What Is Time Management?
Forget all the complicated and sometimes confusing definitions you’ve heard in the past. Time management is actually very simple. It is the way you choose to spend your time.
Whether you realize it or not, you already do engage the process of time management. You simply can’t help it. If you are living and breathing, and make any move to do anything, you are applying a process in time management. In short, you are choosing what to do with your time.
What this means is that there is good time management and bad time management. When you choose to engage in productive or good time management, you are organizing the tasks or actions you want to accomplish into a logical and cohesive progression that will allow you to complete each and every task within an equitable time frame. At its best, this type of time management does not create stress or drive up your blood pressure. Instead, it actually makes the day run smoother, and empowers you a little more each time you can strike one action item off your list.
Good time management is a proactive process. You define what must be done within a given period of time, prioritize those action items and then develop a plan of action that will make it possible to successfully accomplish each one within the time allotted. With your plan laid out, you then take the initiative to start at the beginning and keep going until everything on your list is done.
By contrast, bad time management does not make the day pleasant at all. You are much more likely to feel constantly stressed out, as action items appear as if from nowhere. People are constantly demanding to know what a report was not completed or why there is no food in the cupboard.
Bad time management leaves you feeling powerless to do anything to improve the situation. The hopeless feeling continues to grow until you more or less shut down, deciding that those action items weren’t that important anyway. You put yourself into a state where you basically move through the day, never quite getting a handle on what is going on and only accomplishing something when pressured by outside forces to do so. At the end of the day, there are still many action items left to accomplish, leaving you a general feeling of having failed.
If you are still reading, then there is a good chance that you recognize a bit of yourself in both these scenarios. Most of us do tend to engage in both good and bad time management from time to time. The goal will be to rethink the way we apply time management principles so that we are exercising good time management more of the time and finding ourselves bogged down due to bad time management much less often.
Why Do I Need to Manage My Time Effectively Anyway?
We all know people that seem to drift through life, never worried about anything and never seeming to accomplish anything. At some point, a friend or relative swoops in and takes up their slack. Or they simply role with the punches, do no more than they have to do to get by, and let everything else take care of itself.
Is that the way you want to be? If so, stop reading and take a nap.
There is only one good reason to take control of your time and manage it to your best advantage: you want to get things done and make life better for yourself.
Is that a selfish thing? You bet it is! But just think of all the benefits that come out of this type of selfish behaviour.
Because you proactively manage your time, you benefit from creating more spare time to spend doing the things you love. If you have family or close friends, that means more time to be around people who make you laugh and who care about you. It can also mean you acquire a reputation for being an efficient employee who gets the job done. As a result, you have a better chance of getting a raise, a promotion, or an offer for a better job with more benefits.
So go ahead and be a little selfish about the way you manage your time. You benefit, your loved ones benefit, and your employer benefits. That means there is not much of a down side for anyone.
What Happens When We Don’t Manage Our Time Effectively?
When we make a choice, either consciously or by default, to not take hold of our time and use it to best advantage, life can get pretty rough. You will most certainly miss out on a lot of good things, many of which will never come your way again. Even everyday tasks will become overwhelming and seemingly impossible to keep up with.
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about things around the house, your friends, or conditions at work. If you don’t manage your time well, you will lose a lot.
Here are some examples of how failing to manage your time properly can have a negative impact on your home.
-There’s no food in the kitchen. Because you never got around to going to the supermarket, you are now down to a couple boxes of salt, half a loaf of stale bread, and a mostly empty tub of butter.
-Of course, you can just call for delivery. That is, you could if you had ever gotten around to making a payment on your credit card. However, since your payment is now several days late, your credit card provider has suspended your charging privileges. So much for ordering pizza today.
-There is the option of paying cash or writing a check. Unfortunately, your last paycheck is sitting on the dresser, right next to your car keys, never cashed or deposited into your checking account. You’ve not gotten around to depositing it in the bank yet, so if you write a check, it is likely to bounce, and all the money you have left in the house is that big glass jar full of pennies that is under the kitchen sink. Try paying for pizza with that.
-Things would be a little less dire if you had signed up for direct deposit at work. Unfortunately, you still have the authorization form on your desk and haven’t got around to turning it into the payroll department.
Get the picture? Before too long, things begin to fall apart, creating a lot of stress and inconvenience that could have been avoided if you had simply managed your time a little better.
Start putting in the effort today to manage your time better.
To your massive success,
Do GREAT things!!
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