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Master your Time, Double your Success

Aug 17, 2007
Time Management is an essential success skill

Practically speaking, time is constant: 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week (24/7).

However, the usage of time differs among each individual.

Some might give time the capacity to control their lives, and others may find themselves a slave of time. Some might have no time at all to relax and create a stress-free lifestyle.

But the bottom-line is not to make time an enemy. One must have time to think of things in order, to plan ways to minimize waste of time, energy, and valuable resources.

Effective time management involves patience and practical thinking.

Time and the natural changes in the environment may be modified but, in the end, we should follow the natural order of things.

Remember "There's no day but today." We should use tools and ideas that can improve our efficiency in using time.

Time is not renewable; and moments are irreplaceable. A thing done or a past experience cannot be recreated.

However, we can expect these changes and prepare ourselves for better or worse scenarios. We cannot control time but we can make adjustments based on a given moment.

Learning or studying something to achieve mastery is one good example where we can minimize errors or develop ourselves amidst the ever-changing times.

During this period of learning, we must maximize the given resources (including time) to fully develop a skill or to acquire knowledge so that by the time we need such skill, we won't be wasting hours trying to figure things out.

One who is able to prepare for a number of possibilities upon entering a situation may have more time to think of the moves and decision to take to minimize the possibilities of errors.

Here are some tips:

1. Think of goals and aims as necessary achievements.

In achieving your desired goals, you should start with a positive outlook. You must be excited with the challenges and tasks that you have to do to give you the right start or motivation.

However, you should also see the path towards your goals in concrete terms. These achievements or aims can be reached by becoming realistic and by knowing your directions.

Think of the scenarios of success but you should also recognize the fact that these roads have to be traversed in a given time.

This way, you are not only looking at the possibility of success, but you are also giving yourself the right motivation and the proper time to prepare for a fresh start and achieve your goals at the soonest possible time.

2. Think of the time frame in achieving goals and aims.

You are to do a task at a particular time. As you begin planning your strategies, you must also look forward and recognize your time frames in doing such tasks.

Time frames are the periods you are giving yourself to finish a task. These are just estimates or approximations since you are not the sole factor that will contribute in finishing the given task.

Be wary of the processes in your environment; for example, if you are to write a book or an article, consider the time you are giving yourself for this activity in relation to your environment.

Finally, think of the flow of things or the movement of time in your daily life as you move forward in achieving your desired goals.

Think of your other activities that might affect the time factor in finishing given tasks.

You might be spending too much time on a very idle activity (like too many late night parties or soirées or a whole day in front of your computer playing online games) that will give you less time for your plans towards self-fulfillment and success.

3. Be realistic and expect changes.

Time Management involves flexibility and open-mindedness. Do not expect that you can finish a task in what you've considered as your time frame unless everything is laid down perfectly.

You should allot some allowance in your time frame, probably for the sake of the unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

Remember that contradicting factors bring development so don't be upset with these changes since everything is undergoing a sort of a synthesis.

For example, you already made your business plan and a lot of careful considerations have been completed, including the period in which you expect your business to give you financial and personal satisfaction.

However, during the course of application, there are other factors or changes, which you omitted in your feasibility study. In this case, you should have allowed some time for handling unknown variables.

Instead of becoming immobile or paralyzed with any situation, be flexible by making changes. Level the playing field with innovative strategies based on the situation and knowledge you will acquire from your experience in doing the task.

Maximize your time by examining your errors and by moving on with solutions that will sustain whatever efforts you have given to traverse difficult situations and challenges.

4. Know your work style.

You are a time clock too. You work with your habits, your cycles, and bodily rhythms. You sleep, eat, exercise, read a book, or cook with either efficiency or a sloppy lifestyle.

Give yourself some time to think about how fast you can work on things.

Your sleeping habits and work efficiency are based on what you've grown-up with as an individual - you may either stay up late at night or sleep early, unconsciously following past habits that no longer work for you. See what works for you and what needs to be changed.

Finally, examine yourself and know how fast you can work on things, like typing, filing office data, writing a term paper, or even reading a book. You don't need to know the exact time a task takes but at least you will have an approximate measurement.

When you are able to gauge how you spend your time and how long you take to do things, you can develop a meaningful schedule.

5. Know your environment or workplace

Your life at home has a time of its own, your office has schedules, and your neighborhood has activities to offer.

You are surrounded by these time schedules. It would be better if you would be conscious of the time flow in your surroundings.

The daily tasks in your house determine your personal time.

Your working hours are defined by the nature of your work and your workplace.

And the activities by the people around you may affect your strategies and daily endeavors.

Finally, you are not alone in your workplace and other people are also wary of their time and schedules.

All of these would affect your time frames and you must be in-synch with all of these to manage your limited time hassle-free.

6. Make Plans

Planning is a way of saving time for errors.

Mistakes usually happen because of unexpected and unforeseen factors such as a wrong estimate of resources or new problems.

Add a small time allowance to your estimated time so that you may still finish the task in a given time-- even if things don't go as smoothly as initially planned.

With the proper plan and preparation, these unforeseen circumstances can be expected as well as minimized.

Time management, then, is giving yourself a period to reflect on how time flows in your life. You are also recognizing the factor that affects time and its fluidity. If you manage your time, you'll find ways to have the time of your life.
About the Author
Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. Do you want to get rid of your dreadful "time-wasting" habits and start doing things in an organized, efficient manner? Learn more at http://theempoweredsoul.com/SelfImprovementBooks/timemanagement.html
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