How can you become a true expert at handling your most precious resource your time? By creating an easy-to-follow Time Management Personalized system one that efficiently meets your unique needs and lifestyle. Our current blog series covers the best practices in Time Management to enable you to start maximizing all available hours in your working day. Time Management Personalized will help you tailor time to your unique needs. Follow these practices and you are sure to simplify your life and reduce stress. What are the best ways to manage your time? Begin with 3 simple steps. Step #1: Discover Where Your Time Goes You must know where you are to determine how to get to where you want to go.
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Among the top reasons why people are chronically stressed is feeling they have too little time for everything that needs to be done in a day. In a previous blog post, we touched upon the reality of the overworked adult in America.
INTERNAL LINK to the first post Overwork is often the result of poor time management because, let’s face it: things can get out of hand very quickly if you don’t really know how you’re spending your time. So your first step in Time Management Personalized is to become completely aware of how you are spending your time every single day.In order to accomplish this, you must create a simple time log. Start recording your activities from the moment you wake up until bedtime. Include the time spent on each activity. Do this for at least 2 weeks, so you can observe the average trend for different activities. Any person can become more efficient using their time when they log their activities. This is personal task. Make sure you give yourself a realistic tally of how you’re spending your time on a regular day. Perhaps you’re spending 8 to 10 hours in the office. Yet, if you’re barely coping with the workload, it’s possible that you’re not making wise use of your available time. In addition to recording your activities and the average amount of time spent for each activity, I want you to honestly rate each activity from 1-4. 1 = “a waste of my time” 2 = “a little time consuming” 3 = “a good use of my time” 4 “an excellent use of my time” Within a couple of weeks of journaling and recording your daily activities, you will see a detailed picture of your actual use of time. You will notice patterns. The information that you get from this exercise is a foundation for improving your time management, simplifying your life, and reducing stress. Your time log will help guide future time management efforts. Step #2: Start Transforming Your Activities Poor time management is often the result of having too many unnecessary activities throughout the day. Some of these activities, such as watching TV, may not be completely harmful. Nevertheless, you must monitor your viewing time.Now ask yourself: Are you frequently missing deadlines? Are you extremely stressed about having insufficient time for all the things you want to do? Yes? Then there’s definitely something wrong with your selection of activities. Transforming your daily activities is actually quite simple. First, you need to write down all the things for which you need additional time. Don’t hold back when making this list write down anything that comes to mind. My first list actually looked something like this: – Rediscover spirituality – Learn how to play chess – Read more – Spend more time playing with the kids – Play some video games Re-do this list My list may look meaningless to some of you, but it is a genuine list that I made a few years ago when I was becoming severely burned out by my work.However, I succeeded in turning things around. How? By creating a Time Management Personalized log to identify the activities that consumed too much time. When I realized where my time was going, I was able to cut corners.
Eventually, I was able to make time for all of the things in my initial list and even more!
I can confidently say that you can replicate my results by simply being mindful of all your activities INTERNAL LINK and by asking yourself if you really need to spend time on the activity at all.
If you become more mindful of where your time is going, then you will easily be able to remove common distractions INTERNAL LINK from your list of routines.
Step #3 Change How You Do Things
If your days are filled with activities that are essential to your work or family life, yet you’re still falling behind, then you need to change how you do things.
Again, this is Time Management Personalized. The way you decide to change your approach to accomplishing your obligations and responsibilities can reduce the time you spend on each task. This will effectively give you more time for additional activities or even leisure.
EXAMPLE: How many times do you check your email every day?
The average person checks their email about 15 times per day. But a recent study from researchers at the University of British Columbia found that when people were limited to checking their email just three times per day, their stress levels decreased significantly.I met someone who admitted that he checks his email every hour. Now, assuming that it takes about 10 minutes to open your email and scroll through messages, that’s already 60 minutes gone in a day after the sixth visit to the inbox. Think: You’ll never get that time back!
There is a remedy for this trend: Limit the email checking to once or twice a day. Urgent emails do demand attention. But on an average day, a person should not be preoccupied with checking his email.
Instead of filling empty moments checking your email, make a habit of either skipping it or substituting a more constructive activity that will support the list you made in Step 2.
Assess your current use of time with a written log. Transform your daily activities to fit a schedule. Alter the way you accomplish tasks to streamline work efforts.
As you are getting underway with these practical steps, you’re ready to proceed to a simple, time-tested method that automatically puts your day in order. We look forward to sharing it in Part 2 of our series on Time Management. INTERNAL LINK