You know, if you're ever going to take control of your life and make it grand, you'll need to start by taking control of your time. Without question, effective time management is fundamental to succeeding in any area of life. In fact, it is often the main difference between life's achievers and those who, although always busy, never get anywhere.
Most experts agree that success is the result of habit. Therefore, the first step in improving how you use your time starts with your habits (self control). And your habits start as consciously made decisions (i.e. what time you get up, what kind of books you read, etc.
Once established, good habits become second nature. In many cases, success is not so much the result of doing the unusual, but rather the result of one's ability to "master the mundane." By consistently performing all of the little rudimentary tasks that are important, over time these activities transform into huge achievements.
Here's some simple rules to follow for better time management:
Don't procrastinate. Do it now. When people put things off, it kills momentum, slows achievement of current goals and restricts future opportunity as time is clogged up. The way to tackle procrastination is to set deadlines by which goals should be achieved.
Track your activities. Memory is a poor guide when it comes to assessing how you spend your time. A better way is to record your activities throughout the day, listing everything you do. Most people will find that they have about three hours each day that can be used in a more constructive or efficient manner. Take stock of the time you spend chatting on the phone, flipping though magazines or aimlessly surfing the Web, and eliminate all that isn't necessary.
Respond quickly. For example, take care of your mail as you receive it. Don't let those bills and letters pile up on you. If you're unable to respond to a letter immediately, file it in a special place that's visible, and note on the envelope the required action and date you intend to resolve it. When possible, act on requests the same day you receive them. Don't let your computer, your desk or your mind become clogged with useless things.
Be Decisive. Learn to say no to people. Your time is important, so don't let other people impose or use you to compensate for their poor planning. Eliminate distractions as much as possible. Close your door, turn off the ringer on your phone or simply ask not to be disturbed.
By following these tips, you'll create more space to be, do and have more in your life. Best of all, you'll approach life in a more proactive and intentional manner.
Tags: time management