“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose” – Thomas Edison
I agree. Most of us suck at time management. Maybe some of you might have read many articles about it and even installed a few apps on your phone which promised you to get stuff done. After all this, you might still be wondering, “Why can’t I get things done even when I have a miniature computer in my pocket?”
Well, try forgetting everything else related to time management for a moment. I shall be discussing with you the most important real life, time management strategies along with a brief summary of Procrastinate on Purpose, a book written by Rory Vaden, a time management expert. To understand the summary of his book, read the following basic tips for managing time.
- Prioritize your tasks
Always try to prioritize your daily tasks and classify them into the important ones and the not-so-important ones. An easy method to classify the tasks is by asking yourselves, “Does this particular task get me nearer to my goal?” If yes, it’s the important one for the day. Always start your day with the most important ones.
Remember: Checking your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or playing video games will always have a lesser priority.
- Minimize distractions
Do you feel like checking your Facebook or whatsapp whenever you get notifications? To avoid these distractions, simply turn off the notifications and have a strong determination of not using your cellphones until you complete a certain task.
I feel you waste more time trying to regain focus when you switch back to your work than you do engaging in the distraction. Also, multi-tasking with your work and Facebook constantly, reduces your productivity.
- Get up early
If you really want to add more time into your day, this is the best option. If you can get up an hour early every day and finish off your future tasks, you can save up to 6 hours a week (excluding a weekend). What do you think you can do with this extra free time? Start planning!
- Task breakdown
So, cramming up an entire syllabus in the night or finishing an assignment overnight might not be the best thing to do; it takes up a lot of your time. However, if you break your tasks into bits, you will find it easier and much faster to finish up.
- Convert your tasks into habit
Suppose you are told to write an assignment of, say, 10 pages for the first time. It’ll take so much time right? But what if you were told to write the same assignment continuously for a week? Hah! It’s such a piece of cake isn’t it? Similarly, when you start converting your tasks into habits, you end up saving a lot of time.
Having seen these basic time management strategies, I shall now give you a brief summary of “Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time”, a book written by Rory Vaden, a time management expert. According to him, the modern time management involves the thinking of “What can I do today, that makes tomorrow better?” This approach is called time multiplying. The five permissions which he mentioned are:
- Eliminate – the permission to ignore
Always ask yourselves the question- Is the task even worth doing? Because, anything that we say NO to today creates more time for us tomorrow. According to him, this includes watching TV, mindlessly browsing Facebook and gossiping. Skipping these things today creates more time for tomorrow.
- Automate – the permission to invest
What things are you doing over and over again that you could invest your time and money into automating? For example, if you run a business, you can invest time in creating a list of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). This saves you time in handling the same questions over and over.
- Delegate- the permission of imperfect
This is similar to Outsourcing. You can save a lot of time in a business by outsourcing small jobs such as handling email list or company website management.
- Procrastinate – the permission of incomplete
If you can’t eliminate or automate or delegate the task, ask yourself the question- Should I do this task now? Must it be done now? If NO, then procrastinate the task.
- Concentrate – the permission to protect
The same steps follow. If it can’t be eliminated or automated or delegated, you ask the question – Should I do it now? If YES, start concentrating on the task. Protect it from distractions.
I completely agree with Vaden. The new dimensional time management approach of his makes sense. The above five permissions which we give ourselves creates a lot of time in the future.
“All time management begins with planning.” So, take a pen and write down your schedule for the day or month and start following your plan.