businessentreprenurimproveorganizationperformanceself improvementskillstime management

This is how and why you should claim control of your time

Clementina Alegrett

Job and Carreer Coach in Berlin

You can now manage your time more intentional by using one principle.

Being busy all the time doesn’t mean you are getting more work done. On the contrary. Many things in life come and go, but time waits for no-one. That’s right, time is your most valuable resource, because it’s finite and every day that passes by means you have less of it. That is why you should be very wise with your time management and make sure you are spending your time in a constructive way.

Having this said, let’s have a closer look at why time management is so important, and why we should invest in mastering it.

Here are 8 reasons why managing time effectively is key to leading a successful life:

1.) Like I said before, your time is finite

2.) You can accomplish more with less effort. There are quite a lot of techniques out there that can help you achieve more, while putting in less effort. In this article, I will explain one of the most powerful and basic time management principles.

3.) Along the way, you will start noticing that a nice side effect of good time management, is improved decision-making ability. Let’s rewind time a little – do you remember having made a wise decision when you were in a rush? It’s very unlikely. When you are pressed to make a decision without having fully considered every other option, it normally leads to poor decision-making. Truth is, effective time management eliminates the pressure that comes from constantly feeling lack of time.

4.) There is no secret sauce to success, but time management sure contributes a lot to it. Time management is key to becoming more successful in your career, it allows you to take control of your life rather than squeezing in what’s theoretically possible all the time. The more you learn to value -and control- your time, the more you are able to focus and create momentum in the activity you’re performing.

5.) When you work more efficiently, you are more likely to notice that learning opportunities are everywhere. If you navigate life feeling more calm and in control you may start noticing opportunities that you can take, which may be very beneficial to your career and business.

6.) Reduce your level of Stress. Feeling rushed and overwhelmed won’t solve anything. In fact, they are your worst enemies and they make the best formula for burnout and poor performance.

7.) Free time is necessary and this is non-negotiable. Everyone needs time to unwind and you really need to make sure you get enough free time to make this possible. It can be hard, I get it. Between your 9-5 job, your side-hustle, your family and responsibilities, running errands, and maintaining the household. How the heck do you slow down and make free quality time for yourself with family and friends? Having good time management skills definitely helps you get that.

8.) Procrastination? We all know that word far too well. When you have a good time management, you leave no room for procrastination and you start to understand that self-discipline is valuable. Maybe you feel a bit resistant to the word “discipline”, however, the more you learn to manage time, the more self-discipline you learn. Self-discipline is crucial to achieving your goals.

After having reviewed why it is so important to be more assertive with our time management, let’s have a look at one technique:

Establishing priorities is always a good start. It is easy to get distracted by shiny objects along the way, especially if we are not really clear on what it is that we are after. In which case, it is vital to set daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. I always advise my clients to rank them between urgent, important, not urgent and not important. This way, you will always know what to do first and avoid all the inconvenient hassle.

I don’t know if you have ever heard of the Pareto Principle. Maybe you have heard of it as the 80/20 rule. Anyhow, I recommend that you learn to implement this rule to improve your time management. The Pareto Principle suggests that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. Understanding this principle will allow you to prioritize your tasks, and your days, weeks, and months.

So, how can we increase our productivity and achieve our goals in any area of our life?

First, take a piece of paper and write down ten goals. After you’ve done that, ask yourself: “which one goal would have the greatest impact on my life right now, If I could only accomplish one of the goals written down on this list today”? Subsequently, pick the second most important one. Once you have done this exercise, you will have determined your most important 20% goals that shall help you carry on with the day with less anxiety.

But wait a minute! Have you ever felt very busy, but in fact accomplished very little?

We have all had such a day! This is almost always the case when you work on low value tasks (referred to as well as the “trivial many” by Vilfredo Pareto, founder of this principle), while procrastinating on the 20% that could make a real true difference to your business, company, career… you name it.

Let’s face it, often, the most valuable tasks of each day are the hardest and complex ones, which is the reason why we tend to postpone them as much as we can. However, the payoff and rewards for completing them can be tremendously high. Each day, before we carry on with our work, we should always ask ourselves if this particular activity is part of our top 20% or our bottom 80%. The golden rule here is to resist the temptation, as we normally tend to do, to clear up small things or lower value tasks first. Turn things around and choose to start your day working on the high value tasks, by doing this, you will soon develop the habit of always starting with the top priorities.

The purpose of this basic Principle is to make things easier for you, to set better priorities, to eliminate wasted time, and to gain more control over our most valuable resource. Mastering this principle should help you change the way you set goals for good. Try it out.

Last but not least, on top of using the Pareto Principle, I highly recommend you to use a productivity / time management software, with the intention of helping you identify the barriers to effective use of your time. For example: check out Rescue Time.

I recommend you to try out different tools and stick to what best works for you and best suits your needs.