FYI | Day 24 – Time

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

“Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than invest it.” ~ Jim Rohn

Do you remember back to your elementary school days? Back then, the summers would feel like an eternity before the next school year began. We didn’t plan our schedule by months and days, heck, we used hours and minutes! We knew the value of time and wanted to capture every waking moment of it. Sure, the concept of time feels different when three months is five percent of your life time, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop focusing on the present.

How do you value your time? Where does your time go?

Value of Time

Time may be the only ‘fair’ concept in life where everyone gets the same amount per day (not per lifetime unfortunately). This being so, there is only one other variable that will define the value of your time: the value you bestow upon yourself, your self-esteem. If you see yourself as valuable, meaningful, and important than you will most assuredly deem your time as valuable as well.

This is a very important concept in time management because you will refuse to partake in time-wasting activities that do not allow you to share value with someone else, or doesn’t bring value to you.

Filling our day with mental distractions like too much TV watching or video game playing will no longer seem as appealing.  Sure, we all need periodic distractions to unwind and relax, but when the distractions become the primary time expenditure, you know there is an issue.

Time Management

Very few people realize where their time goes during the day. It really does escape us when we are not conscious of it.  Everyone has their own methods to madness when it comes to time management, but it all comes down to two main objectives:  Making the decision of what to do, then doing it!

The first step is usually the hardest because life is filled with decisions.  We can prioritize tasks and determining their value, evaluate their overall impact, and we can learn when to say yes or no to invitations and assistance requests.  Where is your time most valuably spent?

Step two is simply getting your butt in gear and doing it… which of course is a topic we discuss in depth here at StudentofMe.

Time Management Tips

Here are some basic time management tips to get you started and to ponder throughout your day:

  • Create a time log. Most people only use about 20-30% of their working hours doing something productive  to add value to themselves or the company.  Start tracking your time usage and see where it goes!  Does it take you 30 minutes to switch tasks?  Are your conversations an hour long? Are you working on too many tasks simultaneously so you aren’t working efficiently? The first step to better managing your time is to find out how you are currently spending your time.  Even doing it for a few days will return some great insights.
  • Get Organized. Use your time more efficiently.
  • Prioritize. Use your time to make the biggest impact possible.
  • Plan Your Time Usage.  Allot a certain amount of time for a task and don’t allow it to run over.  You are rewarded for working more efficiently and focused.
  • Unplug. You’ll hear this a lot;  Slow down your technology usage.  Especially social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Youtube, etc. How much time do you spend on these sites per week… per DAY? What do you gain from them?
  • Get Up Earlier. Get the most important or required stuff out of the way first and have more time for things you enjoy during the your favorites parts of the day.
  • Take Time Off. Don’t burn yourself out. Take time off and revitalize your mind and focus.
  • Improve work efficiency, productivity and focus.  I believe in working harder and smarter and definitely not for longer periods of time.  Life is meant to be lived fully and spent doing things you love with the people you love.

Your Task

How do you use your time? I’d love everyone to start valuing their time more and living in the present moment, but there is no task I can assign that will automatically instill this feeling.  If I think of one I’ll let you know Winking smile, instead let’s bring attention to our activities that can be defined as value-givers and time-wasters.

Make two lists:

  1. Value-givers. On the first list, write down the activities you do regularly that you believe bring the most value to you, your loved ones, or your wallet.  How much time do you spend doing these activities?  Make three more columns and note how much time you spend, if you’d like to to spend more OR less time doing this activity, and if the time spent in this activity is quality.
  2. Time Wasters. On the second list, make two columns.  On the left side write down the activities that do not bring value to you, your loved ones, or your wallet.  On the right side, fill in a list of activities that you could create more time for if you didn’t spend so much time doing the activity.  Focus on the benefit gained from minimizing your time in the activity, and not the time lost.

Task 2:

If you are up for it and see a need for time management improvement, start a time log. Use today or tomorrow to track your time usage throughout the day. See if you gain insights from your log, and if you don’t like what you see, continue with the log and make adjustments along the way.  Always analyze the results and reward yourself for improvements.

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“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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