Time management exercises can help make you more efficient and get things done. If you find yourself rushing to meet deadlines and completing projects in the last minute, then you’re going to love learning about this exciting and simple method to stop procrastinating and becoming more efficient.
Bad time management is at the root of many problems. Time management exercises can help identify areas where you need improvement. They can help you modify habits that are wasteful of time and distract you from important work.
Keep Track of Your Time
Most time management exercises begin with the simple task of tracking your usage of time. The goal is to make you think about how and where you spend time. Just something as simple as how long you speak on the phone over a week can stun and surprise you.
Make a list of your most time consuming activities. Your list might include elements like this:
- Phone calls
- Entertainment (music, movies, reading etc.)
- Watching TV
- Web surfing
- Family time
Now, beside each item on your list, list the time estimate you come up with. Then monitor this carefully over a week and record the measured numbers.
Chart Your Time Utilization
Draw a chart on a sheet of paper to document your time usage. List the activity you are doing, the time you begin and end it, the duration (in minutes) spent on it, and any other relevant comments that will help when you analyze your usage in the next step.
Evaluate Your Time Consumption
The next step in your time management test is to review the data that you have compiled. First, evaluate your judgment by looking at the actual recorded time for each activity, and compare it against the estimates you drew up earlier. How good are you at estimating time usage by activity?
Then study the details of how much time you spend on each category. You will often be shocked at how wasteful some of the items on your list are. Are you putting off high priority work while you waste time on trivia? Are you wasting time watching TV, or surfing the Web, or listening to music?
Leisure and relaxation are important. But if most of your life is spent relaxing and too little on doing work, then you need a review and change.
If you find that your time management exercises point towards you spending time on irrelevant or unimportant tasks, then you need to work on enhancing your efficiency. Try and find ways to utilize down time, such as when you’re traveling or waiting for an appointment. Identify areas in your list which can either be deleted completely, delegated to someone else, or handled more efficiently.
Just becoming aware of how to improve your efficiency will magically transform the way you think about time management. Time management exercises help focus your attention on important things, and remind you of the 3 major principles of Time Management Tao:
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN