Operations

The SIMPLE Truth of Time Management

Posted on February 1, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

Recently I asked a group of operators if they were procrastinators and these are their responses:

-“No. It’s just that I have to put off a couple of things in order to finish the stuff I didn’t get done last week.”

-“Well I function better under stress.”

-“I prefer to think of it as being laid-back.”

-“Yes, but if I put something off long enough, it sometimes turns out it didn’t really need to be done after all… or someone else ends up doing it for me.”

Managing your time and the space around you is based on simplicity. One very basic and fundamental truth that applied across the board is: The fewer times you touch an object, the more time is saved.

We tend to perform the same tasks each day without noticing how long they take. In reclaiming those extra few hours, clocks are good tools. Yes, I know, you already have a few but I’m suggesting that you take it a step further. “Time Awareness” will increase if you have a clock in each room you pass through. Sounds like overkill you say? No, clocks are time-reference tools and since time will be passing in each and every room, it will be of great benefit to have easy access to a timekeeper wherever you may be. Time Reference becomes Time Awareness, preparing you to be Time Ready. Think of the clocks as training aids.

Another simple, integral part of time management is always having a means at hand of jotting down notes. Notepads in whatever style works for you should be strategically placed throughout your home, work place, and car (even have them for your chauffeurs so they too can take notes of things that come to mind that may make your business run smoother). Have them near each phone, by your favorite easy chair, on your desk, on your bedside table and yes, in the bathroom and kitchen. Put a small notepad in your pockets of your jackets and purses as well. Thoughts pass through the mind in nanoseconds, and they can be difficult to track or hold onto beyond the fleeting moment when they occur. Having accessible notepads gives you the ability to capture those thoughts, lasso them, and pull them in. Good ideas can turn into great ideas — if you jot them down.

Whenever possible, downsize your bookkeeping process and eliminate paper. Keep as many elements as simple as possible and you will save time by being more efficient. I recommend the following:

1.Online banking — provides instant action at your fingertips.

2.Online brokerage statements — with just a click you can see your account status.

3.Mail sorting by category — bills are marked with due date and filed under “unpaid” file. Establish a designated bill-paying day each week.

4.Income tax folder for each year — file all mail and records pertaining to that year’s taxes.

5.Calendar, appointment book, PDA (personal digital assistant) — use whatever format works best for you as long as you have an efficient system to record important family dates, social events, birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, and vacations. Calendars need to be in a VISIBLE place, and portable PDAs and appointment books stay on your person at all times. Transfer important information from your PDA to your calendar every night.

Time is where is all starts — past, present, and future. When you awake each morning, you are given the gift of time all over again. It is what you do with each hour that gives meaning to your days. That is also what gives meaning to life itself, since our lifetime is made up of as many days as we are given, one at a time. Learning how to manage our time is learning how to make the gift of life our Number One priority. And living life in an organized way will give you balance and control — a rhythm that will afford you less stress and more peace!

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