“If only I had more time / there aren’t enough hours in the day / I wish I could find the time / when I get the time / I’ll get round to it in the summer holidays / when the kids go back to school / when I manage to finish this project / when it feels like the right time / when I’ve got more time to myself / when I retire …”
Does this sound like you?
The truth is, we all get exactly the same amount of time. We all get twenty-four hours in one day. Nobody gets any more or any less.
The question is – are you making the most of the time available? What are you doing with your measure of 24 hours? Your happiness depends upon it!
Prioritise your values
First, set your priorities. What’s most important to you? Work, leisure, family, health – which do you put first if you’re forced to choose?
Write it down
Next, get yourself the most powerful set of tools available to you: a notebook and pen. They’ll cost you pennies and the return on your investment will be incalculable. Then set about making a list of all the things you know you should do. Not in any particular order – just write them all down.
Prioritise your tasks
Keep adding to your list whenever you think of something else which needs doing. This is an ongoing process. Ensure that your notebook and pen is kept handy. Then begin to prioritise your tasks using the ABCDE method. The most important tasks on your list – those that have the heaviest consequences if you fail to do them – mark with an A. The next important mark with a B, and the least important with a C. Tasks that can be completed successfully by someone else, class as D for delegate. Best of all, tasks that you realise aren’t necessary after all you can categorise as E for eliminate – and draw a line through them!
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Remember, proper prior preparation prevents poor performance – so prepare each day in advance. Don’t wait until you get into work first thing in the morning to organise your diary. Do it the night before, ideally before you leave your desk in the afternoon. Does this mean you may have to stay on for an extra ten minutes or so? You bet it does! But the resulting peace of mind is worth it.
Grasp the thorn
It was the poet Anne Bronte who said: “he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose”. Get into the habit of doing the most unpleasant task of the day first. It might be a difficult phone call, that report you’ve been putting off until the last minute, or emailing a client about a delicate issue. Whatever it is, decide to grasp that thorn first thing – then go on to crave the rose!
We’ve all heard about the importance of setting goals but what most people don’t realise is that goal setting is a continuous process. You need to set goals for every hour, day, week, month and year – and most important of all, you need a clear set of goals for your life. Review these daily, preferably first thing in the morning. You’ll be amazed how many you accomplish without even trying!
Time management is self management
Managing your time more effectively means managing yourself more effectively. Make a decision to do it now!
Author: Thales Training & Consultancy
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