No matter who you are or what you want to be, time management skills is a major skill you must acquire, except of course, if you`re going nowhere in life.
As a potential business giant, a potential great scientist or even a successful house wife, if you lack simple time management skills, you can be sure that you`re going nowhere far in life.
“Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent”… Carl Sandburg
This tutorial will seek to teach simple time management tips. To start with…
Why is time management so important?
Stephen, you talk about time management as if it`s the most important thing. Why is time management that important? (I guess you asked me)
Time management is very important because there are not very much time in our life time. Let`s do the math together. Assuming you will spend 70 years on Earth, that`s 613,200 hours.
As if that is much, remove have of it as the time you`ll spend sleeping, resting, eating, taking your bath and doing some other very important things. How many hours do you have left?
Let me check on my calculator.
Ok, 306,600 hours.
When you consider the fact that you probably spent your first 10-15 years unconsciously, plus the fact that your productivity may start reducing after you`re 50, you will soon agree with me that the whole period of life time is very short.
Since time is life, managing your time is managing your life.
Show me a man who is wasting his time, and I will show you a man who cannot achieve anything worthwhile with his life.
Below I will share with you about 9 tips on how to manage your time effectively.
1. Identify what your life`s vision is.
Imagine you`re 70 years old today and a journalist visits you to ask about your life`s biography, how will it look like? What and what will you love to tell him you have achieved with your life. People who have vision are usually passionate about life.
They will usually find it hard to waste time because they have something worthwhile they want to achieve with their lives. In a simple sentence, what will you love to achieve with your life?
Whenever I see Africans spending hours watching football and many other hours on movie, music and useless television shows, I know they have got no vision they are pursuing.
2. Define what is important to you.
if you have got a vision of what you want to accomplish with your life, immediately you will start seeing that certain things (so many things) are no for you.
I was with a friend of mine some months ago as he pointed to a photo on his laptop and said, “Here is Messi, the second world best footballer”. I said, you mean this is Messi? As I was pointing to the photograph.
Of course I knew Messi before, but not very well. I know what and what are important to me. I`m sorry, not soccer or movie.
I do watch them, but maybe once in three months. I use that just as an example. There are so many activities in the world that are not for you. They are not for you because they are not contributing anything positive to your life`s mission. Then, they are wasting your life (time).
To effectively manage your time, you have to first of us identify activities that are not important to your life`s agenda and crush them out.
For instance, except you are a footballer or doing any football related business (not gambling please), then, I don`t know why you think you should waste 8 hours each week watching football and another 8 hours arguing it.
If you need football for entertainment, then, go ahead and spend some hours on it
3. Set goals about what you want to achieve.
I learned about setting goals, I think when I was around 15 years old. My first goal was to become the best student in my class (S.S one).
A year after, I was leading the commercial class in ALL the major subjects.
Ever since then, my life has never remain the same, and here is the reason why… when you set goals, your have focus on what and what you must achieve in certain day, month or year.
That doesn`t mean that you will achieve all of those thing (and sometimes you may achieve even more), but you will win the battle of this distracted world we are.
This is what I mean.
You will be able to say NO to many things. Since about 13 years now, I have said no to television, football, movie and useless partying. I didn`t just say no to them, I find myself unable to waste time because I always have goals I am pursuing.
I have so much more to share with you about setting goals, here is a tutorial about goal setting
4. Have a simple daily to-do.
When you wake up in the morning, think about 3-5 very important task you must focus on for the day. You may write them in a little sheet of paper. Stay focus on these little task whether they are what you have to do about your business, job or life. This to-do list will give you focus and will help you to achieve more in a single day than most people do in a week.
5. Identify your best time of the day and do your best task there.
All of us have our best time. As for me, that is usually morning or after siesta in the evening.
What are your best task?
Do them at this period. If you go through all the tutorial on this website, you can smell that they were all written when my brain is mine. Yes, there are times your brain is no more yours because of stress and struggles of the day.
I usually see some Africans wake up in the morning and playing games, watching movies or chatting on social media site. These people are not going anywhere in life.
As a business owner (or just anything you may be), your best task (whatever you identify it to be) has to be done at your best time of the day.
In this way, you will do excellently well and be more productive. What else is the definition of the time management?
6. Learn the art of delegating.
No matter who you are, I guess you are having someone you can delegate some tasks for (even if you don`t have yet, learn what I’m about to share here), delegate some less important activities to other people below your rank.
Doing everything you have to do will make you less productive. One of the best approaches to this problem is to delegate authority.
Moses was acting as a judge for the children of Israel and he thought he was doing the right thing, not until when his father-in-law visited him and saw how he was killing himself.
He offered him a simple advice, “Appoint judges who are honest enough to handle small matters and let only important matters be taken to you”.
Learn to get people to do what you should do. Delegate authority.
7. Don`t learn what you don`t have to learn.
Learning is very important part of your duty as a business man (or anybody going somewhere in life), but there are certain things you just don`t have to learn because they are not in the area of your strength.
Take for instance your business wants to have an online presence, so you need an active website. Should you now go ahead and learn everything about web programming, HTML and every other coding and technicalities about running a website?
You may not have to do that because it will waste your time (especially if you`re not having strength to learn quickly in that angle).
You may just have to learn the basics you need to keep your site running why you`ll get an expert to set up your website.
I love to learn new things, but I have made it my duty to identify the actual things I have to learn. If you can get something done with #10,000 and it will take you 10 hours to learn how to do it, I think it may be better to ask an expert to do it for you (except if you don`t have the money required)
8. Don`t be tech-addict.
The most interesting things about 21 century is technology. Cable T.V brings to you things that are happening in the United States, Iran or Japan. This is interesting.
Blackberry and Watsapps gives you a chance for instant messaging and chatting. This is exciting.
Facebook, twitter and google+ all give you the opportunity to get connected with the world. Nothing like this was known by our grandfathers.
So many other technologies are in existence and more are on their way. Everybody seems to see this technological advancement as a wonderful thing, but I have some things against their usage… they waste too many of our time.
Some of my friends will ask me, “Stephen, are you on Watsapps”? Or “what is your BBM pin?” I will tell them, I am nowhere else, except on facebook.
My friends forced me to facebook few years ago and I later fall in love with facebook because I am using facebook as my business tool (I run adverts with facebook and connect with some people who are useful for my business through facebook). I have a smartphone that has BBM, Watapps and just everything, but I never activated them.
I am afraid of wasting time.
To manage your time effectively, you have to cut off some of your marriages with the technology.
Some of my fellow Africans are active on Twitter, Facebook, BBM, Watapps, 2go, all with a single life.
Cable T.V and some other technologies may be interesting, but they are killing us. They are killing our productivity by killing our time. Don`t be tech-addict and you will have more time to invest on your life`s vision.
9. Finally, remember 24hrs is not 24 hours.
I was talking with a holder friend last few days. I wondered how fast a year goes so I tell him, “sir, I don`t believe what we call a year should be called a year. It`s too short”.
The whole thing we call 24 hours is better called 24 minutes.
Time goes too fast.
If you forget everything I have shared so far with you, make sure you do not forget this… 24hrs is 24 minutes.
In those days when I was in the secondary school, I wrote something boldly on the wall of my classroom, “another day has gone!”.
Whenever I got to school and read it, I remembered that days go too fast, so must I be very fast with the way I pursue my dream.
You`re not going to spend too many years here on earth. You have only about 200,000 hours to do all you have to do.
If you want to achieve anything great in your business or job, you have to pay a close attention to these 9 time management tips I have shared with you.
I love you and I wish you best in life.