Time is all that we have in many ways.
People struggle with time because despite it being limited, it is also free and given to everyone equally each day.
We trade time for money when we go to work.
We’re paid more if we’ve previously spent time learning something that someone needs, for example building up skills or a deep network in a specific area.
The reason that people pay us is that they don’t have the time to learn and do something for themselves……it all comes back to time.
So good time management is a fundamental life skill.
If you want to have a fulfilling, impactful life you need to learn the basics of good time management at a minimum.
Good time management will look different for everyone but the outcome will be the same in every case.
People who have their time under control spend most of their time on the things that, to them, are most important. This is the sign of someone who is managing their time well as they are ensuring that their time is being used effectively.
Obviously when this says ‘the things that, to them’ that could be raising a family, a hobby or the priorities that your boss has set for you. Everyone’s priorities are different.
Good time management is a key part of a fulfilling life. Everyone has something that they feel strongly about.
Not focusing your time on that thing (or things) means that you are wasting some of your time which is to no-ones’ benefit.
Good time management is not a fixed goal. It is not a ‘one and done’ activity so you can’t aim to achieve good time management.
It is a process. Something that you do day-in and day-out to keep on track for your goals.
Just as regular exercise is part of ensuring a healthy life, regular time management is part of ensuring a productive life.
So good time management is regular and effective time management. There is no one way to ‘good time management’.
Everyone needs to find the particular process that works best for them.
Good time management is a way of maximising what you achieve.
As you work on improving your time management you will find that there are a number of substantial benefits along the way:
It is impossible to know if you spending your time well without defining your goals clearly.
The clarity and specificity that a time management process brings to your goals, and then monitoring your progress towards your goals, is usually one of the first benefits people enjoy.
When you are clear on what matters to you and why you are much more motivated. This means that the frustration and irritation that comes with procrastination will either disappear or reduce dramatically.
To focus on your most high impact activities you must free up time.
Good time management means delegating activities that don’t play to your strengths.
You will generally know what these are and find the need to carry out these tasks frustrating and irritating. By delegating them you will free yourself for these tasks.
Good time management at work is critical to success.
The discipline that you need in order to manage your time well will ensure that you are a productive and valued employee.
The benefits that you will see include:
There is no greater waste of time than a project that doesn’t get completed. You are far more likely to stick with and complete projects where you are really clear on the goal and expected return. See this article on sticking with projects for more details.
Focusing your time on a few very high-value projects and driving them through to completion is a sure-fire way to have an impact. As you will have a substantial impact on the few projects that you get involved with (rather than having a passing involvement in lots of projects) your contribution will be obvious to people.
Good time management is actually relaxing, contrary to what many people think. If you know you’re spending your time wisely and on valuable projects and tasks, your stress will reduce. Relaxed, motivated people are happy and so fun and positive to be around. So as you get your time under control you will naturally become happier and more relaxed and be a nicer, more fun person to be around in the office.
Time management skills apply just as much outside of work as they do at work.
Just as at work you have a limited amount of time and should aim to get the most from it. Good time management skills and project management skills (depending on your hobbies) will make sure that you focus on important tasks and avoid time wasters.
The same time management techniques will apply.
There are lots of different ways to look at time management. For us the 4 key tools or steps are GAPS:
Hopefully, this has helped clarify a few things. Everyone takes for granted that good time management is key but often people aren’t that clear on exactly why.