Saturday, June 4, 2011

Making the Best Use of Time

Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything. Benjamin Franklin

In this series of posts are my reflections on the behaviors of successful people that are worthy of emulation...

We have previously identified that

Successful people are
  • Congruent
  • Present
  • Suspend Judgement
  • Cultivate Positive Thoughts
  • Understand the Power of Words
  • Are Physically Fit
  • Make the Best Use of Their Time
  • Study Successful Role Models
  • Listen
  • Serve Others
In this post we will look at how successful people make the best use of their time.
  • Plan: Planning our day can help us accomplish more and feel more in control of our life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of  daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.
  • Prioritize tasks: Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can take up a lot of our day. Prioritizing tasks will ensure that time and energy are spent on those things that really matter and move us closer to our goal.
  • Stay focused:  Ask "HOW".  How will this activity get us closer to our goal. Spending time on tasks that move us forward are the most important
  • Delegate: Take a look at your to-do list and consider hiring someone to do time consuming tasks that take us away from making more money.
  • Quality First. Take the necessary time upfront in order to eliminate errors from rushing that will usually result in more time spent making corrections. It will save time in the end.
  • Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done. Reward yourself for completing the small tasks.
  • Evaluate how we're spending our time. Keep a diary of everything we do for three days to determine how we're spending our time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could we take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, we could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.
  • Get plenty of sleep, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can improve our focus and concentration, which will help improve our efficiency so that we can complete our work in less time.
  • Take a break when needed.  Need a break?  Take one. Our attention span is generally good for 20-30 minutes.  Take a walk. Do some quick stretches.   Take a day of vacation to rest and re-energize.
The most important thing is to be aware of how we spend our time and know which tasks are the most important to get us to our goal.  Being busy for the sake of being busy does not move us closer to our goals.

Implementing one tip per month so that it  becomes a habit is an easy way to begin....

Time management is easy when we realize we have all the time there is....and make an effort to use it wisely.

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