How to Avoid Wasting Time
How to Avoid Wasting Time?
Urgent matters that life is rife with really make very little difference in the final analysis. Say, you’re five minutes late for a corporate meeting. You are scolded like hell for just a five minutes, while a corporate meeting can prove a real waste of corporate time (including the chairperson’s), such as taking-so-long minutes of announcements that would be better off emailed you in advance. What has made us feel the rush of our times is of course Technology. We are actually snowed under by emails, those someone’s brilliant idea. Sure, idea is brilliant, but does it win us time? Hardly. Actually what it does seem to be cramming more and more things into, say, a working hour, which is still the same old 60 minutes. Good news is, time management software is available too, to help you avoid wasting time on what is unimportant.
On the other hand, we have got things to do which don’t seem to be urgent in the proper sense of the word. For example, one ought to exercise every day. We know it’s good for us, “what is good for the body is good for the soul”, all that. And we shall. Definitely. Just not this very minute. Hello, my car needs taking to repairs, do you want me to ride a bike to work, or what?
Our decision-making needs control, if we do not wont to keep getting swept by ‘urgent’ but unimportant matters, anything that has this ‘Urgent!’ tag attached to it. Time tracking and management software can help here a lot.
Wants and Have-tos
Without good time management skills it is not easy to split your day into activities grading them as less or more important, but, luckily, there’s an easier way to start controlling your daily time spending.
Put simply, you need to learn how to manage to interrupt yourself several times a day. These breaks you give yourself can be regular work breaks, but not necessarily.
Simply ask yourself during such a break :
“This thing I am doing right now, is it what I want or need to be doing right now?”
The question can be different of course depending on your particular situation. Three things are important though and thus must be present in the question:
Is this what I want
to be doing right now?
Note that it’s “or,” not “and.” Obviously, a task can be a long way from what you’d really like to be doing and still be the thing you need to do.
If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, (meaning yes to the all three elements) resume doing what you had been. You confirmed that your decision was made in good conscience, the key element in time management.
If you want or need to do it but not right now, put it off and do something which is more urgent. That way, you’ll avoid getting caught up in deadline pressure later.
If you neither want nor need to be doing it, now or ever—STOP!
It may come as a surprise, but if you keep asking the “want/need” question for 21 days (a magic number in time management, personal development, etc.), you will find yourself doing things you most probably wouldn’t be doing on any pretext, and you’ll find yourself making decision about your tasks so as to meet your needs better.
Just asking this simple question can produce a tremendous positive effect on your life.
Did You Know Time Isn’t Always the Problem? To get the whole picture, we need to throw in one more element here:
Time management isn’t always a matter of time at all.
Going to that meeting above and sitting it out in passive mode is of no consequence nor is it fun (unless it’s your hobby), but it is a lot easier than, say, taking a stroll to work every morning.
Meeting a work deadline sometimes much easier for us than may be a lot easier for many of us than trying to straighten twists in husband/wife relationships. Least resistance is more often than not the path we take, especially if it easy to justify by having a duty to act so. (I have to go to the meeting. Duty calls.)
Why You’ll Never Be Able to “Find” Time
Someone once said: “Who has time? But if we do not ever take take, how can we ever have time?’ Time only needs “managing” because we don’t seem to have enough time to do everything we want and need to do. Time needs ‘tracking’ because it’s in our nature to spend more time on things, which it would take, say, a robot to complete. What’s more important still, we don’t seem to be able to “find” time for those important but not urgent activities.
Complete a detailed data sheet of everything you do for two or three days to get a picture of how you’re spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. A good time tracking software can help you complete the exercise.
Give up searching. There is one sure way to ‘find’ time. Track it with a good time tracking software, like this one on this site. And set a rate, say, of $0.25 per minute. Then run a report from time to time to see how much money you owe yourself on account of various things you do in a day. The results will impress you and may teach you to value time.
The great aid such software can be is to-do list you can create with it. Conscientious and creative use of the to-do list can help here. With the priority settling, such a to-do list can help greatly to put your life in order. The only thing is to keep at it. It’s like with weight-losing: our body is so ‘smart’ that it will win back the lost weight and then some if you give up a diet. The secret is simple: to lose weight on a permanent basis, you need to change your life so as its style shifts to that of a lean person. Among other things it includes physical exercise. Similarly, to make time, you need to track it effectively.
Of course there should be time for fun in life. Actually, lots of it! But the secret is your deadlines and pressures are not permanent. We just think they are. Often the very impending nature of a deadline makes it freakier than it really is. Haven’t you noticed that no matter how urgent a matter at hand is you can find fie to ten minutes to have an extra cup of coffee, or a cigarette. Why, a smoko used to be a sacred thing in some societies, but, admittedly, things have changed of late. The only thing it shows is that virtually nothing is urgent enough to absorb the whole of our time. it follows we can always ‘find’ time there. Isn’t an inspiration for quitting smoking?
The secret is: although we all have a soft spot (a cross-word puzzle, or sudoku, or smoko), we can gain time by cutting down on its account.
To recap, we all need to manage time, and the best way to do it is basically to have a plan and a time tracker. You are welcome to wait no longer and try the tracker this site is dedicated to. You can download the free trial here.
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