A lot of people if not all of us complain of not having enough time to do all we want to do in a day. More often than not, this results in leaving many important tasks undone or half done.
These complaints cannot be delinked from our inability to manage time as we do with every other scarce resource, which must be properly planned and managed for maximum benefits.
“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, Jr
Therefore, in this article, we shall give you some time-tested tips on how to manage time properly so you can achieve a stress-free productivity, and enjoy the fruits of your labour ever after.
1. Identify your time wasters and deal with them
You may not have thought about it, but there are indeed activities or pastimes that actually eat up your precious time. They’re called time wasters. Activities like spending endless hours in front of the television or on the Facebook or some social media network or in some idle talk. Seek out your own time wasters and deal them a decisive blow by re-channeling those precious times to profitable ventures.
2. Focus on high value activities
As you know there’re countless activities on a 24-hour circle seeking your attention and time. What do you do? The answer is simple: focus or assign a large chunk of your time on high value activities – activities that drive you towards corporate goals and objectives or meeting targets. In other words, you learn to prioritise your work by placing your important activity on the top priority list.
3. Do plenty of what you’re supposed to do
In your daily activity schedule, do what you’re supposed to do. If you’re paid to write, just write. If you’re paid to clean, just clean. In other words, do plenty of you’re supposed to do on a daily basis particularly if you’re going to be appraised or judged by how much you diligently did what you’re supposed to do. This is a great way to manage time effectively.
4. Set Priorities and goals
Remember that on a 24-hour circle, too many things compete for your time and attention. Sometimes this deluge of activities could actually drown you. So what do you do? Prioritise and set goals. Place the most important activity at the top or better still use alphabets to delineate which is top priority and which activity should take the back queue – A, B, C, D .. And then set goals on how and when to achieve them. Remember your goals must be Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realisable and time-bound.
5. Don’t forget – Write them down
Because many issues and activities compete for your attention and time, learn to write them down because you may forget. Write down your goals, objectives and daily schedules. Carry a notebook and a pen everywhere go. Indeed, many great ideas have been lost because failed to write them down.
6. Create and use check lists
In the course of my working life, creating and using check lists have been of immense benefits because for me, every activity is a project. So, I create check lists of all that is needed to achieve a project, it helps set up time frames for realizing each component part of the project, it helps me prioritise and ascertain what resources I need, where I can find these resources, who can help me find these resources assuming they’re not within reach, etc.
7. Create To-Do lists
You’re about leaving the office for the day or about retiring for the night yet you don’t seem to be convinced you’ve earned the day’s pay or you’ve left uncompleted the day’s task probably because of your cluttered work schedule, create a to-do list of the things you want to do the next day. You might even carry-over tasks from your previous day’s tasks. This helps you prioritise and categorise your daily tasks in order of importance.
8. Plan your tomorrow, today
Before you retire every day, write down what you want to do the next day in order of importance, and position your write-up where it will be the first thing you’ll see in the morning. This becomes your reminder and guide for the day’s activities. Do this every day until becomes part of you. Always plan your tomorrow today.
9. Learn to say no
A lot of people live with the illusion that they can bite more than they can chew. So, rather than just do what they can do and do them well, they simply take in and take in and at the end of the day, achieve nothing. As Publius Syrus says, “to do two things at once is to do neither”. So, learn to say no. If your boss is involved, pick up the task and prioritise them except if he insists the task needs urgent attention, and if it’s your colleague, politely let them know that your hands are full right now, and that you’ll attend to them very shortly.
If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got – Lee Iacocca
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