Managing Time

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Bob Proctor once asked Earl Nightingale how he managed his time. Earl, apparently threw down his papers and growled “You can’t MANAGE time, you can only manage the TASKS within time!”

Advances in technology make time even more precious now than it has ever been. There is a perception that everyone is immediately available and if we are not then the fault lies with us.

There are only 24hours in the day. The recommended hours of sleep are 8, so that leaves 16hrs. The majority of people work a minimum of an 8 hour day (I can hear some of you exclaim “If only that were true!”) and therefore the question is how can we use those 8 hours as effectively as possible.

One of the best methods passed to me is to write out all of the tasks that need completing for the week ahead and then plan this whole week on the Sunday before. Consider each task and, according to its ability to help move you towards your goal, assign it to a particular day. As you do this, don’t overload yourself and factor in time during the day for unplanned events. Another method, which can be integrated into this system or to be used on its own, is to select the 6 most important things that need to be completed each day and focus on each one individually.

Munir Samji, Chairman of Blitz Communications and former MD of Saatchi & Saatchi for EMEA, recently gave me some excellent advice. He said never go to bed until the tasks from that day have been completed. If you think about it, it’s rather like waking up to a sink full of last night’s washing up! Not a good feeling…

What methods do you use? It would be really valuable if you passed on your strategies in the comments section.

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2 thoughts on “Managing Time

  1. Great post but not convinced about the Sunday planning. I do find though that a home notebook particularly for work stuff is a good idea, ideally in a drawer by your bed. So if you do remember something when you’ve left work you can make a note of it and put it with your stuff you’re taking to work the next day. I find that if it’s written down (i.e the task acknowledged) then I can forget about it and therefore get a better night’s sleep (I manage 6 hours on average and it’s not enough I agree). I have tried this strategy for washing up too but that hasn’t worked so well!

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  2. Thanks Dave. Yes, Sunday planning will not be popular to all! Your idea about the notebook is very good. I too, feel that as soon as something is transferred from my head to paper it reduces the ‘clutter’ and allows me to think more clearly.

    I can assure you that I am no saint, and have had a night when the pot was left to ‘soak’, but am sticking to my guns on this one!

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