5 Tips for Better Time Management
Time goes by as effortlessly as we allow it to. We cannot control time however, we can manage it. Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu was quoted as saying, "Time is a created thing. To say "I don’t have time" is to say “I don't want to". As businessmen and women, we often find ourselves deciding which task to perform first. Which task is more important? George Harrison of the Beatles once said, "Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now." This is why time management can be overwhelming for some. We know there are many tasks to complete, nevertheless, all the time we have is right now.
Albert Einstein famously stated, "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Which tells us we don't have to do everything at once, we couldn't even if we wanted to. The following acronym reminds us of techniques that help us manage time, and the stress so often associated with feeling overwhelmed. The acronym spells out PERKS, which is what we get for managing our time.
Perform MITs first. Your Most Important Tasks should be completed first to reduce the stress linked to deadlines. Morning often works best to finish these tasks since you may have more energy. Do less. Removing unimportant items from your schedule makes you more productive by focusing your time on projects that truly matter.
Energize. Exercise, eat well and sleep enough. When you are rested and refreshed you are more productive. Be inspired. Seek inspiration from motivational speakers (there are many available on Ted Talk), your religion, or find whatever inspires you. Make it a habit. People that are rested and inspired often feel unstoppable.
Review how you use your time. Do you spend more time on tasks than you think? If you estimate that you spend 30 minutes a day going through the mail, but it takes you an hour, it may be difficult to schedule tasks accurately for the rest of the day. One of the best ways to remove useless, time-consuming tasks from your schedule is to calculate the time spent on a project. Then determine if it is worth the time spent. If not, discard it or delegate it to someone else.
Kick distractions to the curb. Stay on task and avoid interruptions. If you find yourself checking your phone more often than necessary, place the phone out of reach, and retrieve it when it is not a distraction. Notify your friends and family that you are working, they are less likely to disturb you if you establish boundaries.
Schedule your Day! Establish prep and planning periods throughout your calendar. Many people find it helpful to spend 15 minutes at the end of each day planning their itinerary for the next day. You will be better prepared and less stressed. Build a cushion into your schedule between each task. If a project takes longer than expected the cushion alleviates pressure.
"It's worth making time to find the things that really stir your soul. That’s what makes you really feel alive. You have to say 'no' to other things you’re used to, and do it with all your heart." - Roy T. Bennett