Knowing the advantages of time management is one thing, but experiencing the benefits they bring is something else altogether.
We all feel it sometimes -- that sense of satisfaction you get from knowing you’ve done what matters.
You’re sitting down at the end of the day with a tangible sense of calm and control, maybe even excitement, about the important things in life.
But before we launch into the advantages of time management, it's worth having a decent definition of time management.
Once that’s cleared up, focus on how you feel about how you function...
Clarity of purpose
I used to sit down at my desk in the mornings and react to whatever shouted the loudest for my attention at that moment. Often it was the latest crisis to deal with. At other times, it was something completely irrelevant to anything I should have been doing.
But that was part of the problem -- most of the problem, in fact. I didn’t really know what to do, because thinking was too tough, and planning was too boring.
It took years to figure out that both were, and are, central to your satisfaction about how to spend your time.
Knowing what matters to you, and being able to express it, is one of the key benefits of time management. This is often in the form of goals, either in your head, or that you’ve put on paper (of all the tips on setting goals, this one’s a ‘must do’).
Whether it’s a simple task, a major project, or even a lifetime ambition, clarity about what you’re doing makes decision making so much easier. You know what you want to do and why you want to do it.
This is why planning is so important. Any time spent thinking about what to do is an investment that will pay you back many times over, in both the short and longer term. Planning creates clarity.
Doing things right
Clarity about what to do is important, but so is your ability to actually do it. Even when you know what you want to do, there are countless time traps to negotiate in order for you to actually do it.
Procrastinating, perfectionism, interruptions, most meetings, disorganization, distractions... these are just a few of the common major time wasters that we all have to deal with, usually on a daily basis.
The advantages of time management skills here? You have the know-how and confidence to deal with them all. There are some really effective time management activities to try that will help you handle pretty much every difficulty you could face in this respect.
Doing things right means you cut to the chase with a lot less fluff and nonsense to slow you down.
One of the best ways to do this is to experiment with different time management systems. Whichever one you prefer, you’ll have a framework with which to process whatever you decide to do, smoothly and efficiently.
Peace of mind
You can’t put a price on this. It’s the foundation of everything you create. Being able to manage time effectively doesn’t necessarily bring peace of mind itself, but it certainly creates the conditions for you to do so.
Having said that, it does affect how you feel about what you’ve done.
When you know your time has been well spent, it brings a deep and lasting sense of satisfaction that is sweet to savour and hard to beat.
Peace of mind and stress levels are both closely linked to your ability to manage time effectively. Being able to do more of what matters before it turns into a crisis has a major impact on your physical and mental well-being.
* * *
It’s impossible to quantify the importance of time management, but it’s certainly possible to feel the benefits of it. Whether we’re at home, at work, studying or relaxing, we all like to know what we want, do what we want, and feel good for doing it.
These are the real advantages of time management.