During my time at IIT Patna, the Director of IIT Patna presented a lovely acronym for Time: To Invest Myself Effectively, which he shared during one of the convocation programmes.
The acronym itself says a lot about what Time is and how we might use it efficiently to improve our quality of life.
Wouldn’t it be a fantastic experience to learn the 12 Rules of Time, which will assist you in increasing your productivity, happiness, and peace, as well as impacting your life to the fullest?
It will undoubtedly happen.
1. Set objectives
It doesn’t matter how efficient you are with your time if you don’t know how you want to spend it.
The compass is more significant than the clock when it comes to time management.
Decide where you want to go and focus your efforts on getting there.
Many people waste time attempting to be more efficient instead of focusing on what matters most: creating goals.
It’s like getting lost in a strange city.
If you’re travelling in the wrong way, driving faster won’t help.
Decide which direction you want to go in and then go in that direction.
Your list of goals will disclose what is essential to you once you’ve completed it.
2. Examine your time management.
It’s always beneficial to be aware of how you’re currently spending your time.
You may keep track of this by setting a timer for every 15 minutes and writing down what you’re doing when it goes off.
Alternatively,break your day into 15-minute increments and keep track of everything you do.
Examine your time logs once you get them.
How do they stack up against your objectives?
Are you devoting your time to the things that are most important to you?
3. Maintain a to-do list
This may appear to be overly simplistic, but it is the foundation of all time-management systems.
Your to-do list can be electronic, printed on nice paper, kept in a notebook, or kept loose.
The idea is to make a single list with everything you wish to do.
A single-line item on my to-do list, such as “write an annual report,” may refer me to a much larger file or even a file box on that item.
4. Make a list of your top priorities.
Once you have your list, decide which items are most critical.
Make a note of these with a highlighter, a red pen, or anything else that will help them stand out.
My to-do list can get out of hand at times.
Even if most of the items on the list were not emphasised as important, they all scream “pay attention to me!”
I cover my to-do list with a blank sheet of paper and write down only the three or four most important tasks.
Those are the ones you should concentrate on.
5. Refrain from procrastinating.
To overcome any leftover procrastination tendencies, I employ a variety of techniques.
For example, I prefer having a physical copy of my computer to-do list.
Every few days, I republish it as new items are added and old ones are removed.
These are the moments when I look for the items that I’ve listed as high priorities but have yet to be completed.
People frequently compliment me on my self-control.
In reality, most of it is about environmental control.
I maintain control over my surroundings in order to eliminate potential sources of procrastination.
Remove games from your computer, sell your television, and eliminate the busy work jobs that you use to avoid vital responsibilities.
“Do the worst thing first,” is one useful habit I’ve created to assist me to overcome procrastination.
Every day, I start with the one chore that is causing me the greatest stress and that I haven’t completed yet.
I give it a quarter-hour sometimes, based on the notion that I can stand just about anything for 15 minutes.
This brief shove is frequently what gets me through.
If I still find myself procrastinating, I think about why I established a goal in the first place.
I emphasise the reasons why a task should be completed to increase motivation to do it.
Similarly, many people give themselves a reward for finishing a task.
6. Make a plan.
Time management and organisation are intertwined.
When I have all of the tools I need to complete a task, I find that I get more done.
Chaos, clutter, and disorder — the polar opposites of organisation — almost always result in busywork.
Every piece of paper on your piled-high desk shouts, “Look at me.”
You may find yourself doing a lot of work but never getting around to the crucial stuff.
7. Assign responsibilities
Getting others to help you stretch your time is one technique to do so. Delegation is all about handing off any chores that someone else can handle far faster or easier than you can.
No problem if you’re protesting because you don’t have anyone working directly for you to assign chores to. Consider entrusting a task to a colleague, a superior, a vendor, or even a consumer. Consider delegation in the same way you would networking: who in your network would be the greatest fit for the job?
In other circumstances, you’ll have to spend money upfront to train someone to take over duty from you. The effort and money spent upfront are usually worth it in the long run.
8. Learn how to be more efficient.
“The Power of While” is the best trick I’ve discovered.
What are some things you can do while driving?
While you’re out walking?
Why not clean while you’re at it?
While you’re watching television?
I am a major fan of audio recordings and frequently listen to them while doing other things.
As a techie, I like all of the organisation tools that allows me to keep track of my contacts, to-do lists, and appointments.
Cellphones, wireless e-mail, and personal digital assistants are among the devices I utilise.
You can save time by making good use of technology.
9. It’s okay to refuse.
Saying “No” is one of the most potent time management skills you can learn.
When someone asks you to do something, consider the importance of the request.
Is it assisting you in achieving your objectives?
Is this something you’d be better at than the majority of people?
Don’t always look for ways to get out of problems; instead, choose your battles carefully.
This isn’t to say that I constantly decline offers to assist.
But if I have to say no, I am always courteous and discreet, and I attempt to recommend someone else who might be a good fit for the job.
It can be quite effective to devote 100 per cent of your attention and concentration to one work at a time.
Distract yourself as much as possible.
Concentrate on the task at hand.
When you’re well-organized and prepared, and your energy and power are high, you can typically finish a task in 20% of the time it would take you if you were distracted or open to interruption.
11. Create a bank of efficiency
If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to work efficiently.
Eat well, exercise often, get enough sleep, and drink in moderation.
Mom was right: everything she stated was good for you also happened to be good for your efficiency.
I also believe meditation can be a great way of building your efficiency. It could be transcendental meditation, Zen, or just finding a way to get into a relaxed state that lets you focus on the task you have to do. No matter how you do it, recharging your batteries gives you the power to do more during the times you need to be at your best.
12. Take care of yourself
It’s impossible to remain “on” at all times.
Take the time you need to look after yourself — both physically and mentally — so you can perform at your best when you need to.
Make a list of your favourite activities.
Determine which activities energise you and devote more time to them.
When you return to work, you will have the strength and energy to be more productive.
Finally, I’d like to offer some suggestions.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading this far, go back to Rule 1 and add peace (contentment) to your list of objectives.
Time management isn’t about putting you under more stress; it’s about giving you the freedom to be the person you truly want to be.