Perhaps one of man’s greatest pitfalls is his inability to manage his time well. Most of us complain that we do not have enough time on our hands to do the things that should be accomplished and those that matter to us, but when we really look deep into the matter, time is really not so difficult to control. There is no excuse for our being unable to manage time because there are a lot of strategies and techniques that are available for us to use.
What skills do we need to be able to succeed at time management? Simple. Humility, will and perseverance. We must first acknowledge and admit that we cannot do everything we want at a single time.
While most people today try to pack in all activities at one time, in the hopes of getting the rewards at the same time, too, this method will only eventually lead to a lot of stress. Therefore, we must be humble enough to admit that we are not superheroes, and that we can only perform according to the maximum extent we can.
Once we’ve gotten this out of the way, we must then have enough will to see our plans through. Planning begins by listing all things that are important to us, whether in our personal, social or work lives, and then ends with a priority list, or a ranking of what matter to us most. After we have done this, we should have the perseverance to maintain what we have started, otherwise, all our efforts will be in vain.
Time moves continually and to come to terms with our mortality is to realize that our time in this world is limited. Given this realization and the probability that we would like to better organize our time, there are several other additional time management skills we need to learn.
- Goal setting
Perhaps the most important skill in time management is goal setting. You may do this on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or long-term basis. If you do not have any idea where you want your life to head, then it won’t make much sense to set a life plan because you won’t have a clear sense of how to get there. How you use your time should be in conjunction with gaining the maximum probability that your goals will be accomplished.
- Learn to delegate
If you have too much on your back, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of other people. Conversely, you should also avoid taking tasks that other people try to dump on you if you already have plans on what you want to do with the time you have. This does not mean, however, that you should avoid helping people, altogether. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. Help only when you have extra time on your hands.
- Do things now
We often have this tendency to put things off later when we feel that they are not so important now. However, postponing them will only waste your time because when the time comes that you will tackle them, you will have to again spend time re-orienting yourself on what has to be done. If something can be done now, do it now.
- It’s okay to say ‘no’
Turning things and other people down is a skill. Not many are able to say ‘no’ for fear of being judged and not getting any favors from another person in the future. However, if you really are swamped with work and have very little time to expend for another activity, saying ‘no’ is the best thing you can do for yourself. Do not feel guilty if you really have to beg off.
Effective time management does not require knowledge of rocket science. To able to manage your time and energy well, you must keep note of the above skills and tips needed. Remember, nobody else’s time is wasted but yours, if you try to please everyone and seek to be superman or superwoman.
Be humble enough to admit that you are only human and that your energies are limited. Do things that truly matter to you and save the other stuff for later. Not all activities bear the same weight in your life. Determine their proper ranking and you’re on your way to getting the best value out of every second you consume.