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Time Management

Below are the articles in the Time Management category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.

Time Management

4 Steps to Overcome Your Time Management Troubles

One of the biggest challenges to starting a business and being a successful entrepreneur is always time management. Business owners may do what seems like a million different tasks, making time their biggest enemy.

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One of the biggest challenges to starting a business and being a successful entrepreneur is always time management. As a business owner, you may do what seems like a million different tasks; as a result, time becomes your enemy.

Conquering your time management troubles will help you not only overcome these obstacles to success, but also give you more time for living a rich life outside of business.

But first, what are the chief hurdles when it comes to time management? The top four obstacles are:

Perfectionism. Many people use perfectionism as a crutch, a way to stay busy doing what they know how to do and to let the rest slide. For example, you're a skilled writer but detest accounting, which means you spend days on a sales letter and your books are in such shambles that you are unsure who owes you what or how much money you're making or losing.

Are You Too Busy? How Can You Tell?

Many people complain about being too busy, but forget that they have a say in the matter. This quiz offers help and insight.

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These days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of numbing feelings or disguising depression or anger.

Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle.

1. I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.

2. I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.

3. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.

Claiming the Empty Spaces: The Importance of Idle Time in a Fast-Forward World

Discusses the importance of idle time and offers strategies for carving it out—and protecting it.

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If you’re like many of us today, the thought of doing absolutely nothing for an entire hour seems as wasteful as throwing a week’s worth of groceries out with the garbage. Indeed, free time with nothing to do can generate near panic among some of us who are overloaded and time-starved.

“We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture,” says Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul. “Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t.”

And yet, the harder we push, the more we need to replenish ourselves. As Stephan Rechtschaffen, author of Timeshifting, says, “Each of us needs some time that is strictly and entirely our own, and we should experience it daily.”

The importance of this downtime cannot be overstated. We see more clearly, we hear more keenly, we’re more inspired, we discover what makes us feel alive.

Don’t Just Manage Your Time, Master It

Rather than training your eye on the calendar, focus on the task.

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Procrastination pays off. After years of being the black sheep in the business productivity family, procrastination finally gets its due. Why? Because Time Management is out. That’s right. Relying on clocks and calendars is now considered inefficient. Say goodbye to that new time management system you were about to implement—you know, the one you haven’t found time for yet. You don’t need it. That's the good news.

The “bad” news? Time Mastery is in.

But it isn’t all bad—especially for “B-type” personalities.

What is Time Mastery?

According to John Clemens and Scott Dalrymple, authors of Time Mastery: How Temporal Intelligence Will Make You a Stronger, More Effective Leader, Time Management emphasizes managing time via clocks and calendars, while Time Mastery provides a more intuitive perception of what “time” is: time is not static or inflexible but rather, dynamic and relative.

Getting Things Done—On Time!

If planning is the key to getting things done on time, why is it sometimes regarded as an impossible luxury? Here are some ways to help keep those projects on track.

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There is a well-known axiom in business that “failure to plan is planning to fail.” Well-known, and, all too often, honored in the breach. It is planning, in its many guises, that ultimately has the greatest impact on whether you finish a task or project on time.

But for many of the tasks thrown our way at work, planning seems to be an unthinkable luxury. Assaulted by emails, barraged by phone calls, sliced and diced by meetings and interruptions, the idea of planning a day, let alone a longer-term project, is almost laughable. And if someone else isn’t imposing unrealistic deadlines on us, we’ll commit to them ourselves, agreeing to be somewhere or accomplish something in impossible time frames.

While a lot of this comes with the territory of modern life, there are some things you can do to help increase the odds of getting your projects done on time.

Protect your calendar

Your calendar isn’t your to-do list. Loading up your planner with the 19 things you want to accomplish each day just creates frustration, not productivity. Instead, separate the functions of your calendar and your to-do list, and use the calendar only for events that are time-specific.

Making a Better To-Do List

Better task and time management rely not on fancy plans, apps or systems, but on a better to-do list. Here’s how to create a better to-do list for better productivity and time management.

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Interested in being more productive and managing your time more effectively?

It turns out that better task and time management rely not on fancy plans, apps or systems, necessarily, but on a better to-do list. So instead of seeking a better productivity method, spend some quality time with your to-do list.

Setting Up Your Better Task List

Before you start tweaking how you work with your list, spend a few moments thinking about how you keep your list.

You’ve got lots of options, both paper and app-based. Which one is better? Here’s the secret: That’s the wrong question. Both kinds of lists can work—just like any diet can work.

Procrastination—Everyone Talks About It, but Nobody Does Anything

Imagine the space this article fills is blank. Imagine the time and energy it might take someone who procrastinates to: 1) think about doing the article 2) put it on a list of “to dos” 3) talk about doing it 4) promise himself he will start it tomorrow 5) promise himself he will definitely start it tomorrow….

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As the deadline for the article draws near (it’s midnight the night before the article is due), imagine the stress the writer must feel as he brews a pot of coffee and sets himself up for a couple of hours to research the topic, organize the information, create an outline, come up with a dynamite opening line, write the article, rewrite the article, rewrite it again, print it out and rewrite it one more time. And, of course, the whole time he’s beating himself up for waiting so long to start and telling himself he’s no good at this job anyway and the article will be a bust.

This is procrastination in full, weedy flower. Delay. Broken promises and unfulfilled expectations. Feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Worry. Fear. Stress. Overwork and probably not as good an end product as the writer would have produced if he’d tackled the job in a timely, reasonable, professional manner.

Procrastination isn’t good for anyone, anytime. So why do so many do it? Not just around such matters as filing income tax and completing holiday shopping, but with everyday tasks such as cleaning off the desk or straightening up the garage or starting a project at work.

The more difficult, inconvenient or scary the task is perceived to be, the more procrastinators procrastinate. They come up with semi-convincing self-talk that makes the delay appear reasonable, but in the end it's a self-defeating behavior that causes all sorts of problems, not the least of which is stress.

Time Is More Than Money—It’s Your Life!

Imprisoned by the perception that time is a limited resource, people rush from one commitment to the next, believing they haven’t a minute to spare. They yearn for more time, yet feel anxious and guilty when idle. But there’s hope.

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Gaining control over our time is nothing short of gaining control of our life. The good news is you do have a choice. From CEO to business owner to file clerk, reclaiming control over your time is a powerful act of self-mastery.

To help refill your time reservoir, try some or all of the following suggestions from Stephan Rechtschaffen, author of Timeshifting, and others.

Pause. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Han suggests a deep breath before answering the phone or other conscious pauses throughout the day.

Remember the airplane instructions. Put your own “oxygen mask” on first. To take care of others, you must care for yourself first.

Carve out idle time alone. Greek philosopher Aristotle noted that “nature requires us not only to be able to work well but also to idle well.”

Time: It’s Not How Much You Have, It’s How You Chunk It!

You can’t add more hours to the day, but you can make better use of the hours you do have.

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No matter how many new technological innovations are created to improve our efficiency and productivity, there are still just 24 hours in every day.

This limitation leads to missed business, deadlines and opportunities. It also results in feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and a huge amount of stress. And while you can’t add more hours to the day, you CAN make better use of the hours you have.

It’s called time chunking, and it’s a whole new way of looking at your day. Begin by assessing which of your tasks need “solid” chunks of time and which need “spilt” chunks.

Solid Time Chunks

If time chunking is going to work for you, it’s imperative that you book these solid time blocks in your schedule and protect them from distractions or things that seem urgent but aren’t.

To Make Time, Take Time

If time were an animal, it would be on the endangered species list. At least that’s how it seems: Too much to do, too many places to be, too little time to do it all. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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On the job, in school, at home, we are increasingly imprisoned by the perception that time is a scarce and limited resource. We rush from one commitment or activity to another and believe that we haven’t a minute to spare. We yearn for more time, yet we often feel anxious and guilty when idle.

Is this how life is supposed to be?

No! Nor does it have to be.

But until we change our relationship to time, our lives will continue to speed away from us—at enormous cost to our health and to direct experience of ourselves and the world around us.

“There is no issue, no aspect of human life, that exceeds this in importance,” says Jacob Needleman, author of Time and the Soul. “The destruction of time is literally the destruction of life.”

When we learn to shift time, our relationships become more rewarding, our time spent alone is richer, our aging is more satisfying, our work is more fruitful and our stress and anxiety are less paralyzing, or even nonexistent.

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