Those who use their time well, live twice.
Time, which can be a great ally or an enemy, can be very difficult for us to manage. Time is the greatest wealth we possess. Lost time is one of the few things in life we can never recover. Time is our life, since everything that happens to us takes place during the time our life lasts. We are what we are, but we show what we are through what we do, and everything we do requires using our time. Here are some practical tips based on healthy personal coaching derived from positive psychology.
1. Work by priorities. Make a list of your priorities, and try to do the most difficult activity in the morning when your energy and concentration are at their peak. Learning to prioritize is a good way to learn to be effective. Apply yourself to the most complex tasks as soon as possible. The more you postpone them, the harder it will be for you to do them. Assign a specific time for what is most important.
2. Calendarize events according to objectives. We complete objectives faster when we have a deadline. The faithful use of a daily planner is essential for us to have a complete overview of the year.
3. Don’t improvise your week. Organize your week by designating specific days to carry out specific tasks. For example, use Mondays and Wednesdays to focus on seeing clients and making sales; keep Tuesdays and Thursdays for writing letters and working on strategy, and on Fridays, work in the morning and study in the afternoon. Weekends are for sports … And so on. Defining with foresight your daily use of time throughout the week is a great tool for increasing efficacy.
4. Try to communicate clearly. Deal with situations head-on. Don’t try to guess what someone wanted to say in a confusing email; simply go and ask them. This will save time and energy, and prevent mistakes. Clear communication is key.
5. Cultivate the art of delegation. Learn to delegate more tasks. When you really start to do it, you will realize how your role and your work will reach the next level. Understand which activities you do well personally, and delegate to others those which aren’t really your area of competence. In order to delegate effectively, you need to act with foresight. To that end, it is a good idea to dedicate a few minutes each day to organizing each hour to your best advantage.
6. Seek balance in your use of time. Record what you do every hour for a week—from when you get up, to when you go to sleep. This way, you will be able to see whether or not you need to make changes in your life and your schedule to achieve greater balance: time for sleeping, eating, socializing, spending enjoyable time with your family, etc., while respecting your work hours in accordance with the priorities you have defined.
7. Give importance to exercising and resting. People who have a lot of work to do often forget to take care of their bodies. Doing regular exercise will help you to eliminate toxins, have more energy, increase your concentration, and sleep better. Neglecting your own physical health is the worst way of managing a very busy schedule.
8. Strengthen your ability to concentrate. Sometimes, you need to slow down to do a better job. However, you will work faster if you reduce your distractions and focus on just one task. Mono-tasking (the opposite of multitasking) is key. Learn to say “no” to distractions and to other people when you are concentrating on tasks you need to take care of before a specific deadline.
9. Relax. A good laugh every day is essential for reducing tension. Being responsible doesn’t have to lead us to take everything so seriously that we no longer know how to enjoy life. Giving each thing its proper importance—neither more nor less—is essential for us to allow our psyche to work peacefully and productively.
Those who use their time well, live twice. The most important thing isn’t just our effectiveness in carrying out our tasks, whether they be professional, personal, or family-related; rather, what matters is that, when you use your time well, you also have more time available to spend with your loved ones, which is the true substance of quality of life.