“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” – Woody Allen.
Time management is about being focused.
The Pareto Principle, also known as the “80/20 Rule”, says that 80% of your efforts that are not focused generate only 20% of the desired output.
However, 80% of the desired output can be generated using only 20% with a good time management plan.
Although the “80/20” rule is only arbitrary, it can be used to emphasize how much can be gained with time management.
Some people view time management as a list of rules involving:
- scheduling of appointments,
- goal setting,
- thorough planning,
- creating to do lists, and
These are the core skills of time management that need to be understood to develop an efficient personal time management plan. These skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill, giving you that extra reserve to attain the results you desire.
But there are more skills involved in time management than the basics. Skills such as decision making, inherent abilities such as emotional intelligence and critical thinking are also essential to your personal growth.
Personal time management involves everything you do.
No matter how big and no matter how small, everything counts. Each new piece of knowledge you acquire, each new advice you consider, each new skill you develop should be taken into consideration.
Having a balanced lifestyle is the result of having personal time management, so isn't it worth it?
An effective time management plan is about getting results, not about being busy.
Personal time management skills
The six areas that personal time management seeks to improve in anyone's life are physical, intellectual, social, career, emotional and spiritual.
- The physical aspect involves having a healthy body with less stress and fatigue.
- The intellectual aspect involves learning and other mental growth activities.
- The social aspect involves developing personal or intimate relations and being an active contributor to society.
- The career aspect involves school and work.
- The emotional aspect involves appropriate feelings and desires and manifesting them.
- The spiritual aspect involves a personal quest for meaning.
Thoroughly planning and having a list of things to do for each of the key areas may not be very practical, but determining which area in your life is not being given enough attention is part of time management. Each area creates the whole you. If you are ignoring one area then you are ignoring an important part of yourself.
You needn't turn personal time management into a daunting task. Instead, approach it as a sensible and reasonable method in solving problems big or small.
A great way of learning time management and improving your personal life is to follow several basic activities.
One of them is to review your goals. We discuss setting goals in more detail in our Goal Setting section.
A way to do this is to keep a goal list that is always accessible to you. One of the most efficient ways to record, track and maintain your goals is by using MyGoals.
Always determine which task is necessary or not necessary in achieving your goals and which activities are helping you maintain a balanced life style.
Each and everyone of us has a peak time and a time when we slow down. These are our natural cycles. We should be able to tell when to do the difficult tasks when we are the sharpest.
The core skills of an effective time management plan
- Learning to say “No”.
You probably see this advice often. Heed it even if it involves saying the word to family or friends.
- Pat yourself on the back or just reward yourself in any manner for an effective time management result.
- Try to get the cooperation from people around you who are actually benefiting from your efforts of time management.
- Don't procrastinate. Attend to necessary things immediately.
- Have a positive attitude and set yourself up for success. But be realistic in your approach in achieving your goals.
- Keep a record or journal of all your activities. This will help you get things in their proper perspective.
These are the few steps you initially take in becoming a well rounded individual.
As they say, personal time management is the art and science of building a better life.
From the moment you integrate into your life time management skills, you have opened opportunities that can provide a broad spectrum of solutions to your personal growth.
It also creates more doors for opportunities to knock on.[Editor's Comment: Here's a simple time management tip which works for me. Set yourself a deadline. For example, if you plan to write an article, decide to spend, say, one hour researching it, 30 minutes writing it and 15 minutes polishing it. You can learn to meet the deadlines you set. With experience, you'll find you can get faster without losing quality.]