Time is a Gift, use it well…
Every day you get to see is a gift, what you do with it is entirely up to you. Many of us have a desire to do wonderful things and make an impact. Awesome desire, but guess what? If you’re not able to manage this gift called time properly, you run the risk of not achieving little goals not to talk of making a big impact.
If you handle time well, you can actually turn it into your strongest ally rather than something that seems to be constantly working against you.
If you’ve already gotten a solid grip on time, then great! But if not, and you feel there aren’t enough hours in a day to do all you need to then let’s talk about 6 ways you can get the most out of every day you’re gifted with.
- Is it Urgent or important? This is the fundamental question you have to ask yourself before taking on a new assignment, project or responding to something/someone. Once you’re clear on the difference between Urgent and Important, prioritizing appropriately because so much easier. Urgent things are those that require immediate attention. However, doing them or not may or may not matter. For example, a phone call is urgent because the sound of your phone ringing breaks into whatever it is you’re doing at the moment. But what makes it important is either the person calling or the nature of the call. A call from your boss could be to resolve a work issue (which matters). A call from a friend could be just to talk about what’s going on (may not matter at that point in time). Important things are those that matter a great deal, and not doing them may have disastrous consequences. For example, not meeting a deadline. Then there are some things that are neither important nor urgent, such as checking social media first thing in the morning. Getting this difference right is your first step towards proper time management.
- De-clutter your space: Have you ever spent hours trying to find something because you don’t really recall where you left it? It’s bad enough looking through something, but imagine trying to look through a cluttered space. It just adds to the stress levels and you may end up spending more time tidying up the space first so you can start looking for what you’re really trying to find… Clutter is distracting and makes simple things take more time than they should, This could be clutter in your physical space (like your room, desk, etc.) or digital space like your desktop, or inbox. For your digital space (which is where we spend most of our time) I’d strongly recommend that as much as possible you should mute notifications, create folders for related items and clear unused icons. Figure out what is important enough to stay, what you can delegate to others, and what you should trash.
- Schedule Important Tasks for when You are Most Productive: I’m generally more productive in the earlier hours of the day. Others function better at night or in the middle of the day. You need to find what works best for you and schedule the bulk of your important tasks for that period. If you have free time after this period then spend it doing less important tasks, or catching up with that friend whose call you couldn’t take earlier because at the time it was urgent but not important 😉
- We all agree Procrastinating is Bad: So Why are You Doing It?: When you find yourself constantly postponing things you should ask yourself why? Is it uninteresting, do you need help but you haven’t gotten round to asking for it yet, or do you not know what to do? Whatever the answer is, address the issue and as much as possible do that thing you don’t want to do first so you can get it out of the way and focus on having a lighter day.
- Pause on Multi-tasking: When you really need to get something done, multi-tasking may end up prolonging the process. Sometimes you need to be laser-focused so you can give the necessary attention and closeout what you’re working on quickly.
- Keep Calm and Take Stock: Sometimes when things don’t work out the way you planned you may get frustrated that you haven’t done as much as you’d wanted. Save yourself the stress and anxiety. Understand what led to the gaps or delays in the day. Then do what good navigation systems do when you’ve gone off course, they re-center, refocus and map an alternative route for the next day.