Effective Time Management

Effective time management may yet prove elusive for the majority of people. Too many people complain that they have no time or not enough time. Yet the number of hours in a day is never less than twenty four hours.

How about you?

When a day is over, another day begins. But people keep on complaining they do not have enough time to do all the things they need to do.

So where did the time go?

You cannot save time (Michael LeBeouf) so that you can use it the next time you are free to use it. You cannot accumulate time. You can only use it properly or waste it.

Importance of Time

It is said that time waits for no man. And time is so important that many people lament that they could have done more if they have more time. 

And so David Norris states, "How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever."

You can only wait for tomorrow. Even if you don't sleep, you will only have your next period twenty four hours the following day.

Waste of Time

"Waste of time is the most extravagant and costly of all expenses." ~ Theophrastus

Orison Swett Marden wrote "If you waste your time, you must waste your life." Yet it is not easy to make effective use of time. Thus, so much remains undone. Decisions are not made. Chores and responsibilities remain undone.

Take the case of a manager in an organization. If you are in such a position, you will surely appreciate the many things that you need to do within the limited time that you must work. You will find your attention being drawn in so many directions. At the same time, you have to deal with distractions and interruptions during the course of the day. When it is time to go, you may find that you have practically done little work.

So much time is wasted attending to things that have little to do with your plan for the day. You feel you have wasted a whole working day.

Effective time management means you will always have Time

Every time a day is over, you have another day of twenty four hours credited to your time account. You have no lesser amount of time than the man or woman next to you.

No matter how bad a time manager you are, you will have an entire day tomorrow like everybody else. And so Denis Waitly wrote,
"Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day."

This does not mean that each day is given for the purpose of doing things that are not productive or of no use to anyone whatsoever. But this may actually happen.

Maximizing the use of Time
The need for effective time management would require adopting some or all of the following:

  1. Doing things in terms of priority, using the important / not important - urgent / not urgent matrix. It is clear that you need to do the important and urgent first.
  2. Delegating to others the things that you need not do yourself.
  3. Doing the things you can do today. Do not put off doing things especially those that are urgent and important.
  4. Avoid or minimize unnecessary distractions.

Effective time management is crucial to success whatever your station in life is.

Poor Performance on the Job
A superior will surely pull up a subordinate who has fallen back on his work. However, the problem may not lie with the subordinate. Poor or ineffective time management may have undermined his performance. He may not have the opportunity of attending training in effective time management. Give him some tips on managing time.

Work experience is measured in terms of Time
Work experience is important to employers and job seekers. But experience does not mean much if most of it consists of time wasted or doing tasks that do not add value to workers. Check out information on task management.

If such a case like this occur, employers will find out soon enough and will give less value to such work experience. The value of time depends on how people spend it. The value of a day's work may not equal a day's worth.

Workers need to keep in mind that when they misuse the time while at work, they have missed or forgone the opportunity to accumulate valuable experience. They may need this to look for another job in case they decide to move on.

Life-Work Balance
The need to make productive use of time should deter people from taking time off from work or the things that they are doing. Take vacation for that is the purpose for giving the paid leave of absence. This will give you the much-needed rest. You will resume work refreshed and more energetic to get more things done. This also requires good and effective time management.

Stop Complaining
Stop complaining that you have no time. Find the time required by managing time. If not, time will manage you.

Learn effective time management skills. To many and especially businesses, time is a scarce commodity and, thus, very expensive. Its value is calculated in terms of one's quality of life, in man-hour lost, and so on.

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"We shall never have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is." ~ Arnold Bennett

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