Where did 2012 go? It seems like last New Year’s Eve was just last week, not last year! Life is flying by at 58!
Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? When we’re having a blast, it’s like someone is pushing the “fast forward” button. In contrast, if we have a two-point lead with three minutes left in the game, it seems like an eternity.
Whether time flies or moves at glacial speed, we have 24 hours in a day and no choice in the matter. We use it or lose it. And, because time is one of our most prized possessions (recall it’s one of our three primary assets—along with talent and treasure), we need to use it wisely.
How do you become a good manager of time? Try the following:
- Treat your time as a precious asset with limited capacity
- Organize a to-do list by urgency (deadline) and priority (importance). Take both into account when deciding what to focus on each day.
- “Block” your time (i.e., group it in 30-60 minute intervals without interruption) in order to complete your highest priority assignments. Avoid interspersing lower priority tasks within your high priority assignment intervals. Take control of your time!
- Don’t hesitate to politely tell someone that it’s an inconvenient time for you. Interruptions can destroy your productivity if you allow it.
- Learn to multi-task (i.e. simultaneously performing) your lower priority responsibilities. For example, I rarely watch television without doing something else like reading the newspaper.
- Keep your cell phone somewhere else when you need focused time. The temptation to answer calls and texts is a major distraction.
- Find your best venue for focused work.
- Take periodic breaks. Studies show we’re less productive when we work over an hour straight without a five-minute break. Breaks help our mind recharge.
- Respect and honor the time of others by being punctual.
- Always remember that you can’t recover the time you waste!
Becoming a wise time manager is an admirable New Year’s Resolution. Is it yours?
How productive are you with your time? Do you view it as a precious asset and focus on your most important priorities? What are some ways you have learned to become a more effective time manager? Share your thoughts and ideas with us!