I believe each human being has the potential to change, to transform one's own attitude, no matter how difficult the situation
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Why Traditional Time Management Techniques Don’t Work for Everyone

By Sinead Duffy 18th February 2012

Why Traditional Time Management Techniques Don't Work for EveryoneDo you find yourself continually running out of time or not getting everything done that you had hoped to? Do the phrases “I can’t believe that’s the time” or “I didn’t get that finished today” seem all too familiar? In order to optimise your time, it is essential that you manage yourself effectively.

Whether you have lost focus and motivation or have found yourself overwhelmed with activity, step back and analyse how you are spending your time. Prioritise what you want to achieve and organise your daily actions.

From my experience in training and coaching clients to be their best, I understand that people think about and process time differently. For example, you probably know someone who never wears a watch, yet they always know the time or indeed the opposite – someone who checks their watch every few minutes because they are not sure of the time.

How you relate to time depends on what you focus on. Perhaps you spend your time thinking about the future or maybe you tend to live in the moment.

If you are future orientated you tend to be very aware of time and always wondering what you are going to do next. Planning and prioritising techniques work well for you keeping you goal focused and on time for appointments. In addition to that use the following tips to make the most of your time:

  • Know what you want to achieve and keep focused on the end result.
  • Work from a prioritised daily “to do” list, ticking off completed items as you go.
  • Change your diaries and organisers to display the weeks and months ahead at a glance.
  • Imagine how you will feel when you have completed your task.

If you tend to live in the moment, you will find that traditional time management tips and techniques are not that effective for you. You may find yourself deeply engrossed in your work and time may lapse without your realisation. Your ability to multitask allows you to start many projects at one time, yet this may leave you overcommitted or even forgetting important appointments. Use the following tips to optimise your time:

  • Use timers or alarms to increase your awareness of how long you are spending on task.
  • Discipline yourself to complete tasks before starting new ones.
  • Break down large goals into step by step tasks.
  • Use a page a day diary or organiser.
  • Learn to say ‘no’ when you are over committing yourself.
  • Declutter your office, your projects and your ‘to do’ lists on a regular basis.
  • Focus you mind by asking the question “what is the best use of my time right now?”

Day by day, we are presented with the necessity to achieve more in less time. Whether you are future orientated or live in the moment, self management is the key to managing your time effectively.

Consider how you think about time and what can you do to make the most of it?

Recommended Reading on Time Management