You probably often hear people say that they are running out of time, but seriously, does time really run out? This is probably just one of the many questions about time that comes to your mind. Now, if you happen to be one of those people, you’d probably like to learn how to multiply your time.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, time is a period you can measure wherein process, action or condition exists or continues.
It is a continuum measured by events that follow a series from the past to the present and the future.
Another definition says time is what you measure in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years.
With these two definitions, it is safe to say that time does not really run out.
The number of hours in a day does not change or add up.
In this case, the best definition of time is, ‘opportunity‘.
A chance that allows you to finish or continue what you have started.
Importance Of Time
Why Is Time Important?
Looking from a broad perspective, without time, there is no progress or no moving forward.
Can you imagine what the world would look like standing still?
Without time, there is no meaning or purpose to life.
However, if there is time, then there is tomorrow.
Time moves forward to the next day, the future.
Knowing that time brings another day makes it easier for you to put off things.
You procrastinate instead of learning how to multiply your time so you can maximize every opportunity that comes your way.
Getting More Done
There are 24 hours in a day; you spend half of that time awake and the other half asleep or idle.
On the average, you probably spend 9 hours at your workplace, 2 hours traveling, 8 hours sleeping, and the remaining 4 hours running errands like going to the supermarket, cooking at home, and other basic stuff you do.
Does that sound hectic to you?
Do you tell yourself, there is not enough time to do everything and reach your goal?
How then do you explain successful people?
Do they use a time multiplier formula on how to get more done than you do?
How do these people manage their time better?
Managing Your Time
Time management is not about controlling or restricting your movements.
It is not about dictating your way of life.
Time management is a process where you consciously exercise control over the amount of time you spend on specific activities in your daily life to be more efficient, effective and productive.
In other words, time management is an efficient way of multiplying your time.
Importance Of Effective Time Management
Time management is easy to learn, but hard to practice.
The reason for this is an inability to see the bigger picture.
You need to ask yourself first why you need to manage your time in order for it to multiply.
Accept that you are not getting where you want to go because of your failure to be more productive and efficient.
You need to ask yourself; what importance does time management play in your life?
Time Is Only 24 Hours In A Day
You are slicing 24 hours in a day to do things.
You cannot save the time you have today and use it the next day.
This is limited time and you cannot add more to it.
However, everyone else around you has the same limited time.
If your friend can accomplish more than you could, given that she has the same amount of time, then you should find ways on how to get more done.
Time Management Can Help You Make Better Decisions
You have enough time to weigh all options instead of making rash decisions.
When you are under pressure, you do not have time to think or look for other options, thereby resulting in poor decision making.
Success Often Comes With Effective Time Management
It allows you to get a handle of your life than merely going with the flow.
Once people notice this, they lean on you more, thus opening up more advancement opportunities for you.
Time Management Can Help Reduce Your Stress
If you are always in a rush, you get overwhelmed and it causes you stress.
You get frantic and end up making bad decisions.
Time Management Allows You To Have A Break
Who does not need a break?
Everybody needs a break and you need to create some time to unwind and relax.
This can help lessen the overwhelming burden of responsibilities.
The Top Enemies Of Effective Time Management
You are probably frowning at this.
It sounds extreme but yes, anything counter-productive can be harmful, therefore, is an enemy.
Procrastinating is the number one enemy of effective time management.
Unfortunately, this is also everyone’s most favorite habit.
You use every excuse you can think of to delay doing things.
It probably stems from your insecurities and self-doubts.
Maybe you are afraid of the outcome of your actions so you delay doing something about it.
Your fear of failure could also be another reason why you put off things.
No Clear Objectives
Goals and objectives are part of the fundamental aspects of time management.
If you do not have a clear objective, you will get lost in the process.
Your goals should be clear.
You have to be able to answer the “what”, the “why” and the “how”.
Remember how things were back in college?
What you wanted was to pass all your exams.
Because you wanted to graduate and finish school.
How did you do this?
Your objectives had to revolve around your ultimate goal so you could draw up a comprehensive plan that would allow you to meet them.
Your objective was to pass your exams so you could graduate and you did this by studying or doing research.
Repeating a process continuously can eventually get boring or irritating.
The result of this is you become lazy until you lose sight of your objective.
A repetitive process is only good if it is an important part of time strategies.
An example is the automation process.
How do you plan to manage or multiply time if everything is untidy?
Disorganization disturbs process flow, halts progress, and wastes precious time.
Do you think you can study if you cannot find your school notes?
If your things are not organized, you will spend precious time looking for your notes instead of studying.
You cannot do multiple tasks and still get high-quality output.
Do not bite more than you can chew.
Learn how to say no.
There are limits to what you can do.
Unfortunately, you are like the majority who just take on everything, thinking this is the way to promotion.
Many companies thrive in this kind of environment, not realizing that in the end, they compromise the quality of work output they receive.
This is not to say that you cannot handle two projects at a time.
The point here is you need a solid organizational plan on how you can do both projects and still get the same quality of results.
One should not suffer at the expense of the other.
What Holds You Back? – Misconceptions About Effective Time Management
Just think for a moment.
Why are you a procrastinator?
Why are you so disorganized and clearly have no objective?
What is holding you back?
What is undermining your effort to manage time effectively without compromising anything?
Did you ever stop to think that maybe, your failure to avoid these hindrances is because you have the wrong understanding of the concept of time?
You and everyone else believe in silly misconceptions about the concept of time.
So much so that it becomes your reality.
Early Bird Gets The Worm
This is not true.
Even if you are the first person to arrive at work or the first person to start work, it does not guarantee productivity.
You need to remember that the number of hours in a day will not change.
It will not matter even if you come in early.
You do not measure productivity in the number of hours you spend working, you measure it with the amount and quality of output you produce.
Do not just think how to multiply your time but instead, think about how you can increase your productivity.
There Is A Fool-Proof System
You can use a time calculator and follow all time management tips developed by experts, but still not find the perfect system that would allow you to manage time effectively.
A perfect time management system does not exist.
What works for you may not work for another person.
There are so many factors to consider like environment, culture, timelines, and goals.
These factors differ for each person, so you cannot pattern your time management system with that of another person.
It Is Simply Managing Your Time
There is nothing simple about managing your time.
Again, you are going back to the idea of managing your time based on the number of hours spent and not on the output your produce.
What you need to manage is your productivity, not the time.
Weigh and analyze every action.
If you spend 2 hours reading instead of just one hour, will the output be the same?
Principle Of Urgent Versus Important Matrix
Before you develop your own time management system, it is important that you understand the principle of the Urgent versus Important Matrix.
The principle revolves around the concept of organization and prioritization.
The principle resulted in four different working strategies.
‘Do The First’ Quadrant
This quadrant is your focus quadrant.
These are tasks that you consider urgent and important.
They need doing and they have to be done immediately.
No waiting or putting off tasks.
Urgent and important tasks require your personal and immediate attention.
These Second quadrant tasks are important but not urgent tasks.
These are tasks that you need to do but not at the moment.
However, do not wait until the last minute to do them.
Leave enough time to do them so that you can manage any unforeseen events.
Setting some of these tasks in the second quadrant can significantly reduce stress.
Scheduling them will give you more time to analyze and not rush your decisions.
This quadrant includes tasks that are urgent but not important.
You do not have to do everything by yourself.
If the task needs immediate action but does not require your presence, delegate.
Why do you think you hired your department managers?
Allow your managers to resolve issues within their departments.
You do not need to be present for them to do that.
If they expect you to resolve all their problems, then you do not need their services.
‘Delete or Do not Do’ Quadrant
These are neither urgent nor important.
You lose or gain nothing doing these things.
Do not clutter yourself with these tasks.
Do not waste time doing them.
You do not need to attend all departmental meetings in your company.
One of the responsibilities of your managers is to give you progress reports.
Distinguishing ‘Urgent’ From ‘Important’
According to former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, important things are usually not urgent, and things that you think are urgent are usually not important.
It is easy to confuse between the two and as a result, you run yourself ragged doing everything and accomplishing nothing.
Urgent tasks are those that require your immediate attention and action, which is reactive.
Urgent tasks are often characterized by negative, rushed, and narrow mindset.
Important tasks contribute to your long term goals.
They can be urgent or not urgent by nature.
The important tasks more responsive than reactive, which helps keep you collected, rational, calm, and open to new opportunities.
How to Multiply Your Time
Tips On Effective Time Management
Here are a few simple time management tips you can start with:
Set Your Goals
It would be pointless to set up a time management plan if you do not have a goal.
Set your goals and objectives, and prepare a comprehensive time management plan that is reflective of your objective.
Prepare Your Plans Early
One of the best time strategies you can do is to plan.
Do not go around hopping from one task to another or from one project to another.
This accomplishes nothing.
At the end of the day or before you start your day, you need a concrete plan of what you intend to accomplish next.
This allows you to save more time for other tasks.
Decide Which Should Be Your priority
An effective way to do this is by using the Urgent versus Important Matrix.
List down what you do in a day and put them in the correct quadrant.
Once you know which things you can do, schedule, delegate and just simply ignore, you might be surprised to find that there is enough time to do everything.
Your measure of success is whatever accomplishments you achieve at the end of the day.
Learn To Delegate
Delegate things that do not require your personal attention.
A good leader knows how to delegate work.
You hire people because they are good and you believe in their talent.
Give them your trust by delegating some of the work to them.
You do not always need to go and meet a potential supplier.
You hired a Purchasing Manager to do this.
Remove All Distractions
Distractions come in various ways.
It can come from others who interrupt your work or you yourself can be a distraction.
Modern technology such as smartphones and tablets are double-edged swords.
It is a useful tool in your business, but it is also an addictive tool for your pleasure.
Set a schedule as to when people can knock on your door to discuss things with you.
This way, they will not come to your office whenever they feel like it and disrupt your work.
Keep your mobile phone away from you.
If you are doing an important task and cannot be disturbed, forward all your calls to your landline and let your assistant take the calls.
This also takes the temptation of using your phone to browse social media or play games.
Keep Track Of Your Productivity
Be on top of the project.
You are the boss; you need to know if things are moving and that no resources are wasted.
Monitor progress to see if you need to switch assigned tasks to other people.
You could be wasting resources that you can channel to other more productive things.
The Truth About Time
If your output puts you one step closer to your goal, then you know you did not waste time.
Well, has this article been able to answer your questions about managing or multiplying your time?
Do leave us your comments!