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Time Management Skills

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time management skills
time management skills

Time Management

We are all born into this thing called time, we all have a day, hours, minutes and seconds. Time is like money. The only way to use time is to spend time. We need to find more efficient ways of spending the time we have, find areas where we need to save some time and invest the time we have. It is interesting how a day is quickly turned into minutes and a minute turned into seconds.

Because we do not have a lot of time to spend it is important to look at the quality of our lives and improve. We only have a limited amount of time to impact other people’s lives, build friendships, start businesses, get an education, turn our goals into reality and most importantly leave a legacy for future generations.

Research has shown that the most successful people of our generation are people that have high confidence levels because they are in control of their lives. Being in control of your life means being good at time management, having a sense of knowing what to do and when to do it.

It is therefore important to learn how to manage the limited resource that we call time, learn to manage it and use it with great caution. Time cannot be stopped, paused, reminded or made to go faster slower. Time, however, can be managed. Time management is like learning the piano, typing on a keyboard, cooking or playing a sport. It is made up of a series of methods, strategies, and techniques. It is a skill that you can learn, practice, and master with determination and repetition.

Time management is a very important skill that you need to learn for success. Yes, it is not something you are born with, it does not look at the colour of your skin, background or economic status.

Time management” is really a misnomer – the challenge is not to manage time, but manage ourselves. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities. ~Stephen Covey

Managing your time effectively

Brian Tracy in his book (Time Management) speaks of The Four Ds of Effectiveness

The Four Ds of Effectiveness
The first D is desire: You must have an intense, burning desire to get your time under control and to achieve maximum effectiveness.
The second D is decisiveness: You must make a clear decision that you are going to practice good time management techniques until they become a habit.
The third D stands for determination: You must be willing to persist in the face of all temptations to the contrary until you have become an effective time manager. Your desire will reinforce your determination.
And finally, the most important key to success in life. The fourth D is discipline: You must discipline yourself to make time management a lifelong practice. Effective discipline is the willingness to force yourself to pay the price and to do what you know you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. This is critical for success.
The payoff for becoming an excellent time manager is huge. It is the outwardly identifiable quality of a high performer vs a low performer. All winners in life use their time well. All poor performers in life use their time poorly. One of the most important rules for success is simply to “form good habits and make them your masters.”

Time management tools to be well organized and highly productive.

1. Self-discovery. Before you even start trying to manage your life and making important decisions regarding your future you need to take time to do some introspection and answer the question “who am I?” because until you are able to define your life purpose and personal values setting worthwhile goals will lead to greater frustration. If someone was to ask you the question: ”Who are you?” would you have a clear definition of who you are and you are about. This will help you develop absolute clarity about what you are really trying to accomplish.

2. Have a Goal. What you spend your time doing is as important and how much time you spend. You need to have a clear smart goal that you are working towards, something that needs to be accomplished within a specific amount of time. Ask yourself questions about what you want to achieve and what you will benefit from achieving that goal.

Develop a SMART goal.

S – specific, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable

3. Devote time to the task at hand. You can get more done when you block out time for a specific task, this means shutting out all distractions and being in a space of complete focus. Determine how much time you will need in order to complete the task and schedule the time and place for executing the task. Be realistic about your schedule and the amount of work to be done to avoid frustration due to over-commitment. Set yourself up for a win.

4. Have a well-documented plan. After developing your goal and time required to achieve it, now break your goal into small tasks and document a To-Do list of the small activities to be completed in order to achieve the goal. This is taking small daily steps to secure the completion of your goal. It is also important to have a To-Do List.

Classify your To-Do List as follows:

A: Must do
B: Should do
C: Nice to do
D: Delegate
E: Eliminate

5. Take action. Perhaps the task seems overwhelming or unpleasant. If you’re having trouble getting started, you may need to complete a preparatory task like sorting out your paperwork and scheduling tasks in order of importance.

6. Keep checking Your rate of progress. You may be putting off tasks for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the task seems overwhelming or unpleasant. Important tasks that are most beneficial to our success are mostly unpleasant but they are most rewarding when complete. However, the task still needs to be done.

Only you can realistically look at your commitments to see if you have the time to commit to other tasks. Say “no” when you don’t want to, can’t or don’t have the time. If you over-commit yourself, everyone will come out behind.