All of us get only 24 hours per day. Be it the prime minister or a housewife or a student or a professional or a saint– it is the same amount of time given to all of us. The way each of us uses these 24 hours determines the quality of our life and our future. Our failure and success in life depend on the way we spend our time. Below are some quotes on time that help us understand the importance of time.
1. Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. – Thomas Edison
2. Time= Life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.– Alan Lakein
3. The key is in not spending time but investing it. – Stephen Covey
4. Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. – Jim Rohn
5. If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. – Bruce Lee
6. Either you run the day or the day runs you. – Jim Rohn
7. Every second is of infinite value. – John Wolfgang Goethe
8. Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. – M. Scott Peck
9. Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. – Benjamin Franklin
10. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu
So, time is the precious gift given to us on this planet. We frequently complain about the lack of time in life and feel overwhelmed. We want to take care of our health, spend more time with family members, have fun, meditate, but the majority of us do none of these on a regular basis, and the common reason cited is lack of time. Then, we see super-achievers who are highly successful and most sought after. Their calendars are all blocked, but they still have time for fitness, personal relationships, meditation, etc. They are able to do everything they want to do. So, what differentiates a super-achiever from a common man? What is the magic that is enabling super-achievers to do everything? The answer is time management.
When we gain mastery over our time, we can accomplish many tasks in a day without feeling overwhelmed. Time management is very important for a productive life. Our time management capabilities determine our ability to achieve our goals. Below are some pointers to become better at time management.
10 time management tips that work:
Plan your week and day: Plan the tasks you are going to accomplish in a certain period of time and stick to this plan. Plan your week and day ahead. When something unplanned and ad-hoc comes up in the middle of the week or a day, and it is not urgent, don’t start doing it. Put in your list and plan when to do it. Highly productive people even plan their entire month and year. Beginners can start with week and day and gradually take it to month and year.
“10-12 minutes invested in planning your day will save at least 2 hours of wasted time and effort throughout the day” – from “Eat the Frog” by Brian Tracy.
2. Prioritize: We all have so much happening in life. If we keep on doing everything that comes on our way, we end up feeling the time crunch and accomplish less. Know what you want in life. Know your purpose and then prioritize the tasks in your life. At the start of your day, come up with the list of tasks you plan to do and prioritize them based on their importance in your life. Various tasks in life can be categorized as below.
Important and urgent
Urgent but not important
Important but not urgent
Not important and not urgent
When you are planning your day or a week, place all your tasks in these buckets and prioritize them based on urgency and importance.
3.Delegate: We need not do everything that is on our to-do list. Look for ways to delegate some of the tasks. Can you hire a maid? Can you ask your partner to share some tasks? Can you buy a machine and make the machine do these tasks? Think about how you can delegate the tasks in your life. This will free up your time.
4.Estimate and Schedule: Scheduling is very important for effective time management. At the start of your day or a week, go through the tasks you want to accomplish and estimate how much time each task will take. Be generous in time estimations. When your estimations are liberal, you tend to work with a relaxed state of mind and can accomplish more than you planned. Based on the estimates, schedule the tasks at a particular time of your day or week and do them as you planned. Maintain a calendar with all these schedules.
5. Be aware of your time spent on Social media and casual browsing: Two tasks that drain our time and energies in modern times are social media and casual browsing. We start spending our time on these thinking it’s only for 5 minutes, and then we end up spending some hours before we even realize it. Be aware of these two tasks. To increase your productivity, schedule these two activities in the designated time, and spend only the amount of time you planned. When something is left unfinished in the middle, you can always pick it up tomorrow at the scheduled time.
6. Learn to say no: Saying no to tasks and activities that don’t align with your purpose and goals is important if you want to manage your time better. So, learn to say no when needed.
7. Group similar tasks together: When you have similar tasks to do, do them at one time. For example, if you need to make some ten calls in a day, do these together. This will save your energy and help you get more out of the tasks. If you have grocery shopping and walking for 15 minutes on your list, combine them together by walking to the grocery store.
8.Plan buffer-time: Plan your day in such a way that there is some buffer time left for you in case you have some urgent tasks coming up. This will help you be prepared for whatever comes your way without going through stress.
9. Schedule your wake-up and sleep times: When you have these two times in your control, you will gain greater control over your entire day. Having a random sleep and wake-up times every day is unproductive and makes you feel the time crunch in life.
10.Plan breaks and relaxation time: We all need to de-stress and rejuvenate ourselves if we want to achieve more in life. Our body and mind need relaxation on a regular basis. These break times help our body and mind to rejuvenate and become better. So, plan these times and schedule them in your calendar. In these breaks, you can do any activity that de-stresses you like listening to your favorite music or meditating or exercising or dancing etc.
These are some pointers for effective time management. People who manage their time better stay happy, healthy, productive in life, and accomplish a lot more than people without time management. Proper time management increases your productivity and de-stresses you. Statistics say that – 20% of the average workday is spent on “crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little value” or “no value.” So, let’s minimize our time in unproductive tasks and stop feeling drained. Let’s spend our time wisely.
Master your time, master your life!