Spend Your Time Wisely

Everyone has 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Throw in an extra 24 hours in a leap year. So you have 1,440 minutes in the 24-hour day. I call it the greatest gift of all. Once you’ve spent those 1,440 minutes, it’s gone. You can’t spend it anymore. Think of yesterday as a cancelled check; think of tomorrow as a promissory note—time you’ve got coming to you, so spend your time wisely.

When you realize that the time you have is neither greater nor less than that of others, the question then is not how much time you have for doing things but how you spend that time. One of the most common reasons people fail to accomplish what they’ve set out to do in a day is that they’re just not organized for success. Too much time is wasted trying to find things that are needed right at that moment and are nowhere in sight. They find themselves fumbling around for information. THINK AHEAD! What are you going to need? Have it ready. Get rid of the piles of paperwork on your desk and transform them into efficient files that are readily available. Remember, we’re talking about organizing time here.

It’s important to identify time-wasters. By following these rules, you’ll in a better position to make every minute count. Here are some typical ones:

  1. People dropping by your office to chat. (Learn to say no. After all, an office is a place of business.)
  2. Lingering at the water cooler or the coffee machine to exchange gossip. (Get your coffee and get back to your desk.)
  3. Writing lengthy letters, emails and memos when a phone call will do the job.
  4. Reading newspapers on the job, other than newspapers and magazines that have a direct bearing on your work.
  5. Taking personal phone calls and being distracted by your phone. If you’re not using it for business purposes, put it down!
  6. Being disorganized. Plan ahead for your day. Have what you need to do your job readily available.
  7. Offering long winded explanations. (Remember, being brief and to the point saves time.)
  8. Letting meetings run on and on. (Start on time and finish on time.)
  9. Putting things off until tomorrow. (Finish what you start and don’t go home before you’re finished. Tomorrow may be another day, but it’s today that counts.)

Establish priorities and go over your tasks. List what should be done at the beginning of the week and what can be saved safely until later. List what should be done at the beginning of the day and what can be handled at the end. Prioritizing helps assure that you put first things first. We all know the adage “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It can also be said that “A minute saved is a minute earned.” If you follow my simple techniques on time management you’ll know all you need to know about controlling your time! Don’t be one of those people who look back on his or her life saying, “If only I had made better use of my time”. Organizing your time forces you to look ahead—to plan for and anticipate the unexpected.