Time is a very important resource that can be equated with money or value. It is necessary to manage your time in order to avoid wasting it as this translates to wasted opportunities. People waste time on both important and non-important things. A person wastes time on important things in the sense that he or she is doing the right thing, but the goals of the course of action are not in line with what he or she wants. A person may also waste time on non-important things, for example, indulging in alcohol at the expense of reading for a pending examination.
For this reason, we need to come up with measures to save your time. The methods of saving time do not apply in all cases as there are opportunities which may present themselves; in order to cash on them, one must compromise a timetable that had been set earlier on.
Always Carry a Notebook
It is important to always have a notebook in which you have recorded what you plan to do, important ideas that you have formed and wish to keep them in mind, and all the specific activities that need to be done in a given timeframe. It could be within a week, month or year. This will enable a person to estimate the time available so as to know the number of activities that could be done on a given day. It will also enable a person to estimate the amount of free time available for rest or engaging in leisure activities without compromising important things.
Organize Your Timetable
With time, the list of activities that a person intends to do gets longer and may sometimes tend to be jumbled up. This is because one may be in hurry to complete a given set of activities and may make an ambiguous entry which becomes difficult to make out when it is later referred to. The best way around this is to take time to note down the intended activities and the time that these activities will take.
This calls for a person to have a diary instead of using a notebook. A diary will enable one to list down the duties he or she wishes to execute and to schedule appointments on an hourly basis. It is a bit more precise than a list of things that are intended to be done. One needs to list the activities in order of priority and must have contingency plans in case he needs to do two activities at the same time. Discipline is required for the purpose of getting all the activities done in the time that was allocated to them.
Revise Your Timetable
With time, the diary or notebook keeps getting longer, and there is a tendency to forget about goals that were not achieved; still, there is the time and opportunity to achieve them. There are other activities that will have been addressed with modifications made to them which means that there is still an unfinished business. A person needs to cross out the activities that have been fully executed, but ticking them would be more preferable.
It is necessary to spend some time thinking about activities that have been done and those that will be done in the future, including conversations which an individual may have had with different people. Revision of the timetable will enable a person to keep track of these thoughts and build upon them with time.
Distinguish Official Hours and Unofficial Hours
It is important to clearly state that there are hours for official duties and those for other activities. Official duties are the core functions that are more important to a person in the short term and potentially in the long term. The term "official hours" is defined differently by people. Most employed people consider the period spent at their workplaces to be official. Other employed people will consider job hours and part of their "free time" as official hours.
This depends on the aspirations of a person; all the same, differentiating between these hours prevents people from wasting time on petty things in the thought that they are doing important things. However, there are important matters that do come up and are worth looking into.
Execute Activities Step by Step
In order to save time and get the best out of the available time, it is important that one sets out both long-term and short-term plans. For example, there are things that a person may wish to achieve at the end of a given year or month. Achieving them may need daily efforts, and this requires that a person uses the weekend to jot down weekly activities. Morning hours can be used to record daily activities while evening hours can be used to evaluate them.
Managing time prevents from wasting time on non-important activities or deliberating what to do next. Owning a diary is a huge step towards a better management of time. The diary must be organized and should be revised frequently. One needs to clarify official hours from non-official in order to avoid unnecessary interruptions.
Executing activities step by step starting with the most important ones helps a person to focus on the immediate needs which will be crucial in achieving long-term plans.