Time is what we want MOST and what we use WORST.
Imagine if you get some extra time added in a day – just an hour extra. What would you do with that extra hour ? Would you spend this time on that new initiative you always dreamed of? Would you go to your kids’ school if invited for a garden activity? Or may be invest it to cultivate an amazing relationship?
Yes, all this and actually every thing which you want to do and can do, needs one most important resource of all – ‘T I M E’. You can’t change the hours in a day but you can find that extra hour by doing a better time management.
The bad news is that time flies but the good news is that you are the pilot 🙂
So here I am going to propose five simple and yet extremely powerful strategies which if implemented, have the power to give you better time management, thus better results in your life.
5 Most Powerful Time Management Strategies
# 1. ‘Know the Need, know your Goals’
First thing, even before thinking about that extra hour a day, think about the priorities of your day, week, month, year and if possible of your life. Have you thought about that project revamp kicking off next year? about the kid starting primary education coming in few years? Or even the tickets booking for traveling back to your family in December?
Whatever it is, you must know what is that you want to and need to spend time on.
Once you know, note it down somewhere so that you can review it periodically and can make the amendments easily.
This list of ‘To Dos’ will bring the focus and clarity on what you want to achieve and the priority of all items. Believe it or not, it’s a first key to manage your time, better.
Refer 5 Vital Reasons to Set Goals to get more help on knowing your goals.
# 2. ‘Estimate’ (or just Guesstimate at least)
Estimate the time needed to work on each item in your list. This is the point when you face the reality. If you realize that there’s not enough time in the day/week/month/year to accomplish everything you want, it’s time to go back and prioritize your goals. Once you’ve identified the things that are most important to accomplish, schedule the activities that those goals will require, and set aside the rest of your goals for later. It is okay to put something on hold if you can’t afford the time, rather than spoiling other more important things you have to do.
Now, there would be items where you are not sure about the quantity of time investment needed. For example – ‘buying a new house’ might be a daunting project and can consume lot of time but to start with put aside a decent time for this so that you can review it periodically and can make the amendments easily. This way you would have something to begin with and make the correction later.
Estimating the time gives you a good feel of what you can achieve and what is that which is actually a low priority task to wait until you finish off your important stuff in the list.
# 3. ‘Create a Daily Schedule’
The power of a ‘daily schedule’ is beyond imagination. It should be a ‘must to do’ in your everyday task list. All those meetings in your diary, the trainings you have to do, traveling in the bus, eating your 5 a day and anything you need to do in your day, should be included in there to ensure you actually put aside some time for them. Many people create a sticky note for each day’s task which works like a check list as well and helps to stay focused.
At the end of each day, it is important again to look back at your check list and review what got missed and needs a cover up may be on an immediate next day or week.
Daily schedule should also include spending time on those goals which you plan to achieve in a longer duration. It is completely up to you how you want to add activities for every day so that your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals can make progress.
For example, To appear for a certification exam next quarter, 30 mins study during the night.
# 4. ‘Keep Score’
If you can keep the score, you can definitely work on it.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison
It is okay to fail if you know and are ready to acknowledge the fact that you need to plan better, estimate better and execute better. At a particular frequency, you must review your plans, priorities and the estimates. Find out how much you planned to do and how much you actually did. What is that which distracts you most from your plan and what boosts you the most?
Last minute meeting cancellation, surprise visit from friends, traffic jam for hours, power off, queues at billing counters and many more reasons you lose time unexpectedly. But it is absolutely fair to accept that and figure out if you can set aside some buffer time for all this and if you become lucky one day because there was not a single person in the queue, time would be all yours.
# 5. ‘Schedule the scheduling’
Last but not the least, schedule the scheduling. Often we don’t realize that we need the time to spend on ‘timing the activities’. Yes, that’s needed. If the coders keep coding without knowing what they need to write for, imagine what would be the results. In the same fashion, if you keep spending the time like it comes for free, you can imagine the goals you are going to achieve.
For every single strategy to work for you, you need to first spend the time on scheduling them. What time of the day is best suitable for you to chalk out the daily plan? Last thing of the day for next day or is it first thing in the morning? How frequently you are going to review your estimations done for your goals? When are you going to look back at the scores? All these questions must be answered to make these strategies do magic for you and change your life forever.
Just follow these strategies for a month and the benefits you would receive, would know no boundaries. So, when are you scheduling to schedule?
Don’t forget to share your thoughts below in the comments section.