Life Coaching Article: Time Management in 3 Steps
Today’s article on self improvement will look at time management. What it is, and how it can help us live a more effective life. Well-known author on personal time management Alan Lakein has a great quote. He said, “Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” I believe this is true. It kind of makes me think about all the time I have during a given day, but I know I’ve caught myself saying, “I wish I just had more time” or, “there is not enough time in a given day to do what I have to do”. Looking back, I realize that I was being both unrealistic and unorganized.
What is Time Management Really?
Referencing Wikipedia, “time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. Time management may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals complying with a due date. This set encompasses a wide scope of activities, and these include planning, allocating, setting goals, delegation, analysis of time spent, monitoring, organizing, scheduling, and prioritizing. Initially, time management referred to just business or work activities, but eventually the term broadened to include personal activities as well. A time management system is a designed combination of processes, tools, techniques, and methods. Usually time management is a necessity in any project development as it determines the project completion time and scope.”
3 Steps to Better Time Management
There are 3 steps I use to take advantage of the time I have. They are, ordering, planning and executing.
- Ordering – ordering is the skill to list and prioritize you high value tasks. In other words, if I’m at work today and it’s 9 AM, and there is a deadline that I need to submit a report to my boss at 11 AM, and my daily morning tasks include reading e-mail, assigning work, submitting time cards, attending a meeting at 10 AM and ensuring my workers are doing their job, I might feel there is not enough time to get the report done. However, by ordering, I would write down each task and then the deadline right next to it. This will help clear up what needs to be done now and what gets done later. This clarity will empower you to take action and not drop the ball on other tasks as well.
- As for planning, step one has taken care of most of step 2. By setting deadlines you are planning to tackle those tasks at the appropriate time! How’s that for killing 2 birds with one stone?
- Now that you have a clear understanding of what needs to be done, the last step is to execute, or take action.
Of course, this is a simple example. I also use this same strategy to plan each day in advance. Before I used to leave the office, I would write all tasks that had to get done the next day, ordered them, added a time stamp to them and committed to seeing them through. A simple, yet powerful method for getting more out of your day! (DJS)