Perhaps the best thing that God ever gave man to control is time. Everything that happens in this world, from the most seemingly puny like the one second spent bending over to pick up a pencil to the most relevant as a president giving his people warning that the world is about to end because of an impending clash with the planet Mars, is run by time. Thus, it isn’t a surprise that a lot of us are constantly seeking way to maximize it.
Because we are mere mortals and the life expectancy of most adults is decreasing as the earth increasingly becomes a victim of the abused environment, time is all the more considered important. This is probably the reason why a lot of us are trying to pack in all sorts of activities at a single moment. The fear of death and running out of time has bred the multitaskers in all of us.
However, time need not really be a cause for panic. Again, every nanosecond can be benefited from – if only we learn how to maximize the little that is given to us. According to experts, we get 80% of our rewards on only 20% of what we do and, conversely, get only 20% of our rewards on 80% of the time we spend.
This means that what we should do is engage in activities that award us 80% of rewards on 20% of activity before we do other things that give us only 20% of rewards on 80% of effort.
While we can never reap all the rewards that may be reaped from every little thing we do, we should, at least, seek to extract the maximum value out of each one. Time spent well refers to this principle. Thus, we do not have to do everything at the same time and gamble on the hope that the rewards will also come rushing in.
Here are some time management tips that might be of help to you:
Time management tip 1: Learn to say No
Some people engage in so many activities and overload themselves that they wind up not enjoying them as much and feeling overburdened by them. Because of guilt, concern for what others think of us, or a real desire to engage in that activity, we have a hard time saying ‘no’. In this case, finding out where we will be able to get the most value is important. We should focus on tasks that fulfill this principle first before moving on to the next, less rewarding activity.
Time management tip 2: Prioritizing
Once you have listed down all the goals you want to achieve, you need to make a list of priorities. Not all of your goals are of equal importance, thus, you should focus on those that are of major value to you and work on the others at a later time.
Time management tip 3: Evaluate tasks once
Many of us open our mail, read through it, and set it aside to act on later. For example, if you receive a questionnaire from some graduate student doing research on stress, your usual tendency is to put the questionnaire aside and fill it out later.
However, that is a waste of time. If you pick it up later, you will have to, once again, familiarize yourself with the task. As much as possible, look things over only once. That means, when you first pick it up, be prepared to complete working on it then.
Time management tip 4: Delegate, delegate
When possible, get others to do those things that need to be done, but that do not need your personal attention. Conversely, avoid taking on chores that others try to delegate to you. A word of caution: this advice does not mean that you use other people to do work you should be doing, or that you do not help out others when they ask.
You should just be more discriminating regarding delegation of activities. Do not hesitate to seek help when you are short on time and overloaded. Help others only when they really need it and you have the time available.
Time management tip 5: Make a schedule
Allot enough time to do each task on your priority list, according to importance. If a certain activity needs to be done at a certain time frame, then list it first on your schedule and work the less important tasks around it. Make sure you stick to this schedule you created.
The fact that you’re reading this article means you have time to do the above tips and apply them to your personal life. You can never really say you don’t have time or are too busy, because nobody really is too busy to do the things that matter to him or her.
If you find yourself burdened by too many duties, take a step back and assess the situation. What can’t you live without? What can you weed out? How are the others more important? What benefits do you get from the accomplishment of each? Once you’ve answered these questions, you will be able to more effectively create a time plan.