“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us,” said Gandalf from The Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein. So, how can you be more productive and make the most of your time? Try these tips and tidbits for time management that will help you live a more meaningful, productive life and make more progress over time.
First thing to do is to write down and work out how you want to spend your time. Have a clear vision and mission of what you want to accomplish and in what time frame, so you can keep track of everything. What goals and objectives do you want to achieve? Prioritize them wisely and decide what you want to tackle first. What is most important, as well as most urgent? What’s on your current radar, versus your do-it-later back burner?
Also, work on whittling down your list. Prioritizing is important and can reveal what you should focus on now, and what to move until later or even delete from your list. Be discerning about what not to do. If it’s not important or urgent, maybe you can let it go, which means more time for you to work on priorities that take precedence.
Once you have a clear road map of where you want to go, analyze where you are with how you use your time. We all have basic necessities like eating, drinking, bathing, and sleeping, but how else are you spending your time outside of your must-dos and work-related tasks? What about during the downtime you have during break time, a commute, or waiting at the doctor’s office? Figure out exactly what you’re doing, where and when, and also why. What’s the reason—or is there one? It may be helpful to figure out the percentages of how you spend your time. You can divide this into categories like sleep, self-care, family/social, and work/business.
Realize that those seconds add up into minutes, which add up into hours, which comprise your day and night. Time is one of the most precious gifts we have in life, so don’t squander it. Often, we don’t realize how much extra time we can salvage to do things that are productive and meaningful and will get us farther and further in life. Spend less time twiddling your thumbs in boredom and more time maximizing the time you’ve been given.
Good Game Plan
Sometimes it’s a trade-off and sometimes you have to sacrifice your time for the benefit of others, or to do things that have just come up, but you weren’t expecting. When life throws curve balls at you, you want to be ready to take a solid swing and bounce back with resiliency. Getting prepared with a game plan that allows you to avoid costly mistakes and pitfalls will keep you in the game.
Analyze and Assess
Other factors to figure out include your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your habits, which may help or hinder you from making the most of your time. It may take some time to break old habits that are holding you back and form new ones that can boost your time management. Be patient with the process and gentle, but firm, with yourself. Be your own best friend and mentor. Always be honest and a realist when you assess how you ideally want to spend your time, how you are currently spending your time, and how you don’t want to be spending your time.
Money Matters – So Does Time
Think of time management as a form of budgeting. You don’t want to spend all of your time or money. Be conservative and work on saving both. Be strategic and have a game plan, as well as back-up plan(s) to support your efforts.
You know you’re living your best life when you make the most of your time. Improve your life and help others. Make and track positive changes, set necessary boundaries, and achieve more. Take time seriously. Value it, learn to manage it, and you will be better off. Honestly, it’s about time!