Sadly we cannot, no matter how often we wish we could, or indeed how hard we try to, time is simply unmanageable ! time happens, it occurs and then it has passed. We are left with regrets about what we could have done, perhaps even what we should have done with the time that has just passed us by.
We cannot go backwards, we cannot undo what has already occurred, unless of course you are on first name terms with Mr Mcfly and his scientist buddy 🙂
What we can do though is to manage how we spend our time and what we do with our time, we can manage this aspect better.
Time management solution
The solution to time management for many is to become more aware of the time that we do spend, and perhaps most importantly how much time we spend on a particular task or activity.
Carry out the following time awareness exercise, and see how much you waste, or not as the case may be.
I am grateful to Tim Gallwey, the author of “The Inner Game of Work” for his succinctness in determining time awareness.
List all of your daily tasks, both work and home tasks, write them down on a piece of paper, add two columns, one to state estimated time of task and the other to state actual time of task.
The next step is to guess how long you spend on a particular task, mark this guess in the estimate column, this in itself will be enlightening I suspect.
Next actually time each task, for example, a task could be reading emails on a daily basis, you may guess 10 minutes, but in reality it may actually be longer, curse those damn emails.
As you become more aware of the time you spend in relation to the tasks we complete you will hopefully learn an important lesson and therefore help to improve time to task effectiveness.
I’m in a hurry to get things done. Oh! I rush and rush until lifes no fun. All I really go to do is live and die But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why?
I’m in a hurry to get things done
If the above sounds familiar to you, there are two reasons why this may be the case
It’s a lyric from Alabama’s nineties song entitled “I’m in a hurry”
The second reason why this seems familiar is perhaps because this describes you, was this written with you in mind?
If this sounds just like you, take a moment to reflect on how busy you are, are you managing to achieve your goals and objectives?
If not, carry out the time awareness exercise above, then follow the tips below when you start a new day
- Start each day by singing the Alabama lyrics, then decide not to be in a hurry just to get things done
- Draw up a list of things you know must be completed, the daily processes, the routine tasks which are key to your overall performance
- Think about deadlines too, not just priorities, use Pareto’s 80/20 rule wherever possible
- Be aware of your own natural clock, if for example you are at your peak in terms of mental performance, carry out the most challenging tasks whilst at your peak
- Make allowances for interruptions, calls, meetings etc, and don’t forget to have a break now and again
- Clear your desk/workstation often – De cluttering frequently will help with clarity, and remove the need for continued tidying up