Guest Article by Tim Wilson from time-management-success.com
Imagine having an extra hour each day. What would you do with it?
Time, of course, is what it is. We all get 1440 minutes every day to use as we choose. Some of that consists of things we must do, some is made up of what we choose to commit to, and the rest, what we want to do - at least, in theory. There’s also a fourth consideration - what we don’t do because of wasted time.
How much time do you waste? To a greater or lesser extent, we all do it. And when it happens, something else suffers, be it work, rest or play.
Perhaps the real question is: "Could you waste less time?" Eliminating it altogether is unrealistic, but most people could certainly save 60 minutes or more each day by applying four simple tips on time management:
Do you value your time? Until you do, it will be too easy to waste it. Remember that time is finite. A life spanning 80 years may seem a long time, but calling it 960 months puts a different perspective. Subtracting you current age from that figure changes your outlook even more.
You need reasons to want to make your time count. How many have you got?
The best way to do this is to record how you use your day with a time log. Keeping one for a day can be a revelation. You start to notice just how many gaps there are between tasks and appointments.
When you end up asking yourself the question "where did the time go?", you may not immediately have the answer to where, but you’ll be able to pinpoint when.
Total up the number of minutes (or hours) that you define as wasted time.
Once you know how, when, where and why you waste time, you can do
something about it. For example, when a meeting finishes, how much time
do you spend talking to other people? Why? What’s the nature and
purpose of the conversation? More to the point, is it time that could
be used for someone or something else?
Starting can be hard, but knowing when to stop is often harder. Once we’re doing something, momentum kicks in and, all too soon, too much time has passed. Watching TV, surfing the net or any other 'down-time' activity can soon turn from minutes into hours.
Before you start, decide when you’ll stop. A pre-set self imposed limit is one of the best ways you can prevent yourself from wasting excessive amounts of time.
Used together, these tips on time management will help you cut out wasted time, and replace it with something you feel better about.