Managing Time to Accomplish More
© 2013 Elena Fawkner
Time is inelastic. Despite what some of us
persist in believing,
it will NOT magically expand to accommodate all we have
So, in order to maximize the time we have available, we have to
spend it wisely.
Here's how to do that.
The very first thing to do is understand the structure
time. If you think of the time you have available as
amorphous dimension, you will fritter it away on this and
without any real consideration of what is the best use of the
available. How many times have you got to the end of
your day and felt like
you'd accomplished nothing even though
you'd been "busy" all day.
time is not equal. If you're a morning person, your
morning time is worth
more in terms of productivity than your
late afternoon time.
of time as variable in terms of potential for
accomplishment and identify
your most valuable time. Do
the same for your intermediate-value time and
Reserve your most valuable time for your most
demanding activities. Your intermediate value time should be
spent on important tasks that don't require quite the same level
concentration. Finally, reserve your low-value time for
don't require much in the way of concentration.
Now, obviously, if you
have a full-time job away from the home,
the decision of how to spend your 9
to 5 hours will largely be
out of your hands. So, the best you can do if
you're a morning
person is to try and take care of some of your
demanding activities first thing in the morning, say between
5:00 am and 7:00 am. On the other hand, if you're a night owl,
a full-time job probably won't be much of a problem for
run your own business from home, however, effectively
structuring your time
in terms of peak, intermediate and low-
concentration blocks can make a
profound impact on your
productivity if you use that time
IDENTIFY WHAT YOU HAVE TO
Now that you have some sense of how to best structure your
time, you need to turn to what, exactly, you're going to spend
That means identifying what you have to do. And that means
identifying what you DON'T have to do as the flipside.
identifying what you have to fit in to your schedule,
think about all areas
of your life. Making time for yourself is
NOT something that you get around
to only if there's time left
over. Making time for yourself is as much a
priority as anything
A good way of identifying activities
that should be included in
your schedule is to test them against the
criteria of furtherance
of an objective. If the activity does nothing to
objective, why are you even doing it?
So start by
identifying objectives for your life. Consider categories
such as health,
finance, business/career, spiritual, family, social,
intellectual and so
on. Establish objectives for every area of your
life that's important to
Everything you do should bring you closer to an objective. If it
doesn't, again, why do it?
Now that you know how to best structure your time and
activities are going to lead you closer to your objectives, it's time
to allocate those activities against the time you have available
accordance with your various concentration levels.
Begin by estimating
how much time each activity in your day is
likely to take. Be realistic
about what you can really accomplish in
one day. If you overload yourself
you're only going to stress out
about what you're NOT doing and that makes
you less effective
in what you ARE doing. So pace yourself. Just don't
Assign your most intellectually demanding activities to your
concentration time. This may be writing a chapter of your ebook
writing an article for the next issue of your ezine. Assign your
concentration-intensive activities to your intermediate
This may be redesigning a web page or
reading and responding to email, for
example. Finally, assign
your truly "no concentration required" activities
to your low
concentration periods. If you've allocated time to exercising,
would be a good time to do a workout.
BIRDS WITH ONE STONE
There's no reason why you can't use the
same time to accomplish
more than one thing. For example, I am writing this
article (a high
concentration activity) on my laptop while enjoying coffee
in a Santa
Monica cafe (a low concentration
GROUP LIKE TASKS
tasks will allow you to accomplish more in the same
amount of time. It is
much more efficient to run three errands
while you're out and about rather
than making three separate trips.
Similarly, it's more time-efficient to
run one large load of laundry
rather than two separate, smaller loads. So
give some thought
to these mundane sorts of activities too. There's always a
shave off a bit of time by grouping similar activities and doing them
in one hit. Email's another prime example. Far more efficient to
and respond to mail twice a day than to read and respond to
each message as
and when it comes in, thereby distracting
yourself from what you were doing
in the first place.
By thinking about what you have to do and scheduling
in conformity with your concentration levels as well as grouping
like activities, you will naturally make the most effective use of the
time available. Your productivity will increase proportionately.
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Friday, 19-Jul-2019 15:48:53 CDT