Time management is a very important topic. There are a lot – I mean a lot – of books devoted to time management. Of course time management is important: after all, time is one of the resources which are not renewable and which availability cannot be increased. All of us have the same amount of time which is only 24 hours a day. Nobody can get more than that, no matter how rich he or she is.
So the problem is how to maximize this limited resource. Those who can maximize their time resouce will also be successful in their life.

Time management with help of Vision, Priorities and ActionWhile there are many time management techniques out there, I think the whole idea of time management can be compressed into only a few steps:

  • Schedule Your Days
  • Learn to Saying No
  • Plan for Emergencies
  • Have a vision
  • Based on the vision, set priorities
  • Based on the priorities, throw away all activities which do not fit
Get the idea ? Here are the details:

Schedule Your Days

Make a list and prioritize your activities normally accomplished in your daily routine.  Then add in your future goals you wish to accomplish.  Working off this list, you can allocate and schedule the days and/or times these items need to be completed. 

Learn to Saying No

The first tip given leads us directly into number 2.  New things come up all the time.  We get requests from colleagues with a new project idea or activity.  Before you say ‘Yes’ take a look at your schedule.  Do you have the proper amount of available time to give to this new task?  Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ if your schedule does not allow the extra time. 

Plan for Emergencies

Along the way distractions come up that take us away from our normal, daily schedule.  Whether it is a doctor’s visits, event at our children’s school or even an impromptu phone call from a good friend.  Although we cannot plan for some of these events, we can schedule in advance and leave a bit of wiggle room within calendar to make up for the time spent. 

Have a vision

First of all, you must have vision. What is the purpose of your life ? What is the main goal of your life as a whole ? You should be able to answer these questions if you want to have effective time management. Why ? Because the effectiveness of your time is calculated based on your vision.
We can take analogy from sport. In basketball, the effectiveness of the time is measured by how many points a team scores and how many points it can prevent the opponent to score. This is because the vision or the goal in basketball is winning the game by scoring more points than your opponent. The vision is clear so we know how to measure time effectiveness is basketball. The same thing applies to life. How can you measure your effectiveness if you do not know the purpose of your life in the first place ?

Based on the vision, set priorities

Priorities flow naturally from your vision. Again in basketball, since the goal is to win the game by scoring more than the opponent, then the priorites are: a. Score as much as possible, and b. Prevent the opponent from scoring.
If you know your vision, you can easily set your priorities. It’s because you already have a clear standard of measurement. You will prioritize activities which lead to your vision. The better an activity takes you to your vision, the higher the priority you give to it.

Based on the priorities, throw away all activities which do not fit

Here is the last step. Simply throw away all activities which do not fit your priorities, and you are left with only those activities which lead you to your vision. Very simple, isn’t it ? This step prevents you from being distracted by activities which may sound interesting, but actually doesn’t help you achieve your life purpose.
By using these three steps, you can be sure that you spend your time on useful things. Or in other words, you will have an effective time management. Of course, there are more details on how to implement these steps, but the idea is clear: just do the things that lead to your vision.

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