How does it happen that some people achieve impressive results in their activity and it seems that they can move mountains, while others always complain that they have no time? Somebody has to be wrong, because there are only 24 hours in one day for everyone. It’s not that the first category has 40 hours, it’s just that the second category doesn’t know how to manage their time properly.
Time management skills are very important. Nevertheless, few people have these skills because mastering them requires a good level of self-awareness and organization. With the right motivation and action, you can get these skills. Once you master time management, you will find time for anything you want.
- The difference between important & urgent. Important task matters and if you avoid doing it, that may have bad consequences. Urgent task requires an instant action, but if you don’t do it, the consequences may not be that bad. For instance, if you receive a phone call, answering it is an urgent action, but if you don’t pick it up the caller can call you later. In case when you have minor toothache and have visit a dentist – this is important, because if you don’t go, it may have dire consequences for your health and for the inner peace of your friends and relatives. This task becomes urgent when your toothache is strong. Can there be tasks that are both urgent and important? Of course! A good example is picking up your children from school. Understanding what is important and what is urgent is a key to organizing your workload and putting everything in place. Warning: don’t ignore both your mental and physical health in favor of “urgent” activities. Put your health first, because it allows you to act.
- Keep tidy. Clutter is a real distraction. There is a great eastern saying: ‘Take care of the order and the order will take care of you’. Having a tidy workspace is very beneficial. If your table is a mess, sort the stuff. Make three piles: ‘throw away’, ‘give away’, and ‘keep’. The last pile can be categorized further.
- Pick your moment. Do you know your most productive part of the day? Is it morning, evening, or maybe night? Everyone has times during the day when they are especially productive. If you don’t know it yet, test yourself to find out your most productive time. Once you know, schedule the most difficult tasks for these periods.
- Fill your time. There are usually a lot of little 10-minutes breaks when one activity has ended and the next one hasn’t started yet. It might be the ideal time for small tasks like sending e-mails or reading newsletters.
- Understand why you are tempted. If you find excuses for not doing what you should, understand why you are tempted. Such understanding is the key to your progress.
In addition, don’t ever overwhelm yourself because of the self-imposed deadlines that don’t matter that much. Get your life and priorities into perspective!