3 Minute Time Management Article

This time management article is for you if you want a one-stop guide on how to make the most of your time.

Before browsing through the rest of this website, read this 3 minute time management article to cut to the chase and cover the essentials...

We've all got the same time

All we have to do is choose how to use it.

Real time management is about managing choices -- making decisions about what to do and then how to go about actually doing those things.

Each day consists of 1440 minutes which can be broken down into four distinct parts that make up your life:

What you have to do. 

These are the absolute basics necessary for you to function -- eating and sleeping. Everything else is a choice. Even the time and effort you put into these essential activities is largely your decision.

What you choose to do. 

This consists of the work you’re prepared to do to maintain or achieve your desired standard of living. it includes every type of work, from paid employment to domestic chores and personal care.

What you want to do. 

Anything you do, whether it’s planned or not, that you would call enjoying the fruits of your labour. The main purpose of this personal time management article is to help you spend more time doing this.

What you end up doing. 

This is all the time that ends up being wasted on distractions or low value activities that, on reflection, you could have stopped, rejected, ignored or outsourced. It won't ever be entirely eliminated, but it can be significantly reduced.

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Whether it’s a day, a month, a year or a lifetime, the same principle applies -- the time you spend doing each dictates how much is left for the others.

Too much time spent working, for example, means too little time for rest, recreation or anything else you want to do.

It’s also important to bear in mind that all four are inextricably linked. For example, a planned meal out in a restaurant is generally intended to be an enjoyable occasion, which also happens to feed a need (literally). If the food arrives 50 minutes late, it could even turn into a time waster, (although that depends on the company!).

If you can achieve a consistently healthy work-life balance whilst reducing the amount of time wasted, your time management will improve. The result? You’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment and enjoyment about what you’re doing and where you’re going.

For each ‘What you’, you need to know ‘How to’...

First, start with your health. It dictates everything.

A balanced diet and adequate hydration coupled with the right amount of rest and sleep are the foundations on which you build the rest of your day.

Educating yourself to improve the quality of the essentials is time well spent if you want to have enough energy to function effectively.

The next step is to define and process the work you have to do as effectively and efficiently as possible. Clarify your roles -- exactly what is expected of you? Learn how to get organized, plan your work and systematically work your plan to ensure you do what’s important.

Apply Parkinson's Law continually to ensure you focus on the high pay-off 80-20 activities that get you the absolute best results.

Improving your time management at work is all well and good, but what will you fill the gained time with? More work, rest or play?

Here’s where you really feel the benefit in terms of having more time to do what you want. Clearly defined goals will ensure you gravitate towards doing what you want at both macro and micro levels.

For all of the above, their nemesis is time wasting activities. Problems with procrastination, not managing interruptions, distractions at work and home, not knowing how to delegate work tasks effectively or how to work to limits -- all prevent productivity and limit the time available for guilt free fun.

Time is finite

Appreciate the importance of time management and stay aware of the fact that you’ve only got so many months in a lifetime and minutes in a day. (Thinking in terms of years and hours makes it too easy to take it easy with regard to making the most of your time.)

Use this personal time management article to help you clarify what you want and then apply some of the most essential time management activities to do what you must as effectively and as efficiently as possible.

Once you do, make the most of every minute you have.

Here's how to improve time management in 25 minutes.

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Time Management Article