“The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.” … Barry Werner
For most people the concept of “time management” is associated with work rather than with their non-work activities. I like to think of my time, both work and non-work, as one holistic entity called my life … and both of those components of my life are pretty well inter-twined. Therefore if I can find some extra hours in my current schedule, I can use that time for something more important in my life.
What kinds of things could YOU do with some extra time? Depending upon your current situation some of these might be relevant …
i. Spend more quality time with your family;
ii. Do some self improvement work … career development, self interest courses, read books that add to your knowledge base etc.
iii. Work on your fitness.
iv. Increase your work productivity … leading to promotions, higher commissions, self fulfillment or any number of career oriented objectives.
v. Add a new hobby that you have been wanting to do.
With those as potential carrots where could you find some time?
i. Watch less television (or radically, no television) … the same concept applies to gamers. If you just reduced your “addiction” by one hour a day = 365 hours every year. You could do a lot with that kind of time. If you are a big TV watcher (or gamer) you might burn 3 or 4 hours a day on this activity … that is some serious time you could use on more productive activities.
ii. Sleep less. You could work at spending one less hour in bed every day … again, 365 hours a year. If you sleep a lot perhaps you could double that?
iii. Utilise waiting time better. Always have a book, some articles or a useful magazine to read when waiting for appointments, the bus, in the line at Tim Hortons or Starbucks. Ten minutes a couple of times a day = more than 120 hours a year of additional self development!
iv. Don’t waste time at work:
- Drink the office coffee, saving the 20 minutes going to and from Starbucks (and some money)!
- Give up smoking, saving the 4 trips a day of 15 minutes a time (1 hour a day wasted)! Plus save money; Plus improve your health!
- Don’t read the news, the sports sites, the shopping channel during the work hours … dedicate 30 minutes at lunch, while eating a sandwich! This can burn untold time!
- Don’t get drawn into “water cooler” chat … put your head down and work!
v. Split chores with your partner so you can be twice as effective … you do the shopping while she washes the car etc.
vi. Plan your trips so you can accomplish multiple tasks in one efficient trip, rather than taking multiple trips. Salespeople should (where possible) plan multiple meetings in the same geographic location at the same time, rather than each separately over several days. When you go out to the grocery store, cover off the other potential stores in the same trip … beer store, hardware store etc.
vii. Buy exercise equipment for home and save on the commute time to a gym and back.
viii. Listen to books on tape while driving, on the bus or sitting in the rink waiting for you child to finish hockey practice … again increasing your knowledge in otherwise lost time.
“Your time is your life.” … Elizabeth Grace Saunders
Kevin Dee is founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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