Discover How 5 Simple Time Management Tools Can Help You Manage Time More Intelligently
We all want magical time management tools that’ll give us back control of our lives. But the tools you need don’t have to be magical – just logical. Here are 5 ways to alter your perception of time management and win back 3 extra hours (or more) in your typical day, to avoid stress and find harmony in your life.
Time management tools are versatile, diverse and powerful – but only if you know how to leverage their power.
No tool or device can give you back control over your life and inner peace. That’s up to you. And by following the Time Management Tao principles, you are moving in the right direction.
Let’s look at 5 simple strategies that will help you clearly define and refine your approach towards managing your time better.
1. Do Your Self Audit
Too often, your problem of overwhelm comes because of too much clutter in your life. You don’t know what is truly important, in the context of your bigger, lifetime goals.
So auditing your own life and dreams begins by assessing the relative importance of things you are engaged upon.
Once you know what really matters, you can prioritize the tasks related to it so that they get done early in your day, or at the time when your energy levels are highest.
It is also easier to ignore less important things. For instance, if the phone rings when you’re engaged upon critical tasks, you can ignore it without guilt or anxiety because you know it is just a distraction.
There will always be events and people in your environment who interfere with your focus. Partly the problem lies with you, if you draw up unrealistic to-do lists, or over-commit on promises to do things for other people.
Coupled with the tendency to procrastinate and other psychological blocks that all of us face, this can become a serious drain on productivity. Time management tools can help overcome these hindrances.
2. Estimate and Evaluate Tasks
It pays off richly to analyze how long it takes to finish your important tasks. Often you’ll discover that when you know how quickly something can be done, your inclination to put it off for ‘later’ is replaced by a desire to just get it done right away.
Also, when you draw up to-do lists of your important tasks and prioritize them correctly, add a column mentioning your time estimate to get it done.
That helps you stay on track to finish your task list, and can be a significantly powerful time management tool.
3. Prioritize and Delegate Work
Of the items that make it on to your to-do list, there will be some that do not belong there. Find them out and eliminate them right now.
Then look at the tasks which are of very low priority, and either schedule them for later, or place them at the bottom of your list. If they aren’t tackled, you won’t lose much.
What’s left is work that matters. The next question to ask yourself is whether you must handle it yourself, or if it can be delegated to others on your team.
If it can, delegate. This frees you to focus only on work that is both important, and needs your personal involvement.
Finally, guard your to-do list fiercely by keeping trivia and non-essential tasks off it.
Learn to say “No” to others. Avoid unnecessary meetings. Keep conversations brief and to the point. All of this saves precious time.
4. Look At The Big Picture
Time management tools can’t do this for you, because everyone has a different and unique ‘big picture’.
What matters most in your life? Try and fit the biggest goals into a few broad categories. Try and limit this to six heads.
Then, for each category, list out your big picture goal.
For the financial category, this goal may be a number – e.g. $2 million before retirement. For health and fitness, it may be “I want to lose 20 pounds and walk 3 miles daily”.
Knowing your big picture goals, the next step is to decide upon the 3 most important actions that will take you closer to them, and start working on them right away.
5. Mapping and Planning
Using time maps and planners as time management tools is a visual and effective way to keep yourself on track.
They can help you group related activities together and schedule them for better efficiency. When something on your to-do list doesn’t match the map, eliminate it.
Mapping and planning your time helps assign a place and schedule for each item. As you progress towards your goals, review your performance and modify the approach suitably.
These simple time management tools can help you milk higher efficiency out of your busy and overcrowded day in a surprisingly short time.
Recommended Time Management Resources & Tools
An amazing suite of productivity tools that are designed to help you prioritize what’s important to get done on a day to day basis, and then integrate that into the overall context of your bigger picture. The online tools are simple, yet effective in keeping you on track.
2. How to Focus
A simple ebook that’s barely 50 pages long, yet shares some powerful secrets to avoiding distraction and staying focused on the job at hand. Armed with this information, your productivity will soar.
3. Rescue Time
You’ll be amazed at just how your computer time is spent when you get the detailed reports from this personal productivity service. Knowing what wastes your precious time will help you eliminate distraction and get more things done.
4. How to Set Goals
If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there! It’s far more effective – and fun – to know your destination, and set a clear route towards it. This guide will help you do it quickly and easily.
5. Profit Productivity Blueprint
A efficiency checklist that will work just as well as any mind mapping software in breaking off the shackles of what’s holding you back from massive success.
A Time Management Worksheet To Conquer The Clock
How Simple, Effective Time Management Techniques Can Streamline Your Work & Save 3 Hours (Or More) Every Day
Your time management worksheet can be a powerful tool in planning your day and focusing your attention, if you learn to use it correctly. One of the most effective time management techniques is to pick your 6 top tasks for the day and get them done without distractions or delays. A worksheet can help you achieve this goal consistently and without stress.
As Napoleon Hill famously said, “If you don’t control your thoughts and mind, someone else will.”
It applies to time also.
Either you decide how to spend your time… or others will do it for you.
And one of the best ways you can take control of your work day is to have a time management worksheet that you fill up and follow regularly.
When your focus is intense and laser-like, you get more things done.
That isn’t the difficult part.
It’s identifying the core areas in which you must focus for the greatest impact over the long term.
Sure, something might sound urgent and important at the moment. But when you think about it later, after you’ve wasted fruitless hours putting out the fire, you’ll realize it hasn’t taken you closer to your goal!
That’s where a time management worksheet comes in handy.
By forcing you to consciously allot time to the most relevant and important areas in your life, it ensures that you will be working on areas that matter – and ignore the rest.
To enhance and refine your focus, you may tune out distractions like the phone and email. But without a proper guide to nudge you along the right path, the time you saved on one activity will only be wasted on another.
Make Your List of 6 Things
Making a list of your important tasks and assigning them a priority based on how they compare against others on the list is a core essential of the Time Management Tao approach.
It keeps you stress-free and oriented as you navigate the busy waters of your typical day.
The key component to making this work is limiting the items on your ‘must do’ list to no more than 6 things.
In your time management worksheet, assign specific periods for competing these 6 activities alone, and you’ll be well along the path to greater efficiency and less stress.
How to do this?
Look at your daily to-do list, which has already been organized by priority.
Take the 6 most important items on this list. Draw up an estimate of how long it will take to finish them.
Your top 6 tasks shouldn’t take up more than 6 hours, if you are to have a fair shot at completing them.
That’s because there will inevitably be some unexpected emergencies or time wasters that crop up in the course of your day. You’ll have to make allowance for them, and still have six hours to focus on your top tasks.
Draw Up Your Time Management Worksheet
Once you’ve drawn up this estimate, insert them into your time management worksheet which will allot specific time slots for each item. For more complex tasks or projects, you may assign multiple slots at different times of the day.
For example, if you need to get feedback or further information from someone before you can proceed on a task, then slot in the first action of asking for those details in the morning, and then block out a chunk of time later in the day for completing the work once you have what you need.
Sample Time Management Worksheet
Here’s a very basic sample time management worksheet:
08:00 – 09:00 – Phone calls to prospective buyers
09:00 – 11:00 – Work on XYZ Corp project proposal
11:00 – 11:30 – Email client AR asking for specifications
11:30 – 12:00 – Lunch break
12:00 – 12:30 – Replying to email and phone calls
12:30 – 13:30 – Review marketing plan for BM campaign
13:30 – 14:00 – Link building for client RB
14:00 – 16:00 – Work on client AR’s project
16:00 – 16:30 – Replying to email
16:30 – 17:00 – Wind up, plan tomorrow schedule
Make It a Habit
While even occasional use of a time management worksheet can create remarkable results, the real power of managing your time using this tool comes when you make it a part of your system that you follow regularly.
It takes time and discipline to make it a habit, but the results are well worth the effort.
When you plan your following day every evening at the end of your work day, fill up your time management worksheet with relevant notes – but keep it flexible enough to adapt to the evolving needs of your day.
If some pressing task crops up that requires your attention, keep enough time available to handle it without compromising on your most important activities.
Combine this with intelligent delegation and decisive action in turning down responsibilities. Especially those that are not taking you closer to your goals. That way you will transform your effectiveness and discover extra hours in your crowded schedule.
And do this without too much stress or frustration.
Throw Away Time Management Templates – And Slow Down Time
How To Happily Discover That There’s Always Enough Time To Do What Matters
Time management templates can help organize your work day and manage your to-do lists. But by itself, using a template driven approach won’t reduce stress or enhance fulfilment.
Here’s a simple principle to show you that there’s always time for the important things in your life.
Time management templates have guided our very existence. Right from an impressionable young age, we have been indoctrinated in the power of being effective and organized, meeting deadlines and targets, keeping promises, and getting things done on schedule.
There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s highly desirable – provided you can achieve your goal without becoming stressed out about it, or getting frustrated if it doesn’t happen!
That’s the problem with time management templates guiding your work and life. You become a slave to routine that imprisons you and keeps you from enjoying your time and your life.
What you’re about to learn now will change that paradigm, and show you how to slow down time to find greater fulfilment.
Technology & The Shrinking Time Cycle
In the “good old days”, we had constraints imposed upon time, which broke it down into meaningful chunks.
Every day’s news was delivered in the morning by the newspaper or radio/TV channels. Today, we have 24/7 news broadcasts – and the Web to take it mobile.
When you wanted share price information, you had to call your stock-broker who had a guy on the floor to relay it to you. Today, we have live streaming feeds.
You received your day’s task-list when you arrived at work and met with your supervisor or boss. Today, there’s email, SMS and Web based collaboration to issue you orders round the clock.
Technology has shrunk the time cycle. You’re always “on” – with downtime becoming scarce and hard to find. But that’s an artificially created reality – one you can break by learning how to…
Slow Down Time
We rush around at warp-speed, and think the world itself is speeding past as well. It’s only when we take a break from our hectic routine, go off on a holiday, or visit a different culture, that we realize that not everyone is in a tearing hurry all the time.
It’s upto ourselves to take responsibility for slowing down time. For throwing away the time management templates that control our existence. To re-define the meaning of managing time well.
Once you pause to think, and realize that it’s within your capacity to take control and make a change, it’s a liberating moment – because you suddenly realize that your 24 hour day grows longer simply by choosing to focus on doing different things.
Not Acceleration, But Fulfilment
The corporate world rewards you for rushing and doing things quickly. Doing them for longer time than others. And faster than your peers.
Trying to win that ‘race on a treadmill’ takes a serious toll on you.
You have less time for yourself, but are in a constant whirl of activity. That affects your health, happiness and harmony. To change it, and create time management templates that work in your favor, you must shift focus to fulfilment, rather than always being busy.
That’s why Time Management Tao begins with finding your center – the important things that need to get done.
There’s Always Enough Time
Think about something you’ve always wanted to do. Imagine that you stop doing everything else and focus on that single thing. Could you finish it?
“But I can’t just drop everything else!” you cry. That’s true. But you can drop enough other things that are less important when you identify correctly the things that are most important to you.
There’s always enough time to do what matters. The difficult part is to identify what’s important. And then to drop long lasting habits that engage us in activities that are meaningless in the long run.
Use Time Management Templates To Your Benefit
There are some excellent tools for time management that have stood the test of time. But just as a top class hammer won’t make you a great carpenter, even the best time management tools need to be used in the right way.
1. To Do Lists
Make your lists regularly. But don’t put things willy-nilly on it. Limit your to-do list to the things that really matter. In the Ming Vase Time Management series of guides, you’ll learn the best ways to go about this.
If you set a higher priority on things that matter more to others than to yourself, you’re stuck. This will keep you from fulfilment and satisfaction. You’ll run on a hamster wheel, trying to manage time while you get nowhere.
What matters most to you should always take higher priority.
3. Time Management Software
Various computer programs and applications can help you save time and streamline your activity. But unless you’re working towards your goals, the time you save will only be wasted on other ineffective projects.
Know what you want, and then pick the right tools to help you get there.
Follow the Time Management Tao approach and
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN
Here’s how you can get there. Explore the rest of this site for free information about managing your time better and finding better balance and harmony in your every day activities.
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How Time Management Sheets Help Evaluate Your Time
Time management sheets are very helpful tools that guide you to calculate the value of your time. Very few entrepreneurs know the value of their time. Those who do are almost always a success.
The reason is very simple. Successful people have learned how to measure what an hour of their time is worth. With this information, they know how to maximize the value of their time. They can effectively protect it against useless or ineffective activities.
It’s a vital time management skill to learn.
If you know your time is worth $100, and you have a task that will take 1 hour to finish – you will have a meaningful scale. You can measure if you should do it yourself, or find someone else you can pay to do it for you.
Time management sheets can be of great help in making this decision.
How to calculate your time value with the aid of time sheets?
First, determine how much you earned last year (or month). You may do this by totting up all your income from various sources by adding them to your time sheet and computing the total.
Then, record the time (number of hours) you worked to earn that money. You must make sure to include all the time involved in generating your income, which includes travel, preparation and research as well as the actual duration invested into your work.
On your time management sheets, you can then divide your total earning by the number of hours spent, that will give you your present dollar value per hour worked.
Then, on a separate column of your time management sheets, work out your desired or target income figure for the coming year and beyond.
When you divide this figure by the number of hours you work, you’ll have an estimate of how much your time should be worth. This gives you a fair indication of whether to do things yourself within that time, or delegate it to others.
Using time management worksheets to calculate the value of your time has 2 big benefits.
- 1. It allows you to plan outsourcing and delegating with a definite logical basis
- 2. It reveals the importance of your time to yourself, so that you value it higher and guard it against waste and distractions.
Once you’ve tried using such time management aids to calculate these figures, you’ll be surprised at how hesitant you will be in the future to waste your time.
It’s difficult once you have figured out the value of it, because you’ll view it as throwing dollar bills into the trash! It’s hard to waste an hour once you know it’s worth $100 or more.