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Respecting and Managing Time

July 5, 2012

At the end of the day have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, I was busy all day, but I don’t feel like I achieved anything,” or “Today was a great day; I got loads done!” What caused the difference in the outcome? Both were busy days, but one felt unproductive and the other was productive. The difference usually lies in the fact that you got the most important tasks done. That’s why you feel good. It was a productive day, not just “being busy.”

Many of us underestimate the value of time and take it for granted because time just goes on and on. We often say ‘we’ll do it tomorrow’ or ‘l’ll do that when I have time’. What we don’t understand is that time is a valuable resource – it may actually be our most valuable resource.

Time is free, but it’s priceless.

You can’t own it, but you can use it.

You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.

Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.

Harvey MacKay

You have the same amount of time each day as world leaders, such as The President and the Prime Minister, the same amount of time as successful entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates. The same amount of time as world famous entertainers such as Lady GaGa and Katy Perry.Your education, social standing, financial status doesn’t make a difference to the amount of time you get – no matter what happens we all get exactly the same amount of time, 1,440 minutes a day.

Control of time is the key to being more efficient. It is an important skill to develop so that we can accomplish more tasks than the average person each and every day.So, how do you spend your time?

  • Does your day have a structure?
  • Can that structure be improved?

The first step is to start measuring how long tasks take. This will give you an indication whether you under or over schedule your day. The majority of us actually under estimate how long a task will take and that is why we often don’t get everything done we want to complete in a day.

For the next week, whenever you are about to begin a task.

  1. Stop and estimate how long the task will take.
  2. Then compare how long it actually took.

You can learn an incredible amount from this exercise. I recommend starting this from the moment you get up. Know how long it takes you to get ready of a morning, how long you take to exercise, how long it takes to drive to the train station or to work. Then when you are at work, learn how long it takes you from walking in the door to actually starting work. What is the first task you do of a day? Is it always the same first task? How long does it take? When do you check your emails? How long do you spend checking emails?

Knowing how long even basic tasks such as getting ready of a morning take may mean you now understand why you are always racing out the door a couple of minutes late.It will allow you to more accurately estimate how much work you can complete in a day which in turn may change how you schedule your day.

You are welcome to access some templates that will assist you track you time they can be downloaded from the free resources section on my website.

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