As a Life Coach, and after coaching many different clients, I have come to realize that 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 – “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 the “not so successful” people. The only difference is, successful people use their time differently – more effectively.
You might say “I don’t have the time to commit to learning some time management skills”. I hear this a lot during life coaching sessions, but the fact is, if this were true, do you really think you have the time not to? 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. A quick tip that always helped me is to change my thought process to, “I have to get this done”, to “I have the opportunity to get this done”.
To sum up time management, I would like you to ask yourself two questions:
1. Do I physically have enough time to do the tasks that are required of me? We only have but so much time in a day. Sometimes, it’s not always physically possible to fit everything in. If this is the case with you, 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 and wisely? 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 I use during life coaching. You may find a couple of them helpful yourself. They are in no particular order so use them as you wish.
• 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 emails, 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 TV. 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.
If you found this Time Management blog series helpful ready to get organized and transform your life with some top time management skills, click the ‘Book Now’ button and schedule a free 15 min consultation with our Life Coach and Human Design Practitioner – Yasheeka Divine.
P.E.A.C.E (P-roper E-ducation A-lways C-orrects E-rror), being mindful that knowledge is only told by way of "PEACE".