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Time management, using your time well – Those who manage their time best, are the most successful people

Written by Easter Becker-Smith. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on October 21, 2015 with No Comments

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but how we use it is unique to each of us. Different people have different work schedules, as well as a different job, personal and family demands. Those who manage their time best, are the most successful people.

By successful, I mean that they accomplish what they set out to accomplish each day and are happier with their decisions of how they used each 24 hours. People who use their time well feel a sense of accomplishment at end of the day, week, month and year.

When I coach time management I always talk about driving your car.  Years ago people would take a Sunday drive, which meant that they just hopped in the car and took a leisurely spin, maybe on a scenic route, or just wherever they felt like driving with no particular plan or destination. That was back in the Andy Griffith Show days, when gas was less than a dollar a gallon and life was not so hurried and hectic.

Now when you get in your car you have a specific destination and a route in mind that will get you there. Using your time well is the same thing. You must know where you are going and how you will get there. It means making a plan for the day, and knowing what you want to accomplish.

There will always be unexpected surprises during the day, so it is important not to plan everything down to the minute. Other people may run late, traffic may be delayed, or something else may happen that will take longer than you expected. Time management experts advise to fill just half of your day with appointments to allow for unexpected delays.

When you have a plan that is somewhat flexible, and you keep to your plan throughout the day, you will find that you are very productive. When you look at an entire month and make a plan, now you are thinking more strategically and that really boosts your success.

Beware of simple obstacles to achieving what you want to accomplish each day that you can control. One big time stealer is the phone. A lot of time can be wasted on just one phone call. You can usually control when you want to speak on the phone. A call can interrupt your schedule and it can really interrupt your thought process.

You can choose to let a call go to voicemail and return the call later. Right now, as I am writing this article, I would not pick up the phone if it rang. I have a timeline that I have set for myself and I do not want my focus to be interrupted.  It is a simple choice, but it makes a big difference in what I can accomplish in a day.

When you make a call or take a call, know how much time you can spend talking. Friendly chit chat at the beginning of the call is good for relationship building. You just want to keep to a timeline, or suddenly a half hour or an hour passes and you may not have even reached the point of the phone call.

Text messaging is another use of a phone that can be a sneaky stealer of time. Texting is quick and easy and can save time because it can be faster than a phone call. The problem is that it can be an interruption, just like a phone call. When you are working on a task, or trying to accomplish something by a certain time, stopping to answer a text and then another interrupts your train of thought and really can derail you. Most text messages can wait to be answered.

Checking emails the moment they hit your inbox is a habit many people have.  Think of every email you receive as a knock at your door. You would be annoyed if you had to answer your door several times a day and would think, “Now who is it?” Choose the time that you want to spend opening and answering your emails. Set a timeline of how long you will spend doing so. There is something about the computer that sucks us in like a vacuum and time and space disappear in the cyber world. Suddenly the plan to spend an hour with email just became two hours. Set a reminder so that you can move on to what you want to do next and do not lose track of time.

When we are more aware of how we use our time, we begin to make smarter choices, so that we can have more time to do what we want to do. Time is precious to everyone. Remember that you have choices of how to use your time, and so does everyone else. Take time to be aware and courteous of other people’s time too.

You can accomplish more through better use of your time, and you can help others do the same by being considerate of their time.

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About Easter Becker-Smith

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Easter Becker-Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

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