The chances are at some point in life you’ve moaned about not having enough time. We’ve all done it. “I don’t know where the time went” is a common complaint, so is “There aren’t enough hours in the day” . The fact is though as we all know, time always passes at exactly the same speed and there is nothing we can do but learn how to manage time effectively ensuring that we are able to complete the things that are most important to us.
"Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week." Charles Richards
Here are 7 tips to help you learn how to manage time effectively.
Have clearly defined goals: If you don’t have pre-defined goals you can waste an awful lot of time doing things that really aren’t important. Decide what you’re goals are and then work towards them.
"If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got." Lee Iacocca
Prioritise: Even when you have a clear set of goals, you still need to prioritise. Prioritising your goals is important, but it’s equally important to priorities everyday tasks that arise. Recognise that you cannot always achieve everything you want.
Learn to say no: One of the most important factors of learning how to manage time effectively is learning to say no. It’s all too easy to take on too much. It’s not a good strategy to adopt whether at home or at work. So learn to say no.
Stay focussed: If you want to maximise the amount of work you can get done in a set period of time then it’s important that you stay focussed. Avoid distractions, focus on a single piece of work, set yourself clear targets for what you want to achieve in the timeframe. You will never learn how to manage time effectively if you’re not able to stay focussed.
"The key is in not spending time, but in investing it". Stephen R. Covey
Delegate: Accept that you cannot do everything and delegate tasks to someone else. If you’re a perfectionist or someone who loves to micro-manage this can be really difficult, but it’s the only way to make sure that you are using your time effectively.
Plan ahead: If you plan ahead, you can anticipate when you may be facing greater pressures on your time, and you can also make sure you have some ‘wriggle room’ (spare time).
Establish positive patterns: If you want to learn how to manage time effectively, it’s important that you establish some positive patterns to your routine. If you have certain things that you always need to do eg exercise, writing, reading, learning a language etc timetable them into your routine
Summary: When so many people find themselves struggling to cope with all the different things that compete for their attention, learning how to manage time effectively is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimising some of the day to day stresses of a full life.