Tuesday, 05 October 2021 10:27

Effective Time Management Featured

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I don't have the time. Where can I find the time? Stop wasting my time.

Constantly I hear people say, "I don't have the time." Also, I listen to others tell me that I have too much time on my hand. How can that be possible? I thought we all had equal 24 hours in the day. If I have too much time, where is the extra time coming from?

I used to think that I had equal 24 hours in a day with billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergery Brin, Mukesh Ambani, Amancio Ortega, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, Zhong Shanshan, Steve Ballmer, and Ma Huateng. I was only lying to myself when I thought I did.

Why would I say I don't have equal 24 hours? Because these billionaires know the value of time, they bought other people's time and added it to their 24 hours. They bought people's time through employment. So, they have people working for them, achieving in 24 hours what they should have accomplished in a decade without the extra hands on deck. They understand that time is more valuable than money, diamond, gold, bronze, and all the world's wealth.

OK, pardon me for not explaining my perspective of time being more valuable than money. I know you have been chasing money, but as you do, sometimes you look down on time, and that is where you get it wrong. The misconception that wealth is about money is the reason many people are not getting wealthy. Some people will tell you that you can earn money, but you cannot get more time. I believe that is also a misconception because money can buy other people's time.

The issue of time is essential to the meaning of wealth. Lots of people will spend time looking at their bank accounts with great attention to detail, but they don't look at their time the same way, and as such, they end up wasting this precious resource.

You will only be genuinely wealthy when you value your time more than you value your money. Spending money needs time. You only have a certain amount of time to spend all the money you have in the world. How often have you heard the story of people saying, "It went by so fast" or "If only I'd had more time" as they were living out their final days? People close to a death wish for more time, not money.

Time management is the strategy of planning out your available time and controlling your time on specific tasks to work more efficiently. Effective time management comes easier to some people than others, but everyone can develop habits to improve their time management skills. Without solid time management, your work and well-being can suffer.

The significance of time management comes down to how much it impacts your personal and professional life. Time management is organising your day so that you find the best use for every moment. The keyword here is "the best use of every moment." Excellent time management allows you to create a healthy balance in your workflow and home life. The consequences of failed time management include missing deadlines and living with excessive stress. With the right time management skills and tools, you will experience many benefits from good time management. Once your time management efforts start to pay off in the form of accomplishments, you will feel more fulfilled by your performance.

Time is more valuable than money, yet people waste more time than money. Unless you're working on your most valuable task, you're not making the best use of your time. Tons of us waste time due to poor prioritisation, working on tasks that make us feel busy without actually helping us progress.

A lot of people suffer from completion bias. Completion bias is the tendency of people to feel compelled to complete a task once they have started it. We are more motivated to tackle tasks that we are confident we can meet because we get satisfaction from finishing them. The way the brains are wired, we more eagerly tackle tasks that we know we can complete because we get pleasure from achieving them. Being able to check an item off your to-do list is very mentally rewarding. This, of course, means that we're attracted to the tasks we can finish quickly, giving the lowest priority to the ones that take longer to complete.

On average, a person spends 4-6 hours on their smartphone every day. This means that every 4-5 days, we spend one full day on our phones, ignoring our real life for a virtual one. This further means that we would spend one full year being hooked to our screens every five years. Apart from our screen time, we spend 1-2 hours doing absolutely nothing that produces any result every day. If you track your time — minute by minute — you'll be amazed by this "random" category of time wasters.

What's alarming is that we don't waste 6-8 hours out of 24 hours of a day. We use this from our waking hours (i.e. 16-18 hours). That leaves us with less than 8 hours to get our work done, spend time with our family, learn new things, take care of our body and mind and everything else that we must do in a day. Life is not about being productive all the time. But life is indeed about getting things done when it needs to be done. You will waste time living without a purpose. You will waste time when you ignore your future self. You will waste time when you live in a distracting environment.

Many find it challenging to manage time because they try to manage the time they don't have. Time management is not about managing time at all; it is about managing yourself. How well you use your 24 hours in a day is down to you.

To be able to manage your time effectively, you must be intentional. Create and work through your to-do list. I use Trello to create my list. There are lots of software that will enable you to accomplish your task. 'Google Keep' can do the job as well. Sketching a to-do list might not seem like a groundbreaking technique, but it's one of the most powerful ways to become more productive. The best to-do lists include a variety of tasks: quick and urgent jobs that might be completed in 10 minutes and bigger, operational tasks that are a work in progress.

Writing a to-do list is the first step towards better time management. Prioritising your task is the next. Prioritisation guides you through the activities of the day in order of importance. As such, the tasks that matter most are dealt with first. Despite your best intentions, you get distracted. Distractions can come from social notifications, talkative colleagues, and the very human problem of procrastination. Sitting down and getting things done is almost always harder than it should be. You must stay focused as you manage the distractions.

Your future is created by what you do today, not what you will do tomorrow.


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