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How to Apply Time Management for Living a Successful Life

Updated on July 12, 2012

A Simple Guide to Applying Time Management To Achieve A Fulfilling Life


Introduction

Are you happy at where you are in life? Are you tired of lost opportunities because of procrastination? Does it seem that you are doing so much that you still have not accomplish anything? Do you feel that your life is spinning out of control? Are you throwing your hard earn money away due to late payment of bills?

If you want to live a fulfilling life you need to effectively manage your time. This is what this simple guide is about: it is about effectively managing your time so you can achieve success in both your personal and professional/business life. When you manage your time in these areas you will achieve all your dreams and goals and live a fulfilling life.

Managing your time is basically managing your life.Time management is instrumental to any endeavor that you want to accomplish in your lifetime.Whether you want to be an excellent student, a successful athlete, a great parent, run a successful business, landing your dream job or being a valuable employee-managing your time is the key.

I can tell you from personal experience when I failed to manage my time I’m under more stress to get things accomplished both in my personal and business life. I cannot tell you the countless of opportunities and money I’ve lost due not following the time management principles highlighted in this booklet. Once I learned and applied the time management principles highlighted in this guide, I was in much more control of my life.By controlling my time I was able to accomplish more, my stress level was down and I was able to have free time to enjoy with my family as well as my extracurricular activities. By controlling my time, my life was much more in control.

The principles provided in this article will help you get your life back in control, have less stress, and live your life to your fullest potential.First thing you need to realize is that time is our most precious resource not money. Unlike money once you waste time you cannot get it back. You can save money but you can’t save time. Furthermore, if you effectively manage your time you can save money (pay bills on time) or make money (run your own business). Like the clique states “time is money”.

Benefits of Time Management

By effectively managing your time you are efficiently managing your life. The following are the benefits derived from applying time management to your life:

  • You will be able to successfully accomplish your goals and dreams creating a plan and allocating the time to accomplish each task.
  • You will be able to spend quality time with the most important people in your life.
  • You will effectively manage your stress, anxiety, and frustration.
  • You will save money by avoiding late fees or/and canceling trial offers in time-how many times have you failed to pay our bills in time or prevent purchases for surpassing trial periods (such as magazines)?
  • You will be able to make all appointments on time and keep your promises.
  • You will gain greater self-confidence and a positive attitude.
  • As a student your grades will improve due to improved study skills and turning in your assignments in time.
  • You will increase your value as an employee by completing all work assignments in time.
  • As a business owner you will be able to increase your profit margin.
  • Your life will be in balance resulting in peace of mind.

Enjoy the benefits of life by maximizing your time!

Consequences of Not Managing Your Time

Just as there are benefits of managing your time, there are also consequences for failure to manage your time.Failure to manage your time means pain to you and your love ones! The following are consequences of not managing your time:

  • If you are in business or sales you can lose sales opportunities and leads.
  • Additional out of pocket expenses due to late payment of bills or failure to stop a service.
  • Unemployment due to loss of creditability with your boss.
  • Loss of creditability with family due to not making time for family events. I’ve worked with great employees whose workaholic lifestyle greatly affected their family life.
  • Life out of balance due to focusing on issues that became urgent.
  • High stress and anxiety levels which contributes to poor health.
  • Greater frustration; have you ever ran out of gas because you failed to allocate time the day before to fill your gas tank. Not only are you late to your destination now you have to pay for a tow truck to get you to the gas station, as well ”pissing off” other drivers.
  • Poor judgment leading to mistakes and accidents.
  • Being late or missing appointments resulting in loss of money, reliability, and time.

I myself have had some of these consequences happen to me. As painful as it was I still failed to manage my time until I made time management a goal.

The biggest mistake you can make in life is not managing your time!

Managing Your Time

It requires discipline to effectively manage your.Discipline is doing what needs to be done even when you don’t want to do it.Just like the Nike slogan “Just Do It!”

There are two techniques that I’ve used for years to manage my time. They are planning my day and prioritizing my tasks. If you apply these two techniques I assure you that you will improve the quality of your life, have more time to do the things you want, reduce your stress, and achieve greater peace of mind.

Technique One: Plan Your Day

The best way to start your day is to plan your day. The best time to plan your day is the day before.When I started applying this technique it greatly improved my work performance, in fact by planning my day I gained an extra 2-3 hours to work on other projects. Before leaving for the day I’d create a To Do list of what needs to be accomplished the next day and prioritized it (see technique two).Going to work the next day I exactly knew what I need to do. My workday was structured, I was much more organized and I was less stressful. In addition, I did not lose sleep due to thinking what had to be done the next day.When creating your list make sure that you have every task covered to include phone calls, meetings, and appointments. Yes unplanned events will happen but you still have a sense of control of your day.

You can also create another list for your personal life such as attending to kid’s appointments, cutting grass, allotting time to take your wife or girlfriend to dinner, and accomplishing household chores.I’ve effectively used this list to plan my weekends which helps me accomplish more than being bored at home watching TV.My weekends are balanced with both chores and leisure activities. This technique is also great for stay-at-home parents.

Planning your day will double or triple your productivity!

Technique Two: Prioritizing your task

Once you prepared your To Do list it is time to prioritize your task using the A, B, C method. Below is a brief description of this method:

  • A is your urgent task that must be done immediately such as getting gas if your gas tank is less than 1/8 full and you have to go to work the next day.
  • B is your important tasks not as urgent as you’re A task, an example could be forwarding a report to your boss by noon.
  • C is the not so important task such as going to lunch or emptying your e-mail box
  • D is tasks that can be delegated to some else such as having your spouse pick up your laundry
  • E is tasks that you can eliminate maybe it is preparing notes for a meeting for the afternoon which was canceled.

If you have more than one “A” task then put it in sequential order of importance such as A1, A2, and A3, the same goes for B and C tasks. Always review your list throughout the day. This list must be flexible there are times my B tasks became my A tasks.

Always work on your “A” tasks before you start your “B” tasks!

Tools for Time Management

Time management tools can be either paper or electronic form. Both types of tools have their advantages and disadvantages. The tool you decide to use is your personal preference.

Paper

Day planners and a simple note pad makeeffective time management tools. They are cheaper than the electronic version.In addition, I find that using a notepad is much more efficient than a day planner because you can write additional information on the task, where a day planner there is limited space. Another advantage of managing your time on paper beside cost is that it gives you a visual of how you are progressing throughout the day as well as keeping score on how well you are managing your day. A disadvantage can be mobility especially if you use a bulky notebook to manage your time.

Electronic

Cell phones, Outlook Calendar, and PDAs do make effective time management tools. These are portable devices (unless you’re using a desktop or laptop) that can store maintain all your completed and open tasks. Its advantages are storage capacity, you can use a program to repeat daily tasks, it has reminders such as an alarm, and most of all it is mobile. Disadvantage of electronic tools is the cost. But it is a great tool if your business or occupation requires a lot of travel.

As for myself I use both the electronic and paper to manage my time.I do maintain my appointments on my smartphone as well as a To Do list when traveling. At work and at home I do use a notepad to plan my month and day.I record everything that needs to be done for the month and use it to plan my week. I also use the notepad to breakdown a large project into manageable tasks and transfer them to my daily To Do list. In the past I have used a daily planner but it did not provide the space for detailed planning. In Addition I prefer to maintain a To Do list on paper not only to see how well I’m progressing but for motivation.

Closing Thoughts

If you want to succeed in life and business you must effectively manage your time. If you study the most successful people in our society you noticed one thing they have in common-each one of them effectively managed their time. They did not waste their day watching the latest reality show or sports events. They organized their lives by effectively utilizing their time. If time management is your weakness I suggest that you disincline yourself to become an effective time manager.There are countless of books written on this subject providing effective tools to manage your time. You can have the best information and tools at your disposal but it is up to you to use them! From time to time I do have some challenges in this area but I keep asking to myself “what is the best use of my time right now?”By asking this question I’m able to focus on what I’m currently doing and move on to a high value task. Sure you can enjoy playing video games, surfing the internet, or watch mind numbing shows but keep it to a minimum. I know people that play videos, watch TV, or surf the internet all day when they should be doing school work, spending time with their family or pursuing a worthy goal. At work I know employees that spend time on low value tasks because they are easy and not challenging. Remember you only get 24 hours in a day; you can’t save it for a rainy day.

Be a conqueror of time not a slave to it!

Quotes

Below are my favorite time management quotes:

“We have the same amount of time. It’s just a matter of what we do with it.”

Anonymous

“You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.”

Benjamin Franklin

“I always ask: ’Am I doing the things that are the most important?’”

Bill Gates

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

Brian Tracy

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

Jim Rohn

“Do not act as if you had a thousand years to live”

Marcus Aurelius

“What is the hardest action step on your to-do list today? Attack it right now!”

Pat Croce


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    • profile image

      mariegen diosana 2 years ago

      Im 18 yrs old...a residence of bacolod city phillippines...i just want ask advice and suggestions on how to manage my time ..i was really struggle in it because im a working student and a college this coming june..what well i do?

    • Richard Atterton profile image

      Richard Atterton 2 years ago from Manchester

      Mariegen, have you ever tried Kanban? You know, those boards with a to-do list on post-it cards? I know it may seem ridiculous at first, but it really helped me to become better organized. You can start with a free online Kanban tool (I use: http://kanbantool.com/). See how it works here: http://bit.ly/U75KJs

    • profile image

      m sayyadi Yusuf 22 months ago

      time is very important to all human being it does not wait for any body in life.

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