TIME, The Undervalued Resource

We are all born equal! We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Oprah Winfrey has the difference is how we choose to spend our time. No matter how you dissect this concept, there could only be 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds at any given 24.

We've all been there and continue to get caught up in last minute rushes to meet deadlines, meetings that are double booked or achieve absolutely nothing, days that seem unproductive and crisis that spring unexpectedly from nowhere and destroy the most carefully planned day.

Somewhere in our education program, we all learned about the mathematical term "transition property" where if:

A=B and B=C, then A=C

Let's try to apply this formula to what we've read so far.

?Time Management (A) = Planning & Prioritization (B)

?Planning & Prioritization (B) = Productivity & Success (C)

Therefore...

? Time Management (A) = Productivity & Success (C)

14 years ago my family and I moved to Central California from Los Angeles. For us, we were living in a fast-paced world and everything and everybody seemed to be in a great hurry. Long commutes, rush hour traffic, being stressed all the time had a time slot in my day planner with my permission until I realized I was wasting time, a resource that I couldn't stop or reverse even if I wanted to. The decision to move came in very easy and with it came the abundance of time and the guilty pleasure of "sneaking" or "stealing" a few moments of the day for myself and if you haven't guessed it by now, I had the recipe for disaster brewing very slowly.

It is crystal clear to me that we all know about how important managing time is but frankly many of us aren't that good at it.

In this article, we will target 3 specific elements that act as the foundation of time management and give you few specific techniques to manage time and enhance your skills better.

Define time: When we reference time in our daily lives, we talk about wasting time, spending it and needing more of it. Webster's definition of time is: "The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues". Time is a resource you have complete control over that you choose to use consciously and only you decide how you want to spend it will be my definition. What is yours?

Prioritize: Remember you only have 24 hours in a given day. Use the LEAN approach and eliminate that which brings you no benefit whatsoever. Distinguish between what's important vs. what's urgent. Doing what's important will leave you with a feeling of being in control of your life.

Adopt the approach: This is not about a sophisticated tool that you would use to manage your time. I am referring to what's important to you in life and what values and roles do you want to focus on. Adopt a time management approach to maintain or achieve what you've designated as important. If you don't decide what's important to you, almost anything can compete for your time and attention.

Earlier in this article, we talked about the three elements that makeup the foundation for "Time Management". 1) Understand and learn YOUR interpretation of time, 2) Plan smart and distinguish between what's important and urgent, and 3) Focus on what you want to achieve and how important is that to you in life?

Once you establish the foundation, refer to the process of time management and use these techniques that will allow you the time for pursuit of your goal. The techniques I'm about to share with you are traditional in nature but what separates mediocre results from those which are extraordinary are the principles that take over where the traditional time management skills leave off.

? Are your organized?- Keep an orderly desk with a place for everything. Get rid of clutter and waste. You won't be wasting time to look for stuff.

? Do you say no?- Avoid asking for forgiveness later for not being able to complete a task on time. Say no in advance to excessive work.

? Do you procrastinate?- Find out the real reason why you don't want to begin with the task on hand. Motivate yourself to get it done. Start with some actions that are simple and easy and reward yourself for accomplishing them. Face procrastination head- on. Here are three practices that take over where the traditional time management skills leave off.

? Exercise- Get exercise to fuel your body and nurture your soul. While you have to allocate time to get exercise, getting fit and being decisive will allow you to be more productive in the long run.

? Agile mind- Learn to multitask. We all know we only use a small percentage of what the mind is capable of. Use all of your mind and learn to multitask and get twice as much done in the same period of time.

? Review and Reflect- Step back from all of it and allow yourself to relax. Find an activity that will bring you mental and body relaxation. Careful, don't confuse relaxing with wasting time. Regroup and allow for what really matters to you in life drive you.

In Summary, effective time management is essential to personal and business success. When people take the time to plan and prioritize, they can increase their productivity and sense of personal satisfaction with their accomplishments.

Take the first step toward mastering the art of time management. When you find yourself overwhelmed by a large list of daunting chores, you will be glad you did.

Vera Haitayan, Principal Consultant of The Leadership Laboratory., a California-based employee development and process improvement consulting firm and is the senior editor of The Stepping Stone Newsletter featuring leadership and process improvement best practices. http://www.1leadershiplab.com mailto: [email protected]

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