5 Quick Minutes Can Transform The Way You
Manage Time – Instantly
Time management articles are transformational in their power to help manage your time. Often only a short, quick read, these articles are influential, impactful and instructional to everyone. This article reveals a step by step approach to time management and points you to a few other useful resources.
So you sit down to begin work. The report you plan to write is due next week. A ping indicates an incoming email message. You read it. There’s an interesting link in it. You click. There’s an article about a recent development in your field. You read it, and follow the discussion around it on a popular forum.
Hurriedly, you close other files and fire up your text editor to begin your report. There’s a knock at the door. Your friend walks in, a sad expression on his face, and sits down in front of you. With a sigh, you realize you’ll have to tolerate a half-hour of whining about his troubles.
An hour later, he finally leaves and you’re about to get back to the report, when your colleague at work calls. He’s leaving on an emergency, and you’ll have to make the important presentation at the meeting tomorrow. The files are in an email he just sent you.
Urgent things are taking control of your life. Important things are being pushed to the back-burner. It’s how you’ve suffered ever since you can remember.
It’s time to change all of that – starting right now. With Time Management Tao. In a way that’s stress and anxiety free. Let’s talk about 3 simple ways to initiate this process.
Time Management – Step by Step
Most time management articles are prescriptive. They assume that everyone’s needs are exactly the same. They refer to a simple approach that’s universally applicable.
But you and I know that it doesn’t work that way. Your needs are unique, personal and individualistic. Your tasks and to do lists are different from mine. And your priorities are based on what matters most to your life and future.
So a universally applicable process must be infinitely adaptable. This one is. It has just 3 steps. They are simple to follow. Are you ready to begin?
1. Set Goals
Stephen Covey, author of hundreds of time management articles and one of the most famous experts on organization, stresses the importance of starting with the end in mind. In broad categories – like health, finance and relationships – you must begin by setting out, clearly, your 3 or 4 biggest goals and targets.
For instance, in the ‘relationships’ category, you may list
- spending more time with your children
- make your relationship with your spouse the highest priority
- find the right balance between work and family
For each goal or target, write down a ‘mission statement’ that explicitly and clearly lays out what must happen in order to call it a ‘success’.
2. Plan Activities
Goals alone won’t take you anywhere, just like a map won’t get you to where you’re going. You’ve got to take action on the plan. So, decide on what activities will take you closer to your goals.
There are 3 steps to doing this:
- list out all the activities that are necessary
- prioritize them according to their importance
- decide to commit 80% of your time to the top priority activities
You should prepare a daily schedule that will ensure your most productive time and energy is devoted to the few activities that deliver the highest return, in terms of reaching your biggest goals.
3. Get Things Done
Once you’ve set goals and planned activities, all that’s left is to knock them down, one task after another. To do that, you must follow a schedule, or a to-do list (which is often the only focus of most time management articles!)
- Schedule only activities that take you towards your goals
- Set your daily schedule at a regular time every day. Budget for it.
- Review your schedule daily, to make sure the priorities are right.
- Allow time for unexpected developments, delays and distractions.
- Evaluate your performance periodically and make suitable changes.
With an intelligently prepared to-do list that is guided by your goals and high priority activities, you can conquer even the most challenging projects with success and confidence.
This is a very broad overview of the process to improving your efficiency and managing your time wisely and well. You can read many more time management articles on other sections of this site, and learn more about Time Management Tao which is rooted in how to:
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN
You can also sign up for our free “Time Taozine” email newsletter – just fill in the registration form below. For a selection of some of the best time management articles from around the Web, check out these 3 powerful resources: