When someone says "That's an hour of my life I'm never getting back!" they are recognising the value of their time and how precious time is.
The ability to use and manage this scarce resource, that is your time, wisely is therefore vital.
There can be no excuse for not managing your time as the ability to be aware of time is everywhere, from your watch, phone or any nearly every device you carry, to statement clocks on the buildings, in elevators, buses and trains. Awareness of time is all around us.
Time governs everything we do. You can run out of it, you can never have enough of it. Everything is geared around time, when to arrive, when to start, when to finish, so the effective use of your time can have a significant impact on your productivity and success.
Good time management is simply making the most of your time and energy in both your work and personal life. Making enough time to sleep, work, relax and socialise all of those things that are required to bring balance in your life.
There are only 168 hours in a week so you need to understand when you’re managing time, how you’re spending those hours, and whether you are being effective in terms of all of that.
It is important to avoid procrastination so you need to really focus on how you’re going to tackle that time wasting activity. The first thing to do is recognise when you’re wasting time. Remember, it’s a valuable resource, Warren Buffett says “if it isn’t a hell yeah! Then it is a no!” so really start to prioritise where and how you commit your time. Don’t waste time on things you don’t want to do and can avoid. There are always going to be things that you can’t avoid but keep those to a minimum.
Make time wise decisions, either investing or not investing time in the short term to save time in the long term. At PYP we often say busy is not effective so don’t confuse activity with productivity. You have to ask yourself am I busy doing the right things that give maximum value and benefit.
Establish what your time preference is in terms of the time of day? Are you up with the lark or are you a night owl, burning the midnight oil? Use the preference that you have or focus your attention on understanding your preferences and then using it so that you manage your time effectively.
If you’re in a situation where you are a morning person tackle the busier, more challenging issues in the morning that creative, productive time and leave the more mundane tasks until later in the day.
Also start to really commit to being on time and delivering to deadlines. Give yourself a personal deadline, commit to it, keep it and do what is required to deliver.
Keep a diary for a week of how you use your time each day, and then look at how much of it is wasted. Imagine you’re a lawyer billing by the hour, quarter hour, or minute.