How to value and manage timeby
In the fast-paced modern world, effective time management is more important than ever before. Liggy Webb shares her expertise.
My dad once said to me “slow down if you want to go a bit faster”. These I believe are very wise words and resonate in my mind whenever I find myself beginning to run around like a headless chicken. I suppose to some extent we all have the propensity to speed up when we feel overloaded, and yet in many ways it is the least helpful approach.
All we really achieve by doing that is to elevate our stress levels, making more mistakes and most of all not enjoying the moment. Time is precious and we will never ever be rich enough to buy it back.
In transport economics, the value of time is the opportunity cost of the time that a traveller spends on their journey. In essence, this makes it the amount that a traveller would be willing to pay in order to save time, or the amount they would accept as compensation for lost time. The value of time varies considerably from person to person and depends upon the purpose of the journey, but can generally be divided into two sets of valuations: working time and non-working time. I guess that sums up life very well, and it is important that we make a balanced investment into both work and play time.
One of the biggest challenges that many people face is personal time management and the ability to prioritise. Let’s face it, we all have our own quirky little habits that we have adopted and I am sure we have all been guilty of putting ourselves and other people under unnecessary pressure by just not being as well-organised as we could be. The more efficiently we manage our time, the better we will feel generally.
It is also important to respect other people’s time and, if our own lack of personal organisation or timekeeping disrupts others, then it is important that we take responsibility and do something about it.
Also, it is worth considering that, no matter how organised we may be, there are always only 24 hours in a day. Time doesn’t change. All we can actually manage is ourselves and what we do with the time that we have.
It is important to remember, the focus of time management is actually changing your behaviours, not changing time. So here are a few tips of how you can do that:
Managing and valuing your time
- Review time - Have you ever stopped and analysed how you spend your time? It is a really useful exercise for 14 days to record how you spend your 86,400 seconds so keep a log and this will be a good place to start changing any unhelpful habits.
- Eliminating your personal time-wasters - Once you know how you are spending your time you will easily begin to see how you waste time. Very often it will be things that you can change and being honest with yourself will help.
- Create a system - It’s amazing how so many people don’t have a good system in place and work rather randomly and react to whatever comes along. It is a far better approach to be proactive and have more control over your day. Making a priority plan will help you to stay focused. Learning how to manage emails can be helpful. One system I use is that when I have an email in my inbox I make a decision straight away of what to do with it rather than open it and go back to it later. I either action it, delete it or file it.
- Avoid procrastination - It is so tempting to put off what you don’t like doing to another time or even another day or week. One of the best pieces advice that I have had is to do what you least like doing first. Get it over and done with and I guarantee you will feel lighter and more motivated. There is nothing worse than having something hanging over you. It slows you down and makes you feel heavy.
- Avoid the 'Superhero Syndrome' - Some people are their own worst enemy because they want to portray the image of someone who is infallible and capable of taking the world on their shoulders as a cartoon superhero might! We are not however superheroes, we are human, therefore we are not infallible and there is only so much that you can do. Learning to negotiate and on occasions even saying no is not only necessary, it is essential and will take the pressure away, and you are less likely to let people down and stress yourself out.
- Be tidy - The tidier and the more minimalistic you are the easier it will be to find things, and this can save lots of time. It is also good for your mind because it will help you to focus and feel more in control. Other people you work around will also appreciate you being tidy as it makes life better and easier for them too.
'A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life' - Charles Darwin
Liggy Webb is widely respected as a leading expert in the field of modern life skills and workplace wellness. She is the founding director of The Learning Architect a consortium of niche industry experts. For more info visit www.liggywebb.com and www.thelearningarchitect.com. For access to more toolkits and information you can email Liggy here
Liggy Webb is an award winning and bestselling author, presenter and international consultant. She is also the founding director of The Learning Architect, an international consortium of behavioural skills specialists. She is recognised as a thought leader on human resilience and works with a wide range of businesses focusing on optimising...