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How to Control Your Time and Your Life

Updated on October 18, 2012
win in work and in life with better time management
win in work and in life with better time management


Time management problems are a-in many cases the-main cause of stress on the job and at home for working wives with more than one child. What to do when there are too many things to get done in the time we have to do them? We certainly cannot add one more minute to the twenty-four day very easily. We could sleep less, but some of us are so sleep-deprived already that we are falling asleep at the wheel on the way to work in the morning. We certainly could not walk into our boss’s office and demand that our workload be reduced if we put any value at all on being employed. And it is highly improbable that we could put up one or two of our children up for sale on the open market with any probable success. No, if there is an answer, it must be in dealing with the hand that has been dealt to us in a better way.

The problem with time has to be dealt with not by adding more time to the clock or reducing the amount of stuff we have to do, which is often not possible. It has to be dealt with by better handling what we have to do in the time in which we have to do it. In other words, we have to change our mindset and our approach to handling what we have to handle. In other words, we have to better manage our time.

Typically, there are two extremes of miss-handlers of time in the work place as well as in their personal lives. One extreme is the habitual procrastinators, who always put off to the last minute in starting to do anything. For them, everything they have to do is at the same level-it is all unimportant or distasteful and is put off as long as possible. These are the people who have little respect for punctuality and always miss deadlines because they under-estimate how much time it takes to complete tasks and, therefore, start everything too late to get it done on time.

The other extreme are those who are the “eager beavers”, the perfectionists, the over-achievers. They are the extreme opposite of the procrastinators in that they tend to start tasks sometimes too soon and take on too much at one time. As opposed to the procrastinators who often under-estimate how much time their tasks will require, these people over-estimate how much time is required to accomplish their tasks because they habitually over-do everything. Because they are often perfectionists, everything must be done to perfection and everything that needs to be done must be done all at once. They are often incapable of distinguishing the relative importance of each of the things they have to do. Like the procrastinator, they cannot prioritize. Except, for the procrastinator, everything they have to do is relatively unimportant. For these people, everything they have to do has equal importance. The problem is that these people get just as over-whelmed by deadlines and frustrate their bosses and others with their under-achievement as do the procrastinators, but for different reasons. The procrastinators under-achieve because they start late and under-work. These people under-achieve because they attempt to do too much in the time they have. They are hard workers, but not smart workers.

Both of these extremes are really time abusers, one under-using time and the other over-using it and getting similar negative results. Our ideal point is obviously somewhere in between the two extremes, so that we are not abusers of time, but smart users of it. One way to find our proper place between those extremes is to consider the following points:

1.       Do not over-value or under-value time:  people who under-value time waste too much of it and accomplish little or nothing. They are the under-achievers. Those that over-value time cannot relax and waste any of it out of guilt. They are always working to achieve. But these are two extremes and our proper point is somewhere between the two. For instance, we sometimes hear the advice that we should live tomorrow as if it is the last day of our life. But, is that realistic? Unless we actually know that tomorrow is the last day of our life, we will have to use our time going through our usual routines, taking care of our job responsibilities, our responsibilities for our children, our spouses and others. If we actually knew that tomorrow was, indeed, our last day, we would probably stay in bed, relax and demand that our spouse serve us. Time is extremely important. Every moment in our lives lasts for a moment and is gone forever. But the average person has many moments in his life; certainly enough to waste a few with his own pleasure now and then.

2.       Get Your Priorities Straight: Some people spend most of their time on their careers and their work, at the expense of their families and their love ones. Some of these people actually die on the job and have to be carried out and buried with hardly anyone to attend the funeral. Others spend too much time on their personal lives, at the expense of their jobs or their businesses. Some of these people get fired or see their business go bankrupt. So, what are your priorities? What are the things that are really important to you and how much time should you be spending on them? Happy people are able to strike a balance between work or career and their personal life. Too much time spent on one or the other causes a painful imbalance.

3.       Get Done what you Have to Get Done SMARTLY: get organized and get smart. Expend your efforts for the best results. Estimate the time it will take to get to a desirable result-getting the kids to school on time, getting dinner prepared by the appropriate time in the evening, getting that important report in to the boss by the set deadline-by properly estimating the time each essential step will take to lead to the desired result on time. Move back sequentially to the first step to give you the required starting time for your tasks.

4.       You Control Time, Don’t Let Time Control You: remember two important things about time management: (1) No one can do all things he or she needs or wants to do PERFECTLY: there just is not enough time and no one is that perfect.  (2) No matter how much you are getting done, you can get more done with better time management.


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