Tag Archives: time management

The Importance of Time Management


In our lives we have to take control and make time work for us and not the other way around. Remember that only you can make the changes!

In order to manage our time more effectively often this means stepping back from the daily bustle of our lives, taking time to look at the ways in which we work and considering the tasks we need to accomplish. It is easy to become a slave to routine, even if we are fully aware that the routine isn’t getting the desired results.

‘Be prepared” is a motto that worked for the Scouts and it is equally applicable today. Arming ourselves with effective coping strategies is the first step to taking back control of our time.

Here are some tips:

  • Don’t try to do too many things at once and don’t feel guilty about having weekends and evenings to yourself.
  • Take breaks. As time passes, energy levels decrease, boredom sets in and you will start making mistakes.
  • Try to be proactive rather than reactive. Don’t just react to incidents but plan what you are going to do, taking into account any potential problems.
  • Don’t try to be perfect. There is a difference between wanting to achieve excellence and the neurosis of wanting to be perfect..
  • Don’t become a workaholic and let work interfere with all the other things that you would like to do.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. If the resources that are available aren’t quite what you want, try to adapt them to meet your needs.

Just Say No
People inevitably make demands on our time. It is very often hard to say no, as we don’t want to appear rude or uncooperative. However, unless we learn to be assertive and say no to others when the situation demands it, we really shouldn’t be the ones complaining when our own tasks remain unfinished at the end of the day.

Saying no to people isn’t about being negative, bossy or aggressive. It doesn’t mean that you score points off colleagues or put people down. It is about using your time as you see fit and not allowing colleagues to automatically assume that they can pass work on to you.

You have the right to:

  • Express your own feelings and opinions.
  • Expect colleagues to respect who you are and what you do.
  • Have your views and ideas listened to and taken seriously.
  • Manage your time in an appropriate and professional way.

Communication is the Key

When asked to do something and you cannot immediately fit it into your schedule:

  • Summarise the problem simply and straightforwardly.
  • State exactly how you feel.
  • Describe clearly and simply why you feel like this.
  • Sympathise or empathise with the other person’s point of view.
  • Specify exactly when you will be available.
  • Decide what you would ideally like to do.
  • Compromise if possible.

Be careful with your time – it is a precious commodity use it wisely and you will get much more achieved than you ever thought possible.


Time Flies when you having fun


How often do you say “Time flies.” Or “It is already the end of August. The year is nearly over.” Most people feel time flies.

Life passes us like one blur. When people say that time flies, I ask them, “What have you achieved this year?” When we stop and think, we realise that we actually achieved a lot. One of the reasons of time flying by is because we just keep going without stopping. Much of our thoughts are either in our past or future. We keep on going, because we trying to achieve a future goal. Or we are still dwelling on something painful from our past. If we want  to “slow down” time, or at least feel that time is not speeding by, we need to become more conscious of the present and what we are doing right now.

My 11 year old son asked me the other day “Why do fun things pass by so quickly and boring things take for ever?” We can answer this question when we become aware of how we behave when we are bored. We constantly stop to look at the time and we are very aware of how we are feeling in that moment.

If we want pleasant moments to last longer, we should do the same. We should stop and become aware how we are feeling in this moment. We should stop to look at the clock and realise how long we have been enjoying ourselves. We could say to ourselves, “This is really great! I am having a wonderful time!” Adding movement and emotion anchors the experience strongly into our memory. When we do this, we are “slowing down time.”

Part of this process is to celebrate our achievements. What we often do, is we complete a task and then look for the next one, instead of enjoying the completion of
our current one first, before we move on. I have a sister, who often says “Do you remember how nice …. was?” She dwells on those nice moments. I used to think it was stupid, until I tried it for myself. I discovered that every time I revisit a pleasant memory, I feel great all over again.

This doesn’t mean that we have to boast to others about our achievements. We can do it for ourselves. We can complement ourselves or we talk to somebody who agrees with us. I am not suggesting to spend hours in our past. Just a few minutes here of there is already enough.  Imagine that store our happiness into Happiness Bank Account. Every time we experience something nice, we make a deposit and negative experiences are like a withdrawal.

When life is hard and draining, revisiting pleasant memories will put money back into our Happiness Bank Account. This way we are stretching those pleasant experiences out, without watering them down. Life becomes more pleasant.

The successes that we revisit don’t have to be major, like finding a new job. I did it the other day with something small. In the last five years I have been watching TV with a bad signal, while using an indoor antenna. It caused frustration and last week I had had enough. We got somebody to install an antenna on the roof. I caught myself wanting to move on to the next project without celebrating this success.

That is when I decided to consciously celebrate this success. How did I do it? Every now and then I would switch on the TV during the day, and look at all the channels and enjoy the snow free signal. It would take me less than a minute, but it made me really feel good. This is how I strongly anchored this success in my mind.

What have you achieved this week?
How could you celebrate your success?


Lists Everyone Should Make and Keep Handy

Create a List

It is nothing new, making lists is a passion (and necessity) of most people. Lists require minimal effort,  they’re organized,  and transforms complicated information into easy reading. It is human psychology and our basic instinct and tendency to categorize information. Lists help us organize our lives and helps to reduce stress levels.

Here are a few ideas and lists you can get started on today:

Favorite Recipes: When you are thinking about dinner, take our your psi for inspiration.

Movies you want to see: Avoid scrolling categories and movie choices. Have the movies you want to watch at your fingertips.

Books you need to read: Instead of reading a predictable beach read, rather choose an acclaimed novel of the year.

Shopping and grocery list: Never enter the grocery store without a list (or when you hungry). Make a list of what you want and stick to it. It will help you keep within your budget and avoid buying all the unnecessary things.

Birthday and anniversary list: never forget that special day and celebration of a loved one and friends.

Restaurants and food you want to try: Keep a list a of restaurants and places you have seen but never tried or experienced.

Cities and Countries to visit: Make a bucket list of places you ave always dreamed of traveling to.

Places and landmarks: Maybe you have heard or read about a place of interest like for example Pyramids of Egypt. Keep you travel bug alive and motivated.

Local attraction: Get to know and experience your own city and neighborhood. Not will you engage with your local community but also support the local economy.

Daily to-do list: If you want to feel that you have accomplished something every day, create daily to-do list and enjoy crossing things off the list when they are done and complete. Keep these lists and boost your ego when you review what you have completed and accomplished.

Life bucket list: Create the ‘big’ of things you want to do before the final day arrives. Remember, time passes quickly which you cannot get back; and before you know it,  you will turn around and ask yourself where the time has gone and if you still have time to reach your goals and fulfill all your dreams.

Short and long-term goals: Create a list of what you want to accomplish both personally and professionally in the next year and next 5 to 10 years.

DIY and Home improvement projects: This can include things as small as organizing your photos into an album to building a tree house for your kids. No matter how big or small, there is always something to do in the home.

Passwords: Enhance your online security experience, and make a create a different password for each website you need to login to. This will also avoid the hassle of having to change all details if one website is hacked.

Appreciation list: When you are having a bad day, go back to this list and remind yourself good your life actually is.


Things you should do at the beginning of every work day

How to start your work day

The beginning of your work day will have a considerable influence on your level of productivity all through the remainder of the day; therefore it is essential that you have a regimen that will make sure you have a successful day. Below is a set of tips and hints you need to be carrying out when you turn up for work each and every morning.

Always arrive on time – Arriving late not only leaves a bad impression but will also throw off the rest of the day.

Take a deep breath and clear your mind – Take a moment to clear your mind and remove all the stressors of home and commute into work.

Never forgo a healthy and wholesome breakfast – Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day and will keep you physically fit and energize your mind for the rest of the day.

Begin your day with a clean slate – Even though you might have things to complete from the previous day, but try to begin each day with a fresh start.

Be aware of your mood – Pay close attention to your demeanor and mood and how it can have an effect on other around you. Even if you are not a morning person, you need to just suck it up and have a positive attitude. Remember the first and last things of the day is when your emotional intelligence has its greatest influence and impact.

Plan and organize your daily schedule – At the start of your work day you should review your priorities and pay close attention to exactly what you need to accomplish. Most people are distracted at the start of every day by unimportant tasks and things. Create a to-do list or update the one you already have.

Be awake and present – For this you that are not morning people, you is imperative that you arrive at your job awake and alert, especially if you have a leadership or supervisory role. It is crucial that you be present both mentally and physically. Take some time to connect with your co-workers and team members, make eye contact and smile. Ask what they are currently doing and if they require any assistance.

Have a short team meeting – Organise a short 10 minute informal meeting to go over the main goals of the day and discuss any critical points that will have an influence on the team. If everyone knows what the daily goals are, the chance of succeeding will increase exponentially.

Organize and arrange your personal workspace – Clearing your desk and workspace will set a tone for the rest of your day.

Take the time to remind yourself of your core purpose at work – When you understand and have  a sense of purpose, it will help to motivate you to succeed and achieve your goals.

Never be distracted by your inbox – This is probably the most difficult thing for most people. Most experts believe that you should check your email at the start of every day. When you do, only pay close attention and reply to the most urgent messages. Prioritize the importance of your email and only deal with those that have an immediate influence on your morning hours at work.

Don’t forget to listen to your voicemail – Most people arrive at work and go directly to their inbox and social networks and ignore the phone. By doing this, you might miss out on something urgent and important.

Deal with important calls and email first thing – If you know you need to contact someone or send an important message, do it first thing in the morning. If you wait too late, then there is a chance that the person will not be able to respond before the end of the work day.

Mornings are the most productive part of the day – Many experts believe that the first few hour of your day is the time when the brain function most effectively and that this time is when you are most productive, creative and effective.  Undertake high brain activities during the morning hours at work.

Take a mid-morning break – Always take a mid morning break to assess where you are and to revitalize yourself so that you can keep the momentum going for the rest of the day


What do successful people do on the weekend

family gardening


Do you ever wonder what successful people do on weekends in order to achieve and maintain their success?  Most will use their weekends to unplug from the day-to-day commitments and use the time to take a step back and take a broader look at their company and industry. Weekends are a great chance to reflect and be more introspective about bigger issues. Weekends can be a secret weapon in professional success. To succeed you need to rejuvenate your mind and body and be able to start the new week full of energy and ready to go. So what exactly are “successful people” doing on weekends?

Here are a few things successful people do on weekends:

Make time for family and friends. For those individuals who do not have much time during the week, weekends are a good time to catch up with friends and spend quality time with family. Especially those of you with children, remember you cannot make for lost time.

Exercise. We all know that to maintain a healthily body and mind we need to exercise. For those that cannot workout during the workweek, it is important to use the weekend and downtime to to make up for lost exercise time. Exercise is the perfect tool to clear your mind and think about fresh ideas.

Pursue a passion. In order to succeed, you need balance work and play. Following a passion or hobby can assist you to unwind from the day job and add to your life balance.

Gardening/crafts/games/sports/cooking/cultural activities. This is especially important for those cooped up in an office all week. For example, gardening is the perfect thing to do and can also involve the whole family.

Take a weekend vacation. One of the best ways to detach from your high pressured job and work commitments is to get away for a weekend.

Disconnect. Most successful people will try to avoid checking their email messages for a period of time. This is not to say avoiding to check your messages at all. For example, taking a walk without your phone can provide your with a liberating feeling. Take a ‘tech Sabbath’.

Volunteer. Volunteering can you break away from all the stressors of your job and work commitments and provide you will a sense of personal fulfillments. Helping out at a fund raising event, for example, not only helps a specific cause but also allows you network with people with similar interests and brands you as a philanthropist.

Avoid chores. We all know that weekends are a good to complete those to-dos that we could not get around to during the week or have been avoiding, however, try demarcate a specific time to complete all your chores and errands.

Plan. Take time to think about the week, month or year ahead and make a plan. By planning will help you to be more effective and productive. Getting swamped and bogged down by short lists will not allow you to accomplish and see the the big picture.

Socialize. Humans are social creatures and research has clearly shown that socializing adds to one’s happiness. Spend time with your family and friends , or get involved in the local community. Giving back to your community or industry will also give you a sense of satisfaction.

Network. Networking is a job requirements rather a lifestyle of successful people. Whatever you do or go, try to network and connect with people.

Reflect. Take the time to appreciate what you have and reflect on your life, happiness, and accomplishments. Weekends are the perfect time to reflect and be more introspective about the bigger issues of work and life.

Recharge. We live in a highly stressful and competitive world, and optimum performance requires that we take control and manage our downtime in order to recharge our mind and body. If you can master this then you are on the road to success.