You may be Albert Einstein but in this fast paced world there is very little patience for poor time planning skills. Poor time planning leads to poor quality work, missed deadlines and general incompetence; other people may consider you to be unreliable, under-qualified and scatter-brained this leaves you feeling overwhelmed and out of control, ill-prepared, anxious and stressed.
Poor time planning leads to time wasting and an inefficiency use of time and since there are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year, you cannot afford to spend it wastefully. You cannot change, stretch or manage time; you can plan your time to manage your projects and tasks.
You do not manage time you spend time, you can waste or invest time, you cannot turn the clocks back but you can invest time well.
What are the four ways to Spend Time?
- You Invest in time: this is doing something now to reap the rewards later, this is your planning and thinking activities.
- Your Project time: this is the time to take action to complete, assign, delete, delegate file, collaborate, any action that progresses your activities and complete your projects.
- Living-in the time: this is the ‘here & now’ doing the things you enjoy that improves your mental, physical health and wellbeing, connecting with friends, family, colleagues and yourself.
- Wasting time; this is doing activities with little thought of the aim or purpose, activities that gain no benefit to yourself or other people, such as gossiping.
Strategies to Spend your Time Efficiently
Be honest about how you currently spend your time and look to reduce the amount of time you waste and improve the way you spend your time looking at how you spend your time.
Record your time spent over one or two weeks, recording your activities in 15-minute slots from this you can analyse your most productive time and activities and where time is wasted and then improve your time plan. Plan how much time you spend living in time, time investing in the thinking and planning and time completing projects.
It is easy to get wrapped up in fire-fighting urgent activities and neglecting important activities, but it is the important activities where progress is made, which saves time, money and proceeds your goal. Urgent may not be important, however it may be deadline critical. It does not feel good to be jumping from one fire to another so allow a limited time for the urgent at the end of each day but spend 80-90% of your time on the important activities.
Use tools to help you get organised and focus on one thing without distractions or the interruption of constant alerts.
Research states that our thinking capacity is maximised when we work in 90-minute segments so you may plan your day in 90-minute slots and 15 minutes breaks
Stephen R Covey wrote ‘first thing first’ in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, stating we should do our most important task first thing.
There are a few of my Time Planning Strategies
- Invest time planning your day the night before or early in the morning.
- Work on your most difficult project in your first 90 minutes of uninterrupted time.
- Make time for fun, family and friends and connect with yourself.
You need to find what works for you, but if you are to avoid being considered incompetent or unreliable time planning is a strategy you must master.
This and other essential strategies will be developed in the Success Mastermind Group register firstname.lastname@example.org
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