Wow, where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday when we toasted the new millennium, but here we are, about to ring in 2015. Sure, it’s a cliché phrase, but time really does fly by.
Time’s a funny thing, isn’t it? When we’re having a blast, it feels 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 feels like an eternity. When we’re suffering through a valley, we can’t wait for time to pass by.
Whether time flies or moves at glacial speed, we still have 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, and no choice in the matter. We use it or lose it. And, because time is one of our most prized possessions, we need to use it wisely.
How can you become a good manager your of time?
Simply practice these tips:
- Treat your time as a precious asset with limited capacity (this mindset is huge!)
- 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!
- Don’t hesitate to politely tell someone that it’s an inconvenient time for you. Interruptions can destroy your productivity if you allow it. Always saying “yes” is not necessarily a good thing!
- Learn to multi-task your lower priority responsibilities. For example, I rarely watch television without doing something else like reading the newspaper or responding to emails.
- Keep your cell phone somewhere else when you need focused time. The temptation to answer calls and texts is a major distraction. Smart phones can be our worst enemy if we aren’t careful.
- Find your best venue for focused work. Is it your home office? A coffee shop? Your patio?
- 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. You’d want them to respect your time, too.
- Always remember that you can’t recover the time you waste!
The older we get, the quicker time flies by. Regardless of our stage in life, it’s never too late to improve your time management skills and resources. 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?