Friday, October 8, 2010

Managing Time

A lot of people seem to always complain that they are ‘too busy’.

However, there is something very strange about this, something that has perplexed me for a very long time. Most of the people who claim to be really 'busy' and are 'occupied completely’ are often not very successful; whilst the highly successful people always seem to have time to do one or two more things, regardless of the thousands of things which they are already doing.

To understand why this is so, it is necessary to discuss the essence of time management.

Let me put it this way – management often defines the success or failure of everything.

Most organizations are successful because they are managed well, just as most centenarians can live up to the ripe old age of 100 because their health is managed well.

Most developed countries prosper and its citizens enjoy wealth and happiness because these countries elect governments that understand and practise sound management.

Management is absolutely crucial in our quest for success. Sound management brings success; poor management results in defeat and failure.

To live a fruitful and productive modern life, you must find a way to comfortably engage yourself in meeting daily demands. And to do this, you need to master one very important skill, time management.

The reason why successful people seem to have more time than less successful ones is not because they work less. Rather, it is because they manage their time in such a way that they become incredibly efficient.

To be a good time manager, you need to have two common practices:

1. You should always have time for meaningful things in life, never say 'no' to engaging yourself in a meaningful cause just because you think you do not have time for it.

2. You should never make time for meaningless and harmful things in life, so never say 'yes' to meaningless causes just because you feel you have time.

Once you are able to religiously adhere to the two philosophies above, you will find yourself a better time manager. This one action alone will improve your time management by 50% without doing anything else yet.

Now let's discuss three more things which will improve your time management by another 50%:

1. Prioritise - Have a priority list (refer to my article, "Priority List").

2. Fill the gaps - Make use of the little gaps that you have daily. Let me put it this way, there are so many time gaps that appear throughout our daily lives, no matter how busy we may think them to be. Say for example - the 5 minutes that we wait for the noodle at a small coffee shop, the 3 minutes that we spend queuing up for the lift, the 30 minutes we are made to wait before the client can meet us, etc. These are all little time gaps which may look very insignificant; however, when they are added up, they represent a huge chunk of time that can be put into very good use. You can read a few pages of a good book, reply to some SMS messages, plan your sales strategy, catch up with a long lost friend, etc.

3.Multi-task - Unlike before, people of today have a very short attention span and may do several at any one time. Therefore, a skill that a modern man needs to develop is multi-tasking. When you multi-task you increase the limited time that you have. For example, I often write my blogs while I am doing my hour-long treadmill exercise. When I finish my walk, my blog article is finished as well. While watching a television programme, I often flip though a magazine that I have not had time to read.

I am not sure if my multitasking strategy is workable for you but it has certainly worked well for me.

Time is the most precious commodity we have in life. Money lost can be earned back; however, the time you lose is lost forever. So maximize your time to the fullest and enjoy a much more productive and fruitful life.

“Life is about constantly going beyond limits!”
- Erican Chong