Each day, we all fritter away our precious time by pursuing non-essential activities and unimportant tasks. Over the past several decades, a variety of so-called time management consultants have established themselves.
Such firms purport to teach us ways to use our time more efficiently and more effectively to gain more hours of productive time in our lives. A key element in this process is the ability to plan ahead. It really doesn’t matter what kind of a tool you use. Whether you prefer the low tech paper-and-pen approach to jot appointments down, or a sophisticated computer program with all the bells and whistles, just pick one—and use it faithfully.
With this planning system in place, the next step is to learn to prioritize your daily activities. Professional time management consultants stress the necessity to differentiate between essential and non-essential tasks. You’ll be more likely to accomplish things if you write them down!
Another key element in the struggle to manage your time is to dramatically decrease procrastination. When confronted with something you don’t really want to do, it’s easy to delay it for another day/month/year, the result being that it never gets done at all! (You may be guilty of the ‘boxes-in-the-basement’ syndrome. That is, it’s easier to just stick them on a shelf and worry about unpacking them ‘someday’ than it is to actually go through them box by box.)
Specialists tell us that when confronted with an unpleasant task, we should break it into manageable pieces, and sort through a half a box instead of trying to do all ten. By limiting the time we spend on this to just a half hour, we stand a much better chance of actually completing what we set out to do.