Time Managment
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"Ordinary people think merely how they will spend their time; a person of intellect tries to use it."

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Most of us go through life not knowing what we want, but feeling darned sure this isn't it."

The Cosmic Humorist

Time Management

The object of time management is to get more out of and enhance the quality of your life.  Time management is one of the most important tools that we use to fulfill our life goals.

Time is the "stuff of life".  We can not buy or trade time.  In order to create the life we want we must master our own time.  We must create a script to follow and hold our self accountable for playing our part.  The object of time management is to get the most out of life

In order to be successful we must learn the difference between activity and accomplishment.

Tycoons and paupers have the same of twenty-four hours in their day that you and I do, no more no less.  It is what we do with our time that really matters.   We often feel "so busy that we can't get the things we need to do done, but it is really a matter of planning and priority.  We feel that there are already too many demands on our time.  Every one has had the felling that their life was compressing and that there was no way to do of all the things that need to get done.  When we feel that events are spinning out of control we must step back and focus on one event and then another.  Once we focus even on one event we stop the feeling of total loss of control.  We then move on to the next event with a little more confidence, the list is getting shorter.  The randomness of the events can be eliminated by focusing on one element one at a time. 

In order to gain control of our time and our life we must:

  • Believe that we can control our own destiny and that you accept responsibility for you life

  • Believe that you deserve to get what you want in life

  • Have a clear idea of what you want and when you want to accomplish

Ask yourself what is the most important thing I can do at this time.

We as Americans feel more and more rushed.  We list and then check things off of our to do lists.  We take less vacations than the rest of the world.  Our leisure time has even become competitive and constructed.  Our daily exercise has become physical conditioning.  

The facts are that we have lots of free time!   Studies at the University of Maryland  Survey Research Center made by John Robinson show that the perception of a time crunch appears to have gone up in the period of time where free time has increased!  We spend hours each day watching television, driving kids, and surfing the internet.  Some how we don't count this time as our usable time.  It is our perception of our free time that has change. 

Every day we should have a set of objectives.  Some of these will be maintenance items but we should identify and target some of our time for achieving our short and long term goals.  We should be able to state our objectives we wish to accomplish each day.  If we can not state to our self each day what we should accomplish each day that days time is probably wasted.

What goals and objectives we set for ourselves is a personal decision.  We are defining our lives which are too important to leave to the random occurrences of the day to fulfill and identify our self.

Common personal obstacles people place in the way of time management

  • We feel trapped and  helpless, we feel that others, our boss, our spouse etc has control of our life.  Take some personal time to plan.  Spend a little time each day at night or in the morning.

  • We want to please.  We have trouble saying no to other peoples demands on our time.  We want to help but whose life is it anyway.

  • We are often over perfections.  Not everything needs to be done.  Eighty percent of our rewards come from twenty percent of our efforts.  In order to maximize our time and get the greatest results, not everything is going to get done, or done as well as we like.


Techniques for time management

We can accomplish much with only a few time management techniques.

  • Establish your short term and life goals.  Decide what it is that you want to accomplish.

  • Make a written to-do list for each day.

  • Prioritize - decide what needs to be done today, then do the most important and urgent things first.  If you do not get through everything on your list take comfort in the fact that you accomplished the most important things.

  • Identify an objective for each and every day, even if it is just relax and enjoy the day.  Give yourself permission to do nothing, make it the priority for a day, it minimizes the guilt for wasting time.

  • Avoid time wasters, get organized, learn to say no to commitments you don't want. E-mail or fax instead of calling or visiting co-workers.  

  • Screen calls, use an answering machine to avoid interruptions and to control our work time.  People usually will give the facts briefly on the phone machine and it gives you a chance to prioritize your calls.

  • Read a good time management book, visit an office supply store and review time management supplies and organizers.  I have found that the electronic organizers that share and back up information on computers useful and compact.

Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Robert Brault


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