Effective time-management is about being the master of your time rather than a slave to time-wasting. Knowing how to manage time is critical to success on any level- personal, professional, and organizational. Get this:
- Up to 80% of the average working day is spent on activities that do not promote you
- Only 17% of Americans track their time
- 46% of stress reported among employees in the US is caused by poor time management and getting overwhelmed as a result
- 87% of students could achieve better grades if they had better time management skills.
Why Time Management is Your Most Valuable Resource
Managing time effectively is in fact managing our life efficiently. Getting our work done, getting our chores done, finding time to work out, finding time for our kids, finding time for our spouses and for ourselves, finding time to read, educate ourselves and grow. You can always say “I can’t.” But, can you find a way, or is it just not important enough and just ends up slipping away from your schedule?
Are you sure you can’t find just a few hours a week to work out, to do something for yourself, to promote your goals? I know that you can find the time. If you manage time rather than letting time manage and dictate your life. So here is how to manage time like a BOSS. And, here are your four golden rules for time management.
The TIME MODEL: 4 Key Rules of Time Management
We can easily sum them up in the TIME model. It is easy to remember, and serves as a great reminder and resource:
T – Time to start saying NO.
Time management is all about prioritizing. This essentially means two main things- letting go of the idea of perfection (nobody has poorer time management skills than perfectionists), and letting go of what is not an absolute must. Time to put guilt, external ideals, and unnecessary time consuming things away. You don’t have to bake the cake. You don’t have to volunteer when you are not able to.
Your house doesn’t have to be perfect, and neither do you. You do have to do what promotes you and your family. This is where you choose to put your time. You may have to say no to events, no to certain friends, no to anything that does not promote you or makes you happy. But, you know what? That’s actually quite liberating. So farewell time wasters – get them out of the way – and don’t feel guilty for a second.
I – improve your ability to plan ahead.
Never start your day without a to do list. You will end up being managed by your day instead of you being in control of your day. Write down your to do list. List your goals. Make notes about your deadlines. Write down your budget and your shopping list. We all know that life throws our way tons of unpredictable situations. Some are desirable, and some not as much.
Accept it, embrace it, and keep planning ahead. It will keep you focused and you will get more out of your day. And you know what? You will end up having more time for fun and downtime anyway. So this is not about maximizing your energy- its about preserving it. Believe me.
M – make sure to delegate.
Forget the ideal wonder woman that you really want to be. Honestly, it is getting old. Anyone who ever thought she can be a wonder woman and do it all ended up frustrated, worn out and feeling under accomplished. So if we talk about managing your time and we talk about managing your life.
Keep this in mind. Wonder woman is not a manger. Managers delegate. That’s what they do, and that’s what you need to learn to do as well. Be a manger, or life will manage you. Your choice.
E – Eliminate distractions.
Oh the distractions! There is no worse time for anyone who is even mildly ADD than nowadays. And even those of us that are not, find ourselves wondering if we are! Social media especially became a huge, time consuming distraction for both adults and teenagers. In today’s digital age we are bombarded by distractions.
Everyone wants our immediate attention. Focus is the second most important resource we have, after time. When we are focused, we take good decisions, not only in our career but in all areas of life. Focus needs to be guarded, shielded and managed, just like everything else.
Time Management Skills + Focus
What do you choose to put at the center of your focus? Your weight? Health? Nutrition? Finances? Career? Kids? Something else? We both know that when you focus on something, fully and whole heartedly, you get results.
So guard that focus. Guard it like a watchdog, and do not let any distractions like social media, negativity or anxious thoughts, get you off track. Your focus is a resource. You time is a resource. Don’t waste your resources. Watch them and magnify them and you’ll get far. I promise you.
Here are 7 time-management tips for you, so that you can be the master of your time rather than a slave to it:
TIP #1: SET GOALS. NO GOALS= NO DIRECTION.
Think of goal setting as if you are the captain of a ship. You have just looked into the GPS of the ship and said: “What am I putting into the GPS of the ship of my life?” If you fail to program the GPS, you don’t set your goals. You just drift in the sea. You’ll end up somewhere, doing something, living somehow. However, you need to be able to determine for yourself what to program into that GPS. Where are you going?
To manage your time, you need to ask yourself: “What am I managing it for? What are my goals?”
Write down your goals and keep your goal list short, including no more than three. What are you looking to accomplish today? What are you going to accomplish this year? What are you putting in the GPS of the ship of your life?
TIP #2: LEARN TO BE QUICK AND HARSH WITH PRIORITIZING
We are bombarded with many tasks and so many other things that we want to do. We tend to multitask throughout our day and overextend ourselves. When the day ends, we ask ourselves: “What did I accomplish today? I ran around all day, but what did I actually accomplish?”
That’s because we tend to spend major time on minor things. The things that matter less tend to take most of our day.
Prioritize by making 2-second decisions on what matters the most to you, and just get out of your own head and give yourself a number. How much does this matter right now? How important is it, between 0 and 10 If you have certain things today that you assess as a “10” for you, you decide that no matter what, those are the things that you are going to focus on. The twos, the ones, the threes they can wait for later.
TIP #3: GET ORGANIZED. NOW.
The mess has to stop because the mess is eating up your energy and wasting your day. If your household or your desk is chaotic, you’re going to find yourself spending a lot of time looking for things and information, trying to reorganize as you are going through the day.
Start each day with your inbox and your desk is organized and your household in a decent state. you will find that you’re having an easier time managing your day. You wouldn’t be running around looking for things and trying to figure out where everything is and what to do. When you can find something that you really need, it gives you a clearer mindset.
TIP # 4: PLAN YOUR DAY
Stop starting your day without planning it because before you know it the day will run you- you will not run the day. Planning the day is about answering this one question: what must happen today? And then you write it down. You never, ever start your day without answering that question. How important is this? How important is that? Get out of your own head and give it a number, 0-10. Stop spending your day on your 2s and 3s. Plan ahead and focus on your 9s and 10s. That’s how you run the day.
TIP #5: DELEGATE. EVERYONE AROUND YOU CAN DO SOMETHING.
Stop being superwoman or superman. There is no trophy for you at the end of the road. Everyone around you is capable of doing something. And the only reason they are not doing it, is that you never told them to. Yes, I know that in an ideal world people could read your mind. Well, they don’t. And for that reason, you have to tell them. If you delegate- your life will improve instantly. If you don’t- you can blame no one but yourself.
TIP #6: CHOOSE TO MANAGE YOUR STRESS (OR YOUR STRESS WILL MANAGE YOU)
Stress is a choice. So is calm. Stop getting worked up. This is a behavior pattern that you can change- if you choose to. It doesn’t matter how you choose to manage your stress- walks, baths, yoga, talking to a friend- you know what works for you, so make the conscious choice to do it. You can also choose not to manage your stress or to manage it very poorly. That’s a choice that you can make. The result comes with a high price tag, though- poor thinking, poor health, and complete misery. Doesn’t a bubble bath or a walk sound much better?
TIP #7: SET BOUNDARIES. SAY NO.
Why are you doing such a poor job at setting boundaries? Are you scared not to be liked? Are you pleasing others at the expense of yourself? Are you too tired and worn out because you didn’t set boundaries and now you just continue not to set them, just to become more tired and more worn out?
Can you just prioritize yourself for once? For heaven’s sake, and for the love of you- just say NO.
Run the Day- or the Day will Run You!
Managing time is managing yourself. We are talking about managing your life and everything that matters to you. Are you a leader or a follower? Are you going to run the day or let the day run you? Only you decide. And you, only, will pay the price or earn the reward.