Time Management

How often do we hear or feel ourselves that: I can do this provided I had the time. Is this a common scenario in this highly competitive world? Yes, in this cut-throat competitive world, people are very busy chasing their dreams. That’s how it is got to be. No comments on that front. Every one is busy and no time wasted but still how frequently have we land up in a situation in life which we never expected and deserved in the first place? Quite frequently isn’t it? Yes, we are very busy. But it is important to know what are you busy with? To be honest and straight, A CEO of the company will have the same 24 hrs as we all have. But how come he/she is able to accomplish more in the same time? The key is efficient planning, execution – in the time available. The first break-through is to understand the bitter truth that “we cannot manage time”. Time flies. The Good news is that “We can use our time more efficiently if we wish to”. A day in everyone’s life starts at his own pace and ends at his own pace and not just a mere count of 24 hrs. Remember, Winners don’t do different things, but they do things differently. Going by this philosophy, here below are few tips on how to get best out of the time organizing the life better.

“Multi-tasking is a myth which never comes true”

How often are we caught in the middle of doing many things but accomplishing none? Trying to do many things simultaneously distracts you to from the very purpose of the task. At the end of the day, you will not have any tangible result which gives you a sense of gratification from the work. This causes frustrated and lead to the best thing we can do at that time. Just Procrastinate. A common scenario isn’t it? The first tip to stand apart from the crowd is to take the most important thing of the day and complete it with full zeal till the end. It is understandable that despite best planning and execution, unexpected, unforeseen interruptions are bound to be encountered, but it can still take a place in your activity list based on the priority. If the interruption is not so important at this particular instant in time, it can be shelved for later. Let me tell you most of the tasks will have sufficient time to be shelved than the current task which you are about to accomplish. So, finish the task at hand. The feeling of satisfaction will equip you even further to starting the next task with more focused.

“Priority is the key to success.”

Day-in and day-out we have 100’s of things to do. Every task at hand seems more important than others. So, how to decide the priority is the question in point. Very often, all the activities look very important at an outset. However, if I ask you which deadline is hardest and should be met first? After spending few minutes at the task list, you can come up with one task that must be completed within this time frame (say in another 3-4 hrs). That’s it. You got only one task to think and work on. Focus only at that task at hand start working without a second thought. In the process of introspection at task list, you will also gain valuable information about interdependency between tasks. It will also help you identify those tasks which can be delegated and require only monitoring from your end. Decide which task to take first, which ones latter and which one NOT ought to do. This will help you utilize your time more efficiently.

“Remember the 80/20 rule.”

80% of the work is completed in 20% of the time. This is true in all cases. So, plan your activity in the best hours of your day. Some people are best active early mornings; some have extreme focus and concentration during damn. So, identify your best moments in a day and leverage it to accomplish the most important task which amounts to 80% of your workday list. This is the concept of smart work. So, concentrate on essentials and the rest will take its place.

“Live in the present – 90/10 rule. 90% of our life decides on how we respond to 10% of the events.”

Remember, yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery. Yet, many people keep thinking about tomorrow’s activity or yesterday’s results which steals the present moment. I am not for a moment telling that planning is not essential. I am one among those who insist on realistic planning and execution. But the point I am trying to make is: things which have happened were beyond our control. Nobody is isolated from external influences. However, we are at liberty to choose how to respond to those events. Let’s say, you are fed up caught in busy traffic and feel lousy at morning when you arrive at work. We can hardly do anything about it, but can learn from the events. We may learn and decide to start a bit earlier tomorrow. But, what about today? At this present moment, you are still feeling frustrated and complaining about authorities for lack of good infrastructure. Remember, you have already reached office and still hanging on with those bad experiences. Yes, it is those moments which decide how you lead the rest of the day. How do you respond and not react to such situations. In such cases, I personally follow a simple technique: “Just be enthusiastic”. This is the key to overcome frustration and Procrastination. Simple, but not so easy mind you. So, try what works for you and keep the dice rolling. Life may give same opportunity twice, but it doesn’t offer the same moment twice. So, just be active and make the most out of this moment. There are better challenges ahead for you.

“Identify the threshold. Set realistic goals”

How many of us have made resolutions, may be for new year, or on your birthday that you will achieve something bigger and better, may be winning the college championship/getting high grades or preparing for your dream job. We all set goals. But the question in point is: how often we implement and continue till we see the end? In most of the cases, it will be a maximum of a month or so. Then we are back to our old lifestyle with same old habits. Humans by nature find very difficult to inculcate any minor change in their day-2-day activities. So, set realistic goals or you will feel frustrated and get de-motivated over a period of time. As the saying goes, “Little by little one walks far”, spending as little as 15 minutes a day on your goals does the trick over a period of time. Remember, habits die hard. So, in this process of spending time, you will also learn what it takes to achieve your future long-term ambitions. So, plan your goals with realistic estimates and spend at-least sometime each passing day towards your goals.

“Know when to stop – Only what can be done, can be accomplished.”

All you can do is what you can do. A healthy mind accomplishes more in less time than a stressed out one. Remember, success is a measure of your abilities to your accomplishments. So, know when to stop, revitalize your energies and take time to think about your next destination. As Steve Jobs once said, Life is a series of dots which get connected over a period of your life time. So, don’t take life too seriously. Take a break once in a while and enjoy what nature has to offer you. The best inventions were made when they were least expected. So, taking sometime out for yourself is a good thing to regain all the energies to kick start on your tasks with the same zeal as the first one. I am not telling for a moment to rest on your laurels. Go on and compete with the world. Exceptional people demonstrate extreme commitment to the work they do but only do the most important things. So, work only on the most important things in life and know when to stop.