Forget About Time Management: This One Practice Is Even Better
“The challenge is not to manage the time, but to manage ourselves.” — Stephen Covey
I really don’t want to be another person advocating for the ongoing chit-chats on how important it is to manage your time well. Millions of blogs on the internet explain the need for time management and how you should do it already. I cannot read all of them, but there’s something I can totally vent about. They all explain pretty much the same practices: plan and schedule.
My beliefs, in this matter, are a little contrary. You cannot manage time. You can’t stop it or manipulate it.
I’m saying this because everything is just so fixed when it comes to time. Seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, and so on! How can we manage something when it is already fixed? Time keeps on ticking irrespective of how hard we try to control it.
Imagine all those motivational posts, “ You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.” It is just so obvious, isn’t it? Everybody knows they have 24 hours in a day. There’s no point mentioning it over and over again, especially when it is not even in your hands.
Then what should you do to be more productive?
Regardless of how many hours we get in a day, the only thing we can control is our actions.
It’s not the time that needs to be managed; it’s the immense amount of everyday choices and tasks that we need to look after. Even the most remarkable life and business coaches emphasize prioritizing the tasks based on their importance instead of looking out for ways to manage time and end up wasting even more time.
To prioritize, you need to focus on what matters the most. The 80/20 principle works best for this matter. It states that we should focus on that 20% of the activities which have an 80% impact on our lives. Prioritization, along with self-management, is the ultimate key to achieve more in life. However, they would still not create more time for you.
So, moving forward with a new belief in mind, here are a few steps you can take to manage your own choices and instill self-management in life:
#Step 1: Find Your Why
Setting goals is great, but when you attach a significant purpose to them, they become more powerful. Everybody sets goals, but only a few think about how these goals will impact their lives. Knowing your ‘WHY’ is the number one step in the journey of self-management.
You can pinpoint a few good reasons for accomplishing your goal or can even jot down the side effects if you do not achieve it. Be it positive or negative, such reasons will help you keep going and make you committed to your goals when tough times come into the picture.
REGULAR GOAL: I will save more money this year.
GOAL WITH A PURPOSE: I want to save more money this year because:
- I want to take that dream vacation.
- I want to invest and create a better financial future.
- I want to make big purchases, like a car or big-screen TVs, etc.
Visualizing a better future will make you consistent towards your goals, and consistency ultimately leads to more productivity.
#Step 2: Get Your Priority Crystal Clear
Think about all the important tasks you need to accomplish today. Confused and can’t figure out where to start? That’s where you lose time and productivity. It gets really tough to prioritize tasks if they keep swimming all across your head.
Relax, you got this! Start with getting everything down on a Master List. It is a simple list that keeps a record of everything that falls into a specific category. Mention all your tasks on it based on priority and urgency. Force rank the tasks so that you know what your priorities are for the day.
Once done, dedicate quality time to those tasks without failing every day. Make sure that you give your 100% to move forward with them.
That way, you will always be done with the important tasks right on time and be an epitome of productivity without worrying about the amount of time you have.
#Step 3- Get Everything On the Same Page
Another important step towards managing your choices is accumulating all the essential information you get bombarded with every day. If you are a manager, it might get tough for you to keep track of emails, appointments, employees’ activity, work delegation, or meetings.
Too often, managers try to keep all this load of information in their heads and end up getting stressed due to low or no productivity at all. It is important to get everything on one page so that they clearly know what needs to be done to get the desired results.
With the availability of various management tools and software in the market, it has now gotten very easy for the managers to put all the information and resources under a single roof. Using management tools, you can manage employee activities, assign tasks, set reminders, conduct online discussions right in one place. Sounds so easy, isn’t it?
Switch to ProofHub and get all the project information available in one place without any confusion.
#Step 4- Delegate Work Smartly
It is common to say, “if you want to get the work done, do it yourself.” Okay, that is great but sooner or later there will be a point when the workload takes a toll, and you will not be able to do everything by yourself.
If you are a manager, I’m sure you would agree that workload does get beyond your capacities at some point. You try to accomplish too many tasks, face burnouts due to missed deadlines, and blame yourself for not managing your time well. Not fair.
You’re not a robot. You can’t do everything by yourself in no time.
What should you do in this case? Work Delegation!
Work delegation means assigning other members of the team the responsibility and authority to accomplish a specific task. I know, work delegation sounds more like dumping on your work to someone else but it’s not like that. It is an offer, not a demand.
You can reduce the load by dividing and allocating the work among your subordinates and have more time to focus on other critical issues of concern.
#Step 5- ACT! ACT! ACT!
“Stop thinking, start doing.”
Now that you are well aware of your purpose, have your priorities set, and clearly know what to work on. It’s time to put in the work. Sorry to say, but all of us waste a substantial amount of time either procrastinating or setting in the momentum, and let’s just not talk about the time we waste on the internet reading about “Five habits of highly productive people”.
Well, I’m sure, spending all the time reading about those ‘five habits’ is certainly not a habit of the people who are actually productive. You would deliver all your work right on time if you actually put in the effort to accomplish it instead of just looking for hacks to manage your time.
Make smart choices to manage your everyday tasks smoothly using ProofHub.
In A Nutshell
As Alan Lakein says, Time = Life.
You cannot control how long or short your life is going to be but you have the full power to drive the best out of it. Similarly, you cannot control the time but you can always put it to the best use and be highly productive at all times.
Remember, we can only manage ourselves and the choices we make every day. It is essential for us to stay disciplined in the way we spend time doing various tasks. Like I mentioned earlier, you cannot save time for later. You can use it well or waste it, but it will be gone at the end of the day.
Everything depends on the choices you make.
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