Time Management – Mastering Time

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Starting on this journey toward Optimal Living I knew a key to achieving success was conquering time. Time Management is a common sense skill most people are familiar with, but seldom practice with rigor. If they did the excuses of being too busy, not getting around to it, or I ran out of time would cease to be heard. Have you used any of these excuses today?


Time Management is a key to Productivity


Organizing time will maximize your personal efficiency. It focuses on concentrating on your priority tasks and working productively. Time management allows you to get more done in less time. Productivity is one of the Keys to Optimal Living and managing your time is a major factor.


Lately, I’ve started to look deeper into my own time management skills and wasn’t impressed with the results. Why was I accomplishing little, while others were accomplishing more? What was I doing wrong? Or more importantly what were they doing right?


I became self-aware and took a hard look at how I was spending my working hours. Where were the hours of the day going? I’m a hard worker, seemly rushing all the time, yet I always fell behind in my schedule. I complained how busy I am to family and give the excuse to friends, but looking deeper I saw a time wasting pattern.  Despite my grumbles and assertions that I was productive, I was losing precious time on menial work instead of tackling productive or priority tasks. I was wasting time…


Time is our most valuable resource.


Time is a resource; we trade it for money and sacrifice it for others. Never forget time is also a limited resource, yet there are time saving skills that will allow you to reinvest those lost hours into your goals and desires.


The economy is falling apart and people are getting further in debt wasting their money on meaningless things. I say people are wasting their time on meaningless tasks and pursuits, which leads me to the question:


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How valuable is your personal time?


There are twenty-four hours in a day, which is 1440 minutes, but does all this time really belong to you? Just how much personal time do you own? How much of your day allows you the freedom to do what you like?


The rule of thirds, a simple breakdown of how we typically spend the day:


                8 Hours – Work

                8 Hours – Sleep

                8 Hours – Free Time/ Leisure / Our Goal


But Wait!


What about all those other tasks, responsibilities, and requirements that can only be satisfied during Your Free Personal Time?


1 Hour – Morning Routine and Breakfast – How many times did you hit the snooze button? Where you late getting out the door?

1 Hour – Dinner preparation, eating, and clean up – I’m being conservative here, a more accurate estimate is 2 hours.

1 Hour – Commute to Work – Times will vary. All those lost hours stuck in commuter traffic.

1 Hour – Exercise – Something we should all be doing (and the first thing usually cut from my list when I’m running low on time and energy.)


Personal Time Off:  4 hours?


Wow Four hours, but we still have: grocery shopping, paying bills, walking the dog, cleaning the house, doing laundry… We haven’t even had the opportunity to be with our friends and loved ones. And praise to those who have kids… I don’t know how you do it!


Do you have anything left for yourself? Does anyone have negative time? Negative time is similar to debt – your list of things just keeps adding up until it gets out of control and is impossible to crawl out of. Yet what choice do you have when there is so much to do!


And what usually happens to this small amount of time we have left? I’m going to say it – we waste it on television and internet because we are exhausted.


I hope you can see the value of YOUR SPARE TIME. My goal is to help you gain more free time by improving your personal time management, so it can be reinvested into something worthwhile, memorable, and meaningful.


But is time management really worth all the fuss and the “time“?


Are you still sceptical? Before we get into time management tips, time saving techniques, and bonus minutes, you may be asking yourself if it is worth all the energy, hassle, and “time”. Let’s look at a few more numbers:


Saving Thirty Minutes a Day – It adds up fast!


I choose the interval of thirty minutes for a number of reasons. First, the period is small enough even the busiest people can find it. By improving your daily habits everyone can save this amount of time with little effort. It is the length of a sitcom, so if you skip watching one rerun a day, you have found the time. Second it is an easy interval to measure. Measuring results is important because it allows instant feedback to tell you what you are doing is working.  So, let’s do some measuring to find out how 30 minutes a day can quickly turn to hours saved.


30 Minutes a Day:


365 (Days a year) / 2 = 182.5 hours saved in a year
182.5 / 7 hours (Typical 9 to 5 workday minus lunch) = 26 Full Work Days
26 / 5 (Work Week) = 5.2 Work Weeks


Wow, so saving thirty minutes a day over a year is equivalent to saving over five work weeks. Amazing! That is over a month of free time!


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Imagine what you might do if you could take five weeks off work! What would you do if you were given this time to spend any way you wanted?


Time saved is money in your pocket!



So join me in the never ending battle for TIME!



“Hand holding Clock” Image courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Minute Manager” Image courtesy of Carlos Porto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_management