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5 Effective Time Management Techniques

Aug 17, 2007
Time, while short and fleeting, is something that can be handled even by simple human beings like us. The best way to deal with it is to know early on what we want to happen to our lives and which directions we would like to go, in order for us to map out a more effective life plan. If we do not know what our plans are, then it would not really make sense to get into time management because we will just end up with one big mess of activities. However, the man who fails to plan, plans to fail.

Determine what you want first and then try to manage your time. Remember, every day is precious, so you need to speed up. It is for your own sake, anyway.

One of the tasks we often fail at is managing our time well. There really is no excuse for this, since there are several effective time management techniques. These techniques can help you with your most valuable possession - your time. Time spent is gone forever. In spite of what we often believe, we cannot save time. Time never stop and it is used one way or another.

If we waste time, there is no bank where we can withdraw time that we lost. To come to terms with our mortality is to recognize that our time is limited. Given this realization and probability that you would like to organize your time better, here are four time management techniques.

1. Assess how you spend your time

As a first step in managing time better, you might want to analyze how you spend your time now. To do this, divide your day into fifteen-minute segments, then record what you are doing every fifteen minutes. Afterward, review this time diary and total the time spent on each activity throughout the day.

For instance, you might that you spent three hours watching television, one hour exercising, one hour studying, and two hours shopping. Next, evaluate the use of time. You might decide you spend too much time watching TV and too little time studying. Based upon this evaluation, decide on an adjustment, but make it specific. A good way to make this change is to draw up a contract with yourself that includes a reward for being successful.

2. Set Goals

The most important thing you can do to manage time is to set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and long-term goals. If you do not have a clear sense of where you are going just yet, you will not be able to plan how to get there. Organize your use time in order to maximize the chances of achieving your goals.

3. Learn to prioritize

Once you have set your goals, you need to prioritize them and your activities. Not all of your goals will be exactly important. Focus on those goals that are the most important to you, and work on the other goals secondarily. Likewise, focus on activities most important to the achievement of your highest goals and on other activities afterward.

4. Keep a schedule

Once you have prioritized your activities, you can then schedule them into you daily routine. When will you go to the bank? When will you buy groceries? Do not forget to schedule some relaxation and recreation time, as well.

5. Maximize your rewards

In scheduling all your activities, remember what some time management experts say: we obtain 80% of our rewards on only 20% of our activities and, conversely, aquire only 20% of our rewards on 80% of the time we spend. What this states is that we need to make sure we recognize and engage in the 20% of the activities that give us 80% of our rewards before we move to the other activities. Maximize your rewards by organizing your time.
The fact that you are reading this article means you have time to do the above techniques and apply them to your personal life
About the Author
Andrew Chin is a recognized authority on the subject of Time Management. His web site SelfImprovementsGuide.com provides a wealth of information on Time Management.
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