An anonymous author once said, “Ordinary people think merely of spending time. Great people think of using it.” Which one of these people are you? If you have never really thought about the question, “Why is time management important?” then you are probably underestimating the value of good time management skills. Time is a lot like money. It is something everyone wishes they had more of. Time is like money in another way as well: if you know how to do it, you can make more of it. If you would like to know “an innovative and mindful approach to time management,” then look into our course, Bending Time, where you can learn how to create more time by changing your perspective on time.
Good time management is an essential component of success, whether you are a student or a professional. Time management helps you get things done more efficiently, leaving you more time to do the other things you want to do. On the other hand, poor time management leads to missed deadlines, poorly-completed work, hectic schedules, and psychological and physical exhaustion. If you find yourself suffering from a lack of productivity, the inability to complete your daily tasks, or from feelings of being completely overwhelmed by everything you need to do, then it is time to change the way you approach your work.
What is Time Management?
Let’s start with the basics. The official definition of time management according to Wikipedia is, “the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.” One of the most difficult challenges people have with time management is in exercising conscious control over the time spent on their tasks. The lack of control over the amount of time you spend on something results in failure to get things done.
The Consequences of Poor Time Management
A time management report on Prezi showed that “63% of financial advisors who described themselves as lacking time management skills and discipline experienced health issues, including sleep apnea and high blood pressure.” The report also said that 43% of Americans consider themselves to be disorganized and 21% have missed vital deadlines. Does this sound like you? If so, then you should look into our course, Productivity Mastery & Time Management, where you can “learn how to transform yourself and become super productive as a professional, business owner, executive, or manager.” The psychological repercussions of stress associated with poor time management are countless, and sometimes, even deadly. We know that stress causes high blood pressure, but did you know that constant stress can also raise cholesterol even in healthy adults? Raised cholesterol levels are something known to increase the risk of heart attack. Other health factors of constant stress are immune system issues, increased risk of certain cancers, and gastrointestinal issues.
Learning to manage your time more effectively involves creating and maintaining an environment which is conducive to effectiveness, setting goals and prioritizing them, working toward attaining those goals, and for many, overcoming procrastination.
One of the biggest obstacles to effective time management is procrastination. Procrastination is the art of carrying out useless or less important tasks instead of actually doing the more important things you know you need to get done. Why do we continue to put things off when we know that doing it will only make us feel worse? People procrastinate for many reasons, but one of the most common is simply poor time management. The irony of procrastinators is that they often spend more time trying to work, but still getting nothing done. If you know that procrastination is keeping you from doing the things you should be doing, then we may have something to help you. In our class, Productivity Strategies to Destroy Your Inner Procrastinator, you can “dive deep into the secrets of psychology and learn how to hone your most important weapon: your mind!”
Distraction is something which affects our ability to manage our time. As T.S. Eliot so eloquently put it, we are intolerably “distracted from distraction by distraction.” With flashing lights from email and text notifications and constantly ringing cell phones, it is really a wonder that anyone gets anything done these days. Every distraction eats away at your precious time, and before you know it, your deadline is staring you in the face. What are your distractions? In the course, Time Management for the Entrepreneur, you will learn how to identify the distractions that are keeping you from meeting your goals, “learn to take control of your priorities, set the right goals, and plan your time” more effectively so that you have more time to live your dreams.
Strategies for Better Time Management
Take a look around your office, workspace, or desk. Does it stress you out just to look at it? Clutter stands in the way of good time management. One of the best things you can do to master the art of time management is to create an environment in which you can thrive and get things done. What about your computer desktop? Do you have desktop icons scattered all over your computer? Are your computer files well-organized? Just keeping your computer files organized saves you time. Our course, Computer Organization and How to Organize Computer Files, will show you how to organize everything on your computer. Good organization not only keeps your computer free of disorder, but it also gets you paperless, something which helps to clear your office and desk from clutter and chaos.
Life coach Eleanor Brownn, said it perfectly: “Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.” What thought patterns keep you from managing your time appropriately and finishing the things you want to do? Our course, Effective Time Management for Professionals, helps you explore the bad habits that keep you from using your time effectively. “By changing your thoughts, you change your mind and change your relationship with time as a result.” This course will also teach you the ins and outs of business etiquette, such as when and how to respond to emails and return phone calls. “At the end of the training, you will learn how to manage your time more efficiently; and, you will realize productivity improvements.”
In his famous book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says, “What you can conceive, you can achieve.” Setting goals and writing them down is one of the most important things you can do to reach them successfully. Setting goals is one of the best ways to manage both your time and your resources. It also helps you prioritize your tasks. Setting goals directs your energy, your skills, and your knowledge toward an intention. Goals are something you need to look at and evaluate every day. If you do not know exactly what your goals are, then you really have no vision. If you have no vision about where you are going, how do you chart your path? Our class, Goal Setting 101, will help you master the art of both setting and reaching your goals.
Prioritization goes hand-in-hand with setting proper goals. Once you have a clear vision, you can determine what is most important and what can wait. You can organize your list based on what needs to be done immediately, what can wait but should be done soon, and what is really a low priority task, such as those things you would like to take care of, but which can ultimately wait. Prioritization is also about immediately doing the things that can be done quickly, such as sending out an email that will take two minutes, rather than letting it sit in your “to do” pile.
The Pareto Principle, also known as the Law of the Few or the 80/20 Principle, states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. When you apply this principle to time management it means that many people waste time—and thus productivity―working on tasks that will not yield the results they need to get their jobs done. You can prioritize your task list by rating the amount of effort required and the end result. For a quick rating system and formula based on this principle, you can read this article, a Surprising Secret to Time Management.
The benefits of learning time management are infinite. The most important is that it reduces stress, both psychological and physical, the effects of which many people sorely under-estimate. Good time management also increases productivity while reducing the time spent working. The less time you spend working, the more time you have to do other things. So, what are you waiting for? Look into taking a course such as, Time Mastery, and learn now how to “improve your productivity, increase your income, and double your time off with this life-changing time management system.” What more do you have to lose—besides more time?