Time management strategies to help get more control on your life
It’s the beginning of December and Christmas is on its way and everyone is running around being busy! In fact no matter who you talk to or where you go everyone is feeling the pressure of being busy.
The reality is that there are still 168 hours in a week and when you break that down to what people are doing with their lives
56 hours to sleep
21 hours to eat and socialize
4 hours to be with the family and play with your kids
3 hours going to the bathroom
84 hours to work on your business
How can you be so busy when you have so many hours available to you?
For many people understanding that being busy doesn’t always correspond to good time management skills which can help you accomplish your goals is something that needs to be remembered and to help refresh your memory here are a few tips to help you get into the mood and mindset to get those jobs done
1. Clean your desk. Paper clutter can cost an hour a day when you keep having to look for things and it is a constant distraction.
2. Clean your computer. Over an above the need virus maintenance etc, clean up your files! I have a friend who learned this the hard way when he was looking for a needed image file and it was lost in the clutter of images he has. Create different folders for your images one for work, blog, marketing etc. so that you can find what you are needing easily.
3. Make a schedule. Now I know for myself, I find it hard to manage my time effectively, because there is that part of me who hates having to live under a schedule, but I have also learned that when living with a schedule when I am working at home, then I accomplish a lot more and the stress is a lot less.
There are plenty of online tools to help you set schedules including remember the milk.
4. Schedules are not the same as to-do lists. Whether your pattern is to end your work day by creating a list of things to do for the next day or to create one in the morning, to-do lists can be different everyday. When creating your to do list, if something is going to take less than 5 minutes to do, then do it right away. If its going to take longer, then put it on the list.
5. Speaking of your to do list be sure to prioritize what you have to do and then be realistic on what you are doing, taking into account those daily interruptions that will happen. While many people will sit and stress over the unpleasant tasks that they have to do, make yourself do those tasks first and do the other more pleasant jobs at the last.
6.Everyone will lecture you about procrastinating, it is the one huge taboo if you are going to be really effective in your personal time management and its true that the emotional and even physical consequences to procrastination is very high. The fact is we all do it and then feel so guilty (another time waster) I propose changing that thinking to procrastinate when you have been working very hard on a project and use the procrastination as a way to relax for a few moments before getting back on schedule.
7 Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? The idea is to break down work periods into 25-minute intervals, because that’s how long our minds focus effectively. The creator of this method, entrepreneur and mentor Francesco Cirillo, calls these intervals “pomodoros.” If you would like to know more about this technique I suggest you read The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right For You?
Creating a time management regime is important in the the world of business, regardless if it is affiliate marketing, being an author or making products of some kind but I would leave you with this one question, what are the big “rocks” in your life and how are you managing your time?
Time in a Jar
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz,” and he pulled out a one-gallon, Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?
“Everyone in the class yelled, “Yes.”
The time management expert replied, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”
By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them answered.
“Good!” he replied.
He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.
Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”
“No!” the class shouted.
Once again he said, “Good.”
Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!”
“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is, “If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life — time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, your friends, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these big rocks in first or you’ll never get them in at all.”
So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the big rocks in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.