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Time Management Skils

To effectively manage time, we need to first realize that time itself cannot be managed! We all get seven days a week and 168 hours within those seven days. This cannot be increased or changed in any way. However, what we can change, improve and manage is ourselves. In essence then, true time management now becomes management of ourselves or “self management!”

So being aware of this, we now know that it's not the amount of time we have that's important; it’s how effectively we use that time that makes the difference. Successful people have exactly the same amount of time in the day as each of us. The only difference is they use their time differently and more effectively.

Time management principles and techniques are usually quite simple to learn. They do not require deep thinking, a high I.Q or lots of preparation. In fact if you were to put the search term “Time Management Resources” into a search engine you will get dozens of websites offering help, advice, tips and suggestions on how to manage and prioritize your time.

To sum time management up you need to ask yourself two questions:

1. Do I physically have enough time to do the tasks that are required of me? We only have so much time. Sometimes it’s not always physically possible to fit everything in. If this is the case then you need to prioritize and drop some of the low priority task/activities to claim some time back.

2. Do I fully optimize and use my time effectively? If the answer is NO then you might want to learn and implement some time management principles and techniques.

Below is a list of some time management (self management) techniques and tips that that you may find a helpful. They are in no particular order.

• Figure out when (what time of the day?) you work most efficiently.

• Establish your priorities for what you want to get done. Identify the tasks and activities that are the highest priority and eliminate those of low priority.

• Allow more time than you think you will need. This makes your schedule flexible and allows for the unexpected.

• Get into the habit of using your odd five minutes here and there more productively. Don’t just dismiss it as only five minutes – they add up throughout the week!

• Accomplish one or two important tasks rather than lots unimportant ones.

• Keep a calendar/diary. Mark all your important dates/tasks.

• Keep a list of "Things to Do" and mark them off as completed.

• Every day make a list of what you have to do tomorrow.

• When possible do the unpleasant tasks first.

• Tidiness makes your life easier and reduces stress.

• Allow time to relax, recharge and do nothing.

• Leave time in your schedule for un-planned activities.

• Know your strengths, skills and weakness.

• Ask yourself, "What am I doing that someone else could do for me?" Delegate!

• Don’t be scared to ask for help

• Bin things straight away to reduce the clutter (junk mail, newspapers and spam email etc).

• Divide large overwhelming tasks into smaller chunks, and attack them one at a time.

• Complete at least one task each day that you don't like to do, but know you should.

• Realize that all your email checking, surfing the internet and other procrastinations add up to hours of lost time each week (sometime even each day!)

• Watch less T.V. If you watch TV for three hours a day from the age of five years old, by the time you are fifty five the amount of TV you will have watched will be the equivalent to watching non-stop 24 hours a day for six years and three months. If you cut this down by just one hour a day, so then only watch two hours of TV, you will have gained back over two years worth of time.

“Living is the constant process of deciding what we are going to do” (Jose Ortega y Gasset)

Are You a Time User Or a Time Waster

Do you often wish there were 48 hours in a day instead of just 24? There never seems to be enough time to get everything done that we want. Since we just have about 16 hours a day not counting sleep time, it’s important how we use the time we have.

On the average, people waste about 2 hours a day. This is mainly from poor planning. If a person is unorganized, they waste time trying to find things, they miss appointments, they only do one thing at a time when they could be doing two.

Good time management is a major building block to success. Oftentimes, it’s not how much time we spend working but how efficiently we do the work. The key to successful time management is careful planning and setting priorities.Plan your day, your week, and your month in advance. Know when things need to be done. A great way to “buy time” is to multi-task. Do more than one thing at a time. There are many things that do not require concentrated mental effort. These are more easily combined.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail,”

 -unknown

If you are a big pro football fan you may not be able to justify sitting down and spending three hours watching a game. You could be doing other things while while you watch the game.  You can also record the games and watch them while exercising. If you get on the treadmill and exercise during the football season you can watch a game during the week without wasting any time doing it.

When you run errands try to do as many as you can on one trip. If you are self-employed, you can combine personal errands that are on the way to a business errand and have the mileage written off as a business expense.  If you have to commute for work you can use the time to listen to audio self-improvement tapes, audio books or anything educational.

If you are a regular exerciser and belong to a gym, think about working out at home. If you lack the space and money for exercise equipment, try traditional body weight exercises. A little research on the Internet can show you websites devoted to this subject. Of course, if you go to the gym to socialize or network, that’s okay. You’re doing more than one thing at a time. You can go walking with your spouse you can get a little exercise and spousal interaction at the same time.

Setting priorities enables you to get the most important things done. Keep you eye on the big picture. Don’t let low priority things bump off the higher priority tasks from your schedule. If you’ve only got so much time, it’s imperative you spend your time doing the things that bring you the most benefit.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

 – Goethe

Time is so precious. If you want to be successful in life you need to be spending more time being productive and doing things that are moving you forward. Spending hours a day watching TV, playing computer games, or surfing the Internet is not productive time usage. We all need downtime but you need to determine how much is really necessary. If you use your productive time efficiently then you will have more time to relax and do the fun things.

Time Management for Work at Home Moms

Time management is a serious issue for work from home Moms. You want your home business to be a success, but you don't want the rest of your responsibilities to fall by the wayside especially your children, who are the reason you chose to work from home in the first place.

While you're probably already doing some of the obvious things like taking advantage of naptimes and bedtime, I hope you find some additional ideas from the following time management tips to make things easier for you while working from home and caring for young children.

Time Management for your Home Business

Whenever you go to your computer, have a definite purpose in mind. It helps to keep a notebook by your computer always with your goals and to-do lists in it, all in once place. This helps prevent you from aimlessly checking email or surfing the net and getting lost. Know what you need to accomplish, write it down, do it, and move on to the next activity.

Outsource as many tasks as you can afford Consider hiring a virtual assistant if you have a lot of administrative tasks. Or pay your kids to do things for you that are age appropriate. This can even be a tax deductible expense. Check with your accountant.

Think about the steps you engage yourself in with your business and see if those tasks are really paying off for you. Ask people who are where you want to be in your business how they manage their time. Just because something is free doesn't mean you should be spending time doing it.

The best $20 you can spend on your business may be the money you spend hiring a Mommy's helper to come over and play with your children for several hours. It's amazing what you can get done during that time. Plus, your kids usually get worn out from all the fun and take longer naps. Everybody wins!

Group similar activities together. Don't check your email all day, check it two or 3 times a day (at most) and answer all the emails at the same time. When one child asks for a story gather them all around. Same thing for snacks. Run all your errands at once.

Get wireless internet and a laptop if at all possible. This can make a drastic improvement in your ability to work online around your children. You can sit on the front porch and work while your kids play in the yard. Or you can drop them off at a friend's house and head to Starbucks and get online!

Simplify meal preparation and shopping.  That doesn't mean you spend a lot of extra money on convenience foods that aren't good for you. But do make simple meals that even your children can help you prepare. Use your crock pot. Collect recipes that require few ingredients and no elaborate preparation.

Have a good routine for making menus and shopping. In the long run, extra trips to the store for that missing ingredient is costing you time and money. Most families eat the same 10 or so favorite dishes over and over. Enlist the help of your family to figure out what those favorites are, print up the ingredients into a shopping list, and take that to the store. Have the list posted on the fridge to mark things off as they're used up. Get your kids to help out around the house more.

Identify time wasters in your day. It's a different thing for everyone. Maybe it's the TV, maybe it's friends calling to chat in the middle of the day. Maybe it's activities that seem necessary but that really aren't productive. Whatever it is, identify it and eliminate it if possible, or at least manage it. Use your voicemail, and call people back when it's a better time for you. Figure out if watching Oprah or the Apprentice is really adding value to your life or just wasting your time.

Make a timer your best friend. A timer has so many uses. You can set it to tell your child when you'll be available for them. Young children have difficulty comprehending time, and the timer will set them at ease so they won't bug for you that entire period.  It also keeps you on track and helps you finish up tasks more quickly. Use it when you're reading email, cleaning house, whenever you want to accomplish something fast.

Having a routine for your household chores and business activities can really help Moms with time management. When you have a good routine, you can do things without thinking, and they always take up less time that way. Keep your routines written down until they're memorized. Use an organizing calender or digital system, whatever works best for you. Make sure everyone else in your household knows the basics of your routine so that things flow more smoothly.

No one person can do everything. Your time and energy is valuable and you need to be firm in setting limits on how you spend it. Don't commit to things that you can't reasonably accomplish. Get enough rest. Learn to say No. Avoid negative people who like to whine.

You are probably constantly working on time management, but with creativity and good routines, you can have a thriving business and a balanced life.

Getting Things Done

Personal time management should not be so daunting a task. It is a very sensible and reasonable approach in solving problems big or small. A great way of learning time management and improving your personal life is to follow several basic activities.

One of them is to review your goals whether it be immediate or long-term goals often. A way to do this is to keep a list that is always accessible to you.

Always determine which task is necessary or not necessary in achieving your goals and which activities are helping you maintain a balanced life style.

Each and everyone of us has a peek time and a time when we slow down, these are our natural cycles. We should be able to tell when to do the difficult tasks when we are the sharpest.

Learning to say "No". You actually see this advice often. Heed it even if it involves saying the word to family or friends. 

Pat yourself at the back or just reward yourself in any manner for an effective time management result.

Try and get the cooperation from people around you who are actually benefiting from your efforts of time management.

Don't procrastinate. Attend to necessary things immediately. 

Have a positive attitude and set yourself up for success. But be realistic in your approach in achieving your goals.

Have a record or journal of all your activities. This will help you get things in their proper perspective.

These are the few steps you initially take in becoming a well rounded individual.

As the say personal time management is the art and science of building a better life. 

From the moment you integrate into your life time management skills, you have opened several options that can provide a broad spectrum of solutions to your personal growth. It also creates more doors for opportunities to knock on.

Time Management is the Key to Success

Time management is basically about being focused on a particular project or goal. The Pareto Principle also known as the '80:20 Rule' states that 80% of efforts that are not time managed or unfocused generates only about 20% of the desired output.

However,  80% of the desired output can be generated using only 20% of a well managed effort. This principle is used to put emphasis on how much is lost or how much can be gained with proper time management.

Some people view time management as a list of rules that involves scheduling of appointments, goal settings, thorough planning, creating to do lists and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill.

But there is more skills involved in time management than the core basics. Skills such as decision making, inherent abilities such as emotional intelligence and critical thinking are also essential to your personal growth.

Having a balanced life-style should be the key result in having personal time management. This is the main aspect that many practitioners of personal time management fail to grasp. Time management is about getting results, not about being busy.

The six areas that personal time management seeks to improve in anyone's life are physical, intellectual, social, career, emotional and spiritual.

  • The physical aspect involves having a healthy body, less stress and fatigue.
  • The intellectual aspect involves learning and other mental growth activities.
  • The social aspect involves developing personal or intimate relations and being an active contributor to society.
  • The career aspect involves school and work.
  • The emotional aspect involves appropriate feelings and desires and manifesting them. 
  • The spiritual aspect involves a personal quest for meaning.
Thoroughly planning and having a set of goals or a to do list for each of the key areas may not be very practical, but determining which area in your life is not getting enough attention is part of time management. Each area creates the whole you, if you are ignoring one area then you are ignoring an important part of yourself.

Time Management for Students

Time management is one of the most challenging aspects of our life. Everybody in this world has the time, but we cannot lend or borrow it to others. All we can do is to change the way we are using it but it can be a challenging task to manage our own time.

As a student, you know how time plays a role in your life.

There must be a particular time for everything. You must give importance to your:
- Philosophy and algebra subjects
- Submission of your school projects
- Football team’s practice
- Taking your examinations.

In other words, time controls your day-to-day school activities. Proper time management will help you to use the allotted time for a specific activity efficiently.

It also enables you to make effective decisions as to how to make the best out of your time. Two basic steps will lead you to managing your time efficiently. First is developing a clear statement of your long-term objectives.

If you want to be in the top of the class then set it as your long-term objective.  You need to develop effective studying habits. If you have a fixed class schedule with vacant periods, utilize this time to study.

After you have set your top priorities, it will now be easy for you to set your short-term objectives. Schedule and manage your time based on the objectives you have set in the previous step.

Here are the basic things to keep in your mind in efficiently managing your time. Remember that after you have determined your long-term and short-term goals, you need to manage your time according to these priorities you have determined.

1. Schedule your time. Before the start of the semester you should have received your class schedule. Using the schedule you will be able to create your own calendar for your activities.

How much time will you allot for your study sessions? How much time will you allot for your various extra curricular activities such as choir practice? How much time will you allot in accomplishing your project? From these questions, you can derive an effective schedule.

2. Apart from this schedule, plan upcoming days by using a daily to-do list. Place scheduled events into their appropriate time slots and prioritize everything that needs to be prioritized.

3. Follow your schedule religiously. Avoid interruptions. If there are instances in which it is avoidable, make sure that you can make it up on your next schedule. If possible, write a note for yourself to remind you of such  an adjustment.

4. You will maximize your time if you will do the tough stuffs first. Allot a small amount of time to start the project such as thirty minutes and then go on to another task or project.  By giving yourself small amounts of time to tackle a tough project you will get more done and even be able to complete it.

5. Give yourself time to rest. Include in your schedules rest times. If possible, give yourself a free day on holidays and Sundays.

These are some easy time management skills for students. Follow it and time will be a useful ally in your student life.

Where Does Our Time Go

So you ever say, “There are just not enough hours in the day" or “Where does my time go?” Face it we all live busy lives. Work, family, and other commitments keep us all hopping. To utilize better time management, it’s important to recognize what the specific problems are in our lives.

Is it not having enough time for you or your family? Do you feel that you are wasting time by excessive driving? Maybe you are not sure where all your time is going and just want to account for it.  Or you could have a full schedule that you are having a hard time keeping up with. Whatever the reason, time is a precious resource that most of us need to use to its fullest.

The most important step in time management is evaluating our schedules. On a sheet of paper write up a “typical” week for you, by looking at your current schedule you will be able to identify places where better time management could be use. Ask yourself why you are feeling unsatisfied with your schedule? Make a list of what you want to change and what you want to make room for. Do you want more time to peruse interests? More time to be with your children? Or just more time to get everything done?

After you have done this take a piece of paper and draw three columns. In the first column put a list of all appointments, events, or commitments that are “set in stone”, things that take place at a set time and happen daily, weekly or monthly. Such as work, club meetings, or standing doctor’s appointments. In the second column put “flexible” tasks or commitments that can be done around your “set in stone” commitments, such as grocery shopping, house cleaning, or having lunch with a friend. In the third column put those “occasional” appointments, doctor appointments, a school play, or an old friend coming into town (or anything that does not fall into the other two columns).

Then using a calendar (preferably one with large spaces for the days) or use a notebook and label each page a day or two (depending on how much you are trying to accomplish daily or weekly.) Start putting in the items from your three columns, starting with the items that are “set in stone” then the items that are occasional, leave the “flexible” items to last since you are able to put them in around the other things.

The objective is to balance out your days and to maximize your time. Why make a separate trip to the pharmacy when it is on your way to your son’s soccer practice? If you plan appointments in the same area on the same day you can reduce your travel time and get the most out of your day.

The biggest thing to consider is: Are you doing too much? No matter how well time is managed there is such a thing as an overload of commitments. Time management is not just about structuring your week so that you can get everything accomplished. It is about creating a manageable schedule that will give you time for the important things in life. So, before looking at your time management skills look at what you are trying to juggle.

Include things that you want to do but just don’t seem to have time for in your day. What is the sense of managing your time better just to fit in more work? A part of time management is balancing so that you can have time to enjoy the fun stuff in life too.

If you are so booked solid that you can not schedule an hour and a half of quality family time, an hour of time with your significant other, and at least at the very minimum 30 minutes or 45 minutes of time for yourself then you have too much on your plate and it is time to ask for help to relieve yourself of some commitments. Being run down and worn-out will not assist you in better time management, in fact it will hinder it.