Introduction to Time Management Principles
We are so hooked up with so many activities in a day that we sometimes feel 24hrs is just not enough. I don’t know about you but I do know I get that feeling from time to time. Like there is so much to do but so little time to get things done. While some others complain about how slow time is moving, most times I am left with great astonishment and a little wonder because I just can’t relate.
So, sitting in my room pondering on why this might be. I came up with the conclusion that I probably lack proper time management. Come to think of it, we all have the same 24hrs but yet some people are doing the most and achieving a whole lot while some others are sitting around the corner whining on how time is just not enough. Should we whine or should we change it?
Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’ – Lao Tzu.
In a scenario like this, I trust Nigerian parents, they would be like “those who are achieving a lot with the same 24hrs do they have two heads?”(LOL). Well, I’m positive that we can all answer that. So I say that to say this; What’s the difference? And the answer is pretty simple – TIME MANAGEMENT!
Of course, I am pretty sure the word is not new to anyone. The same way it wasn’t while hearing it in a seminar I was opportune to attend. What would I gain if I don’t share some important points with you? But before properly going into Time management and its principles, we need to understand what Time is. Because just as they say;
When the value of a thing isn’t known, abuse is inevitable
So do you know what time is and its value?
WHAT IS TIME?
Time is the passage of seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc. It is the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues (in other words – duration). It could also be defined as a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through the present to the future.
In Africa, time is probably seen as a sec, a min or an hour after an agreed time. The popular term for this is known as “African time”. Well, this is wrong and this mentality has made many of us abusers of time because when a program, event, or even class is set for a particular time, we believe it would most likely not start at that time. This is where time mismanagement starts from. Well, you need to understand that time means what it says it means, there’s no other definition.
What is Time Management?
The ability to weigh your pros and cons is management. While Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. It is the ability to choose your sequence and succession of events by yourself withing a certain period.
Why do you want to manage your time?
We begin to want to manage our time when we have come to understand the value of this time. Because this value is what determines how we live and run our lives
Check out – Reasons why you need to manage your time
THE PRINCIPLES OF TIME MANAGEMENT
Time operates within certain principles. And when you follow a certain principle, no matter who you are, it would work for you. Even if you don’t believe in it but you sincerely follow a principle properly, it would still work for you.
The easiest way to be a success is to follow the principles of successful people
The Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle is also known as the 80/20 rule. It is based on the ideas of an Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto, whose observations were initially based largely on the distribution of wealth. In other words, he saw that 20 per cent of people owned 80 per cent of the wealth. The remaining 80 per cent control only 20 per cent of the wealth. Over time it was realised that the same principle could be applied to many areas.
You are probably wondering how this got to do with Time management. Well, it’s simple. In terms of time management, this principle goes further to explain that you can accomplish 80% of your task with just 20% of the time available. Which also means that 20% of the things you have to do can take up to 80% of your time with poor activity allocation and poor time management. The Pareto analysis is an easy but time-intensive method to manage your time and improve your productivity.
In line with the 80/20 rule is the idea of ‘Prime Time’. It is found that not only do 20 per cent of your efforts account for 80 per cent of your results but also that your best efforts occur in 20 per cent of the day. In other words, most people are found to be somewhat inefficient for 80 per cent of their time. If someone is found to have a time in the day that is more productive than other times, this is when they should carry out their priority work and this is the time of the day they should protect themselves against distractions and diversions.
The 90/10 & 10/90 Principle
According to this principle: 10 per cent of your activities will account for 90 per cent of your results. This in turn also means that If you have a list of ten items to accomplish, only one of those items will turn out to be worth more than the other nine items put together. Sadly, most people procrastinate on the “vital few” and busy themselves with the least important 90 per cent, the “trivial many,” which contribute very little to their success.
To apply this rule, First, take a piece of paper and write down ten goals. Then ask yourself: If you could only accomplish one of the goals on that list today, which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on your life?
Endeavour to work on those important goals. It doesn’t necessarily mean you must abandon the other 90% but rather you could either delegate or automate it but just accomplish the biggest task 1st and allocate little time to the trivial least important many.
This principle means that the first 10% of the time that you spend planning and organising your work before you begin will save you as much as 90% of the time in getting the job done once you get started.
Take cutting down a tree for example and you spend 10min in sharpening your tool, it might seem like a waste of time but rather it’s a saver of time because the sharper your tool, the quicker your work.
So always take out time to plan first before you start or begin to jump into activities because when you do, you save time. These rules are basically about planning, when and how you do your work.
The Bank Balance Principle
The same way you have financial budgets, you should also have time budgets. What happens when your bank account is empty? it means there is no money available right? So, determine what time is available and allocate its use in advance. This principle tends to simply teach us how to develop a time budget.
The Limited Resource Principle
This principle brings to light the fact that time is a Limited life resource just like money. There are no 2 ways about it, what you put into it is what it return to you just like Garbage in Garbage out. Hence the popular phrase “Time is Money”.
The Forced Efficiency Principle
You often hear people say ” I wish I had more time” when they feel overwhelmed. When you consider something to be important to you, you find time for it. Now you would probably be thinking ‘ does it now mean that most of the things that you want to do are probably not important because if they are you would create time for it?’ Well most likely or you’ve not prioritized them or just mismanaging time because if they are, you would most likely create time
You wake up very early in the morning & get ready for an 8 am class or work, not because you want to but because you believe you have to. Now think about it; If you can meet deadlines set for you by someone why can’t you meet the deadline set for yourself. This principle is simply saying ‘Set Deadlines for yourself’.
There is never enough time to do everything but there is always enough time to do important things with the time available. To succeed with proper time management, some time management skills would be required.
Check out: Time Management Skills
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