The intricacies of today’s over hyped world, have taken a toll on how we manage our time. Almost everyone is facing the same challenge one way or the other but quite a number of people have learnt and mastered the art of effective time management, which to me is a skill that can be learnt by almost anyone but it requires you to be focused and disciplined.
Time is time, it is the same all over the world. Every living creature has the same amount of time – twenty four hours each day. Time is required to accomplish any dream you have. Time is limited to 24 hours a day, so you have a personal decision to either spend it wisely or simply waste it.
You would agree with me that you need effective time management for you to reach your goals especially financial goals.
Here are four simple steps for Effective time management;
- Planning – quite a number of people live without a plan, start a project without a plan, get married without plan, or simply go on living without a plan! I can’t over-emphasize the importance of having a detailed plan, but let me confess it could be a rather boring process at first and this is where discipline comes to your aid – you have to plan and not just plan in your head, write it down (detailed plan).
- Organisation – after writing down your plan, the next step is to your organise your plan. This involves you doing a lot of research and brainstorming to identify the best strategies to execute your plan. I can assure you this is usually not so boring, depending on your situation. Don’t forget to write down, how you plan to organise your plan.
- Implementation – how you have organised your plan will determine how you go about with the implementation. This is where you have to face reality especially if your plan was not carefully thought through but this is usually the most exciting part of the planning process.
- Evaluation – involves the appraisal of the entire process. If you don’t make it a habit of performing this action, you may never learn some valuable lessons in every experience, whether good or bad.
We are all victims of carrying out only Step 3 – we start and end with it, we have a plan and implement it without actually Planning the plan, Organising the plan and Evaluating the plan. If you still do this, you may succeed but you will hardly get maximum results.
My definition of effective time management is simply the process of Planning, Organising, Implementing and Evaluating the use of your time in order to accomplish or perform certain tasks or duties.
I also want you to take good note of these two universal time use patterns because they will help you manage your time more effectively:
- Work time pattern; a) Employment time b) Home related work time c) Volunteer work time etc.
- Non Work time pattern a) Sleep time b) Free time c) Leisure time etc.
I have 4 time management questions you have to personally answer;
- How do you manage your time with your family? Are you short changing time with them?
- How do you manage time spent on your business or profession?
- How do you manage your time with your Creator?
- How do you manage your brain storming session?
“Many people seem to think that success in one area can compensate for failure in other areas. But can it really?…True effectiveness requires balance.”
— Stephen Covey
Do write down your answers and make a promise to improve where ever you are lagging behind.
Another 7 basic steps to Effective Time Management
- Use a time table or time plan.
- Arrange all your tasks properly.
- Plan to do related jobs at a time.
- Learn the best method (s) for doing each tasks.
- Avoid procrastination- delaying activities.
- Concentrate on the task at hand – distractions lead to waste of time.
- Provide and use appropriate equipment (software) for various tasks.
I actually use quite a number of good software both premium and free – I may do a future your post on how to use various software to manage your time effectively.
4 Benefits of Effective Time Management
1. It minimizes waste of time and leads to accomplishment of greater tasks.
2. It produces better results.
3. It helps you recognize priorities in life i.e. saving time for studying, resting, relaxing or leisure activities.
4. It also reduces in decision or worry in the use of time and other resources so as to reach your goals.
Personally, I need more time if only God can allow that (in my dreams)??? I have so much tasks lined up for me to carry out almost on a daily basis but with the quote below I have no choice but to have enough time.
“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, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
— H. Jackson Brown