Sunday, June 8, 2008

Personal Development: Time Management

Stretch a year to 54 weeks

How do you find the time to achieve everything you want to? Suppose you were suddenly given the gift of 2 extra weeks each year to do anything you wanted. How would you spend the time? What would you want to accomplish? Would yu increase your efforts on an existing project? Start something new? Or even use it as restorative personal time?

This gift is not a fantasy. Eliminating just 15 wasted minutes each day adds up to 91extra hours a year - more than 2 full work weeks. I thought of some simple ways:

1) Do the right things

Don't confuse activity with accomplishment. Peter Drucker, a management expert defines them as:

- Efficiency is doing things right
- Effectiveness is doing the right things

Isn't there a difference right? We talk about being BOTH efficient & effective to produce higher yields. So make the hard decisions about what you want and need to do. Then do them right.

I believe you have always heard of people saying "I don't have the time to get organised" or even " I don't have the time to do it correctly right now but I'II come back later and fix it". Think about this....do you think the future stop where you are now? Life is full of distractions. Is how we take control of the things we want to do, eliminate distractions and fix the issue if you place pirority on it. Therefore my point here is know what is the next most critical thing to do and DO NOT have the perception that time is your friend.

No...no...time is always your attacker. Tame it like an animal and time will listen to you. The key word "take charge now!".

2) Pace yourself

I believe as I am writing this analysis, your calender is probably full as you try to squeeze in everything yuo need and hope to do. As hard as it seem, don't overbook please! Be realistic! Underbooking will actually allow you to achieve more!

3) Block-book

Some projects can't be picked up and put down easily. Block-book your high priority items.

4) Multi-task

Lets face it. We have to always multi-task in most things we do. Even when you are now at your PC looking at my blog, you may have activate your MSN Messenger or surf another website, opening up multi-windows. Good to save time but may easily lose focus & interest. You will have to know your own comfort zone and capabilities of handling several tasks. This depends on individual. Ask yourself if you have achieve your objective while in the midst of performing another acitivity. Try to put emphasis on the more important things you need to settle; and if other tasks hinder your main objective, delete them from your multi-tasking list. Thats where we talk about "productivity". Have you achieve that level? Multi-task at your own pace.

5) Confirm

Save yourself hours of wasted time by confirming all appointments and flights. Yes, it takes time to confirm, but the payback can be enormous.

6) Do it now

One of the biggest time-wasters is waiting to do something until it doesn't matter any more. You lose more than just time, You surrender control to others or to random chance. Aren't you the biggest loser?

Some things have to be done perfectly. Some don't. Don't strive for perfection in items or actions that don't matter. People are usually paid to get results, not to be perfect.

Decide. Do it. And don't waste your time on regrets or rehasing decisions, justifying bad ones or salvaging poor time investments that ought to be written off.
Use the past as a guide for the future, not as an excuse for not dealing with it.

Conclusion

Most people are always guilty of time-wasters, just that we don't admit and face it but living in farcical that we could take charge of our life and be productive. Till someone knocks on you (example: your boss ask you about the completion of project); will you realise that you are answerable and you have wasted a lot of time. What happens? Burning the little lamp of yours in your room to finish up the project. Thats why we have superiors around to drive growth. Then you may have the question: so how can I avoid it? I have too many appointments, I read a lot of emails, I am superbly bogged down.

Of course there are times when the you are overworked. Then we have to place piroritisation. Always remember this sentence:

"Begin the end in mind" . This mean each time you are awake on a fresh day, know WHAT exactly you WANT to do and MUST do it!

The best way I believe is to stick a notepad in a place (writing something like "am I wasting time") where you are ALWAYS reminded that you will feel GUILTY if you are wasting time. Do not resist to change but embrace change to to your own individual characteristic, capability and attitude - of performing your task and getting things done EFFICIENTLY & EFFECTIVELY.

Time is your enemy, your partner in crime, your attacker, never your buddy until you tame it and treat it like your personal friend.

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