A professor enters the classroom with a bucket and three bags. One bad had sand, the other had small pebbles and the third had big stones. He calls a student and asks him to put them in the bucket. The student puts sand first and then the small pebbles. Leaving no space for the big stones.
The professor said that this is the principle of time management. Had he put the stones first and then the pebbles, there would be enough space for the sand.
It is said that time management is life management.
Here are a few things you need to do every day that can improve your life skills.
Plan of your daily routine
There is a difference between waking up in the morning and starting your daily routine and waking up and first planning your routine.
One is to wake up and start your daily routine. The other is to spend time planning your day.
Plan – who do I have to meet today? Who do I have to call? Make a to-do list.
It’s best to make this list the previous night.
Timeboxing is a technique to divide time.
Task A from 9 AM to 10 AM
Task B from 10 AM to 12 PM.
Use the 80/20 principle here. If you have 10 tasks to do today, choose the two most important tasks. Do them first. Then the remaining 8 tasks will be done with ease. This is prioritization. Just like the professor who taught his students to put the stones first.
Ask yourself what is the most important task for today? Allocate maximum time for it.
Being punctual is all about respecting your own time. Be on time. If possible be before time.
Work fills the time available.
Decide the time you need to spend on a task and set a deadline. It could be an hour or a month. If you don’t set a deadline you might not know how you are just extending the time.
Keep a calendar in your house or at your desk. (This is not your Google or Microsoft calendar.) Mark the deadline in your calendar.
Whenever you look at it you will get reminded of your deadline.
Watch the Clock
Someone came to you to chat for 5 minutes and you did not realize when it was 40 minutes.
Keeping an eye on the clock keeps you alert.
You don’t have to do everything. Divide your work. Give others an opportunity.
This is to keep margins. After allocating time to a particular task make sure you keep a margin. That is a buffer time between any two tasks. For example, if you take 45 minutes to commute to work and you have a meeting at 9 AM don’t start at 8:15 AM. Start at 8 AM. This way you can take care of any unforeseen matters.
Keep this extra time with you always.
Respect your Time
Others will respect your time only when you respect your time.
Also, respect others time. If you respect others time, others will respect your time.
Walking and Exercise
Preferable in nature. This will give you energy which will save time.
Identify time wasters.
What are the time wasters in life?
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram are very common these days. You upload 20 photographs at night. The first thing you do as soon as you wake up is to check the comments and likes by your friends. This is not the best way to start your day.
Also, after uploading a photo you check its comments throughout the day. This might take just a few seconds but occupies space in your mind.
YouTube: Earlier watching your favorite movie was not that easy. But now, movies are just a click away.
Internet: Mindless surfing is doing only harm. Disable the internet for a day and check your productivity. You will surprise yourself.
Mobile: People are checking their mobiles constantly. With many apps mobile has become an addiction.
Online shopping: Visiting various shopping portals and spending hours reading reviews of products which are not needed.
Online games: They harm a lot. They strain the eyes and also glues you to the device.
Commuting: If this cannot be avoided then use it productively by reading or listening to some meaningful podcasts or audiobooks.
Gossiping: How many hours do you spend discussing issues which are not in your control? Be in politics, sports, TV serials or neighbors.
News: It is important to know what is happening in the world as long as it is not an addiction. Have you found yourself listening to particular news on one channel and then changing channels and listening to the same news again?
Soap Operas: Watching them and then waiting to know what is going to happen next.
Mental energy drainers: Maybe something about your past is on your mind. It could be a very small issue or something major.
The remedy is not to oppose these thoughts but get into the depths of it and solve it. A few articles which might help you. How to manage emotions effectively, How to clear deep-rooted negative emotions and Let go the thoughts of your past.
Time is a priceless treasure. The more you take care of it, the more you will take care of your life.