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Down the Rabbit Hole of Time Management

Down the Rabbit Hole of Time Management

Do you often feel stressed out about actually having too much of a workload? Do you find yourself feeling as if you have more tasks than you have time to complete? Do you think that you could have effectively used your time to finish your given in hindsight tasks? Well, there is a good chance that you have taken a look at how to manage your time in a better fashion at some point in your life. It’s alright, most of us have read about the subject, participated in an online course, and/or tried to use a web-based or paper-based day planner to schedule our day.

When learning about how to manage time, you must first grasp the true meaning of what time is. Let’s begin with the dictionary definition: “time is the point or period at which things occur”. Putting it in a simpler tone, time is when stuff happens. In order to completely understand time, we need to differentiate between two types of time: clock time and real time.

  • Clock Time: 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. All time particles move equally. When a person turns 30, they are 30 years old persistently, no more and no less.
  • Real Time: Everything in life based on experience, that is, time is relative. Based on your own life events, time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing. Four hours at the DMV can feel like 16 years, and yet our 16 year old children seem to have grown up in only four hours.

After you have fathomed this now profound knowledge, which time do you feel that describes the world in which you live in, real time or clock time? The main reason that time management widgets and gizmos don’t work in actuality is that these mechanism are designed to manage clock time and not real time – clock time is irrelevant. You don’t have access to clock time, you are an entity that operates in real time – a world in which time flies when you are having fun or drags when you are participating in a boring class.

The good news is that real time is subjective, which means that anything you devise and produce, you can manage. It’s time to remove any clutches or shackles you have around you such as “not having enough time”, or today’s not being “the right time” to start a business or manage your current business properly. Keep in mind that there are only three means to occupy time: thought, discussions and actions. Regardless of the type of business you own or the industry it operates in, your work will be composed of those three elements. As an entrepreneur, you may be repeatedly interrupted or drawn to different directions.

While you cannot extinguish interruptions, you do have a say on how much time you will spend on them and how much time you will spend on the relevant three means that will lead you to success such as through, discussions and actions.

Practice the following techniques to improve your skills, increase productivity and eventually become the master of your own time:

Schedule Tasks

Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, discussions and actions for a week. This will help you understand how many tasks you can complete during the course of a day and where your valuable time is spent. You can do so by having a planner or notebook with you where you can list all your weekly tasks. Create and manage a simple “To Do” list before the start of the day, prioritize the tasks, and make sure that they are attainable. You’ll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.

Delegate Tasks

Delegation is more common than you think, but most of us take on more tasks than we can eventually complete. This can often result in stress and burnout. Delegating your tasks does not mean that you are running away from your responsibilities but is an important function of management. One of the best ways to overcome this issue is to schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end and have the discipline to keep these appointments. Learn the art of delegation of work to your subordinates as per their skills and abilities.

Prioritize Work

Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan out your day and don’t start your day until you complete mapping up your time plan. The utmost important period of time of your day is when you schedule your time. This is the best time to work on a list of tasks that need your immediate attention and which tasks are too time consuming and perhaps could be pushed to next day. While prioritizing your tasks  focus on those that are more important and plan to spend at least 50% of your time engaged in the thoughts, conversations and actions that produce most of your results.

Setup Deadlines

One of our biggest mistakes is not setting a realistic deadline and sticking to it. In order to avoid this issue, try setting deadlines to a few days before the task should be completed so that you can also work around the interruptions that come in between and resolve them all on time. Challenge yourself and meet the deadline and reward yourself for meeting a difficult challenge.

Start Early

You probably heard the phrase “The early bird gets the worm”, that basically means that if you start your day early, it allows you the time to sit, think, and plan your day ahead. This trait is most common for successful men and women around the world as they get up early and start their activities while staying calm, creative, and clear-headed. Also remember that as your day progresses, your energy levels starts tumbling down which affects your productivity drastically and you don’t perform as well as during the beginning of the day.

Take Some Breaks

Too much stress can take toll on your body and affect your productivity. Whenever you find yourself for 10-15 minutes in between tasks, take a break. Go outside for a short walk, do some quick stretches or simply  listen to some music to recharge your energy. Additionally, you can take a few minutes before every call to prospects, clients, customers or you business partners and task to decide what result you want to attain – This will help you know what success looks like before you start. Do the same after a call as well in order to determine whether your desired result was achieved – If not, what was missing and how do you get better results next time.

Learn to say No

We all experienced severe overload at work from time to time due to extensive amount of tasks. You need to learn that it is alright to politely refuse to receive any additional tasks if you think that you are already overloaded with work. Simply take a closer look at your “To Do” list before you agree to take on any additional tasks.

Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination is a sort of a “taboo” in the in the world of productivity, as one can be badly result in wasting essential time and energy. If you lack the skill to use it as an advantage, avoided at all cost It could be a major problem in both your career and your personal life.

There are ways to ensure its avoidance such a:

  • Using a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to complete your scheduled tasks.
  • Practicing not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and emails just because they show up – you can always schedule a time to respond to text messages and emails and return phone calls unless it’s absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response.
  • Disconnecting from instant messaging and blocking out all sort of distractions like social media networks unless you use these tools to generate business.

Avoid Multitasking

Most of us feel that multitasking is an efficient way of completing tasks, well, most of us are mistaken. Multitasking tampers with productivity and should be avoided at all cost in order to improve time management abilities. There are numerous of study cases that were made over the years that proves that it is always better when we focus and concentrate on one thing.

Avoid Stress

Stress often occurs when we accept more tasks than we can actually process. The result is that your body starts feeling tired which can affect our productivity. The best solution for this issue is to delegate tasks to your juniors and make sure to leave some time for relaxation.

Remember that it is impossible to get everything done. Once you do so, remember that odds are good that 20% of your thoughts, conversations and actions produce 80% of your results.

Itay Kasre
Itay Kasre
Itay is a self-taught software developer and a natural-born hacker with a huge passion for technology and innovation. He has ingenious skills with an eye for detail. Itay shines at the most challenging environments such as researching cutting-edge technologies and coming up with creative solutions to impossible problems.

1 Comment

  1. Maxie Slimrja says:

    Your blog posts are refreshing. I always enjoy reading them.

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