There is a high probability at some point in your life; you’ve taken a time management class, read about it, and tried to use an electronic or paper based organizer or planner to schedule your day. The truth is none of those things are really going to help you in the long run. Before you can start managing your time, you need to learn what time is. The dictionary defines time as "the point or period at which things occur." Basically, time is when stuff happens.
There are two types of time: clock time and real time. In clock time, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. All time passes equally. When someone turns 50, they are exactly 50 years old, no more or no less.
In real time, all time is qualified. Time moves fast or lags depending on what you're doing. Two hours at the department of motor vehicles can feel like 10 years. And yet our children seem to have grown up in only a couple of hours.
Which time describes the world that you really live, real time or clock time?
Time gadgets and systems don’t tend to work because they are designed to manage clock time. Clock time is irrelevant. You don’t possess access to clock time nor do you live in it. We live in real time, a world that all time goes by quickly when are you having a good time and drags when you’re sitting at your office all day.
On the bright side, real time is mental. It exists between your ears. You create it. Anything you create, you can manage. It's time to wipe away with self-sabotage or self-limitation you have around "not having enough time," or today not being "the right time" to start doing something you’ve wanted. Here are 10 practice techniques to help you become a master at time management.
- Make sure you always have a schedule on hand and keep track of all your thoughts, activities and conversations weekly. This will help you understand how much you can accomplish over the course of a day and where your time is going. You’ll notice how much time is actually being spent productively and how much time is being wasted on unproductive conversations, actions and thoughts.
- All activities or conversations that's important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they're impracticable. Appointment books do work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time periods for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will start and finish. Be disciplined to keep the appointments.
- Plan to spend minimum 50% of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce majority of your results.
- Schedule time for distractions. Be prepared to be taken away from what you're doing. For example, the idea of having "office hours." Isn't "office hours" another way of saying, "planned distractions?"
- Use the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don't begin your day until you complete your daily plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
- Take five minutes prior to every call and task to choose what result you want to accomplish. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. And it will also make time go by slower. Take five minutes following each call and activity to determine if your wanted result was accomplished. If not, what was missing? How do you put what's missing in your next call or activity?
- Implement "Do not disturb" mode when you really have to lock in and get work completed.
- Practice not answering the phone just because it's ringing and e-mails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don't automatically give people your time and attention unless it's extremely vital in your business to offer an immediate human response. Rather, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls.
- Block out other distractions like Facebook, or Instagram, and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
10. Always remember that it's nearly impossible to get everything done. Also remember that chances are high that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities drive 80 percent of your results.