implemented time management, I kept my goals in plain sight. Even before that, I deleted any potential distractions that I could from my computer, such as Solitaire.
The Need for Focused Time
Time management is basically about being focused. More importantly, it’s about maintaining that focus until you complete the task on hand. For many of us, this means creating a new habit, one of Focus and Concentration.
Over and over you will hear stories about how people today have a very short attention span. Even worse is that it’s continuing to get shorter and shorter. This is a direct result of the increasing amount of information coming at us constantly. This in essence is overloading our neurology. There is a good article you can read here on this topic
I cannot say enough about how your life can change for the better if you can master time management ASAP.
Time Management Is Not Just A Set Of Rules
Some people view time management merely as a set of rules. This translates into creating a schedule of appointments, progressive goal setting supported by thorough planning, creating “to-do” lists, and then prioritizing the goals.
These are the core basics of time management that should be understood in order to properly develop an efficient personal time management skillset. These basic skills can transform your life and they can be fine-tuned further to include the finer points of each skill. This can then give you that extra reserve you need in order to create the results you desire.
Most people overlook the fact that in reality there are more skills involved in time management than just the core basics. There are additional skills needed to be successful with time management. These skills include
- Tracking how you spend your time
- Setting Priorities
- Implementing the use of a good planning tool
- Scheduling Appropriately
- Being able to Delegate
- Manage the list of “time wasters” – Handheld Devices, Email, Visitors, Meetings
- Focusing on the task at hand
- Most important – Staying Healthy by exercising and eating properly
In reality, personal time management covers 24 hours of your day and involves everything you do. No matter how big and no matter how small, every minute counts. This will help you to stop wasting time that could be spent creating amazing things in your life and even helping the lives of others. Each new skill or increased knowledge you obtain, each new advice/ feedback you consider, as well as every new skill you develop, no matter how big or small, should be added to the mix.
Now that you have all of this free time you can make more money doing other things. If you want some ideas, try this article of 15 alternative ways to make money HERE
The Need to Observe
In order to make effective change, it really helps to know where you’re at. Again increase your awareness. Begin to observe what takes you off task. How long can you be writing a document and then find yourself walking around the room? Can you stay focused and then find yourself playing solitaire or searching social media? What can you do to manage your phone so that you can stay focused on what you need to do?
Start becoming aware of what distracts you and even better what causes you to get distracted. All of these things are just merely skills that move unconsciously part of yourself. They can be undone. You can replace the skills with more productive ones. It will just take some practice. Begin with increasing your awareness.
Another time-waster for me was when I would be in the middle of writing a blog post and I would get mentally stuck. I didn’t know what to do next.
Instead of playing Solitaire, I would get up and walk around the room, go to the kitchen to make something to eat. As I became more aware of this I would stop myself. I would simply say to myself “stay focused!” I then would continue to stay at the computer and finish the post. This one little observation made me considerably more productive.
It’s the littlest distractions that add up to hours of wasted time if you don’t nip them in the bud.
The Need for Balance
Don’t get me wrong, time management is not about spending every waking moment at work. Quite the contrary it’s about enjoying life as much as possible.
Managing time is also about having fun, doing things and your loved ones, exercising, traveling, seeing the world, etc., etc.
It is so important to factor in a balanced lifestyle as part of the time management equation. Many people when they start to adopt time management think they must start scheduling every waking moment. They become hypervigilant about side excursions or (perceived) distractions. This is the main aspect that many practitioners of personal time management fail to grasp.
Time management is about getting results, not about being busy. But it’s also about enjoying life. You do need to review your goals often, whether immediate or long-term, to ensure you are making progress on what is important to you currently.
Get 10 Strategies for Better Time Management from the University of Georgia HERE
A Great Way to Integrate Time Management
The best way to integrate a Time Management process is to keep a list of tasks that is always accessible to you.
- Use your best judgement to always determine which of your identified tasks is necessary in achieving your goals and which activities are helping you maintain a balanced life style.
- Understand your natural body rhythms. We all of us have days that are better suited for us to take action and times when we might even need a nap. These are our own natural cycles. We all have times when we are best able to do hard tasks. For some people it’s early in the morning. For some people it could be the middle of the afternoon or even in the evening. Only you will know. Adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Learning to set boundaries: this is so so important for everyone and I’m sure you’ve heard this many times. It’s important that you take this on and utilize this device even in if it means saying the word NO to family members or friends, let alone business associates.
- Acknowledge yourself and your accomplishments in any manner that works for you to help you to reinforce the positive aspects of effective time management.
- Try and get the cooperation from people around you who are actually benefiting from your efforts of time management.
- Take action! Overcome procrastination! Adopt the strategy of “DO IT NOW!”.
- Work at maintaining a constant positive attitude and set yourself up for success.
- Support your success by setting realistic goals which (when you accomplish them) will help reinforce your approach in achieving your goals.
- Have a record or journal of all your activities. This will help you get things in their proper perspective.
Time Management is Another Powerful Tool You Now Know About That Can Help You to Have an Exceptional Life .
Like everything, it is up to you! NOW Take (Massive) action!! Transform your life and have everything you can / want, then share this skillset with someone else!
Personal time management is another steppingstone in the art and science of building a BETTER (AnDE incredible ) Life.