of Effective Time Management
By Michael Lee
So many things to
do, so many books to read, so much to study, so much you want
to accomplish-and so little time!
You've heard the joke.
"I try to take one day at a time, but lately several days
have attacked at once."
how it feels if you don't practice proper time management. There's
so much to do and you're already burning the candle at both ends,
yet you never seem to finish everything you set out to do, everything
you need to do. Even worse, you might feel so discouraged that
you decide to just "take it easy." In time, this might
develop into a bad
habit that will be difficult to eliminate.
The Spanish have a
proverb that says, "Time is short, but wide." That means
we all have the same twenty-four hours each day; it's what we
do with it that matters. So what do you do when there's so much
demanding your attention and seemingly not enough time to get
it all done?
First, in order to
use your time wisely, it's essential to find out where you waste
time. Maybe it's watching television or playing computer games,
or even talking on the phone. If you work at home, you may find
that well-meaning family and friends can waste a great deal of
your working time. It's hard to make them understand that just
because you work from home; it doesn't mean you are always available
You need to prioritize
those many tasks. Start by making a to-do list of the tasks that
need to be done each day. Only include the essential, must be
done by day's end, jobs. Don't waste time on the trivial tasks.
Estimate how much time each job will require. Try not to under
estimate, or you'll feel like you're running behind all day. However,
be realistic about what you can achieve in the time given. Don't
forget to allow for the unexpected; have a contingency plan. It's
important to be flexible; don't get stressed out over interruptions
in your schedule.
Focusing on your priorities
is extremely important. It's easy to get sidetracked with other
less important tasks. Try to tackle the most important or most
difficult task early in the day, when your mind is at its energetic
peak. You're rested and raring to go. Jump right in and get going.
It's too easy to put off that uncomfortably difficult job, day
after day. Procrastination then sets in and you're in trouble.
Be honest and ask yourself this question. Is this something I
absolutely have to do or need to do right now? If not, push it
to one side for later or if it's important, but not urgent, delegate
it to someone else.
For many tasks, small
blocks of time will do. Fifteen minutes here, thirty minutes there,
and you'd be surprised how much you can finish by day's end. Check
off each task as you complete it. This will give you a wonderful
sense of accomplishment.
Get yourself a Day
Planner or pocket calendar, and start keeping track of your obligations,
tasks, commitments and goals. Update it regularly. Each night,
make your to-do list for the next day, so you know precisely what
you'll be working on.
And remember what
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said. "Don't say you don't have enough
time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were
given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa,
Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein."