Time Management is something that is very important. You can have all the dreams in the world. You can set great achievable goals. You can even have a great work ethic. If you don’t know how to manage the time you have to make progress towards making these dreams and goals a reality, it will just seem like you are spinning your wheels and like you never really are accomplishing anything at all.
Here, I have taken some insights from the late Jim Rohn that he offers about Time Management in his book “Vitamins for the Mind,” and have expounded upon them with some of my own thoughts.
Something will master and something will serve. Either you run the day or the day runs you; either you run the business or the business runs you. In a perfect society, we would all be treated equally and we would all get the same rewards and punishments. The world does not work that way though. Just look at nature. With any species on the planet, there are leaders and there are followers. All the other animals fall in line and follow the leader or they don’t survive. They can try moving to a different pack, but that does not mean they will be the leader of that pack. With anything we face in life, we make a choice. We either take control and make it work or we choose to let that thing control us. We choose either way whenever it faces us. This is a decision we face several times every day we are alive.
Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things. We all know the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” this is so true. Our daily lives are completely filled with stuff to deal with. We live in a society when information and communication is more readily available than ever before. Don’t believe me? Try doing two who days without answering or looking at your cell phone, email, website, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace and then come back 24 hours later and see how many messages you missed. There is an unending supply of messages coming to us and we could easily spend all our time just trying to respond to those. You will be busy, but you will never seem to accomplish anything. The truth is that it is impossible to get to every little thing that comes your way. The key is to prioritize what is most important in your life. Do the important stuff first and give your greatest amount of attention to those thing. If you don’t get to the other things, don’t worry about it, it wasn’t that important anyway. It does very little good to worry about small things that come along in your life. They really don’t matter in the long-term. Ask yourself this question. Will this be something i will be worrying about one year from today. If the answer is no, I would just let it go. Save your worry for the big stuff.
Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what? As I was already saying, there is not enough time in the day to do absolutely everything. You can’t be everything to everyone all the time. Trust me I know. I spent a good portion of my life trying to do that. It is a game that you just can’t win. Again, you have to prioritize what is the most important things in your life and do the things that will help you get those things done you need to get done for those things first. If there is time left over, you can move down the list. If you don’t have time to get to the things lower down on the list, don’t worry about it. Let it go!
Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely. None of us know how many days we get or which one will be our last. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you know you should do today. You may never get your tomorrow. One way to know if something is a priority in your life is to ask yourself, “If I had one week to live, what things would I do?” Those things that you list that you would do are the things that are the most important to you in your life. If you are worrying about something that would not be on that list, guess what, it’s not important to you. Let it go!
Sometimes you need to stay in touch but be out of reach. This goes back to the amount of communication. It is a fact that the average person knows well over a thousand people. We live in a time when we can easily talk to all those people. We can’t possibly talk to all those people on a consistent basis or that is all we would do. I submit that you need to determine who your closest friends are. Decide if they are good for you or bad for you. The good, healthy friends in your life (family should be included in this, unless they are really bad), you should keep in touch with regularly. For some of the ones farther down on the list, maybe every once in a great while.
Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than invest it. We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things. Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. It is so true. We never get our time back. We always hope there will eventually be more time, but the reality is that eventually time will run out for each of us. The mortality rate in the United States is 100%. Always will be. We need to guard time. Don’t waste it. Make sure you are using your time to do good.
Never begin the day until it is finished on paper.
What this is saying is that it is vital to plan out each day. This avoids you wasting time on things that are not important. Put only the most important things you need to get done each day on this list and make sure those get done first. If there is extra time you can find some things to do that are not on the list.
Learn how to say no. Don’t let your mouth overload your back. Time is the best-kept secret of the rich. I don’t know about you, but I am really bad at this one. I am not very good at telling people no. The truth is that if you spread yourself too thin trying to do too many things, you just won’t have enough time to do any of them very well. If you can’t do them well, what is the point? If you really can’t say no very well, tell people you will have to check your schedule and then you can tell them in a less intimidating way like on the phone or through an email or text message. You have to stand up for yourself because the truth is that no one else will.
Adapted from web article from “Vitamins of the Mind” by Jim Rohn.