"At my back I always hear time's winged chariot hurrying near."
Time management begins with the realization that without some thought and planning, we are likely to waste a great deal of time in the future and have already wasted a huge amount of our life span in the past.
Wasting time is folly since time really does have wings and our lives pass very quickly. By using proven methods we can make the most of whatever time we have.
Billy Connolly, the great Scottish comedian, describes the speed of time in his own vivid way:
"A year in my life goes like this:
'Should auld acquaintance be forgot'
'Jingle bells! Jingle bells!'
He also tells a time related story. I've cleaned the language up a bit:
Two men were standing having a chat. The first man asked the second man:
"What would you do if you knew the world would end in 3 minutes time?"
"I'd have sex with everything that moved," replied the second man and then he added a question: "What would you do?"
"I'd stand perfectly still," said the first man.
This story has a lesson. With 3 minutes to live we will tend to do what we really want to do whether it is having sex (or avoiding it!) or eating chocolate or telling our family and friends that we love them. Yet too many of us spend our lives not doing what we really want to do.
If we imagined the world was about to end soon we might finally be able to discover what we really want to do in life. Of course we still need to have the courage to do it.
The time management basic of all this is that life is too short, even when we have 30 more years and not just 3 mins to live, to waste on doing things we do not really want to do.
The number one essential of time management is to discover what we really want to achieve in life and then get on with it.
A second basic is that we don't even have enough time to do all that we really want to do. We have to choose. I found out the hard way that you cannot learn several different musical instruments well unless you are a bit of a genius.
In my twenties, I decided I wanted to learn the bagpipes, the drums, the banjo, the guitar, the blues harp and the tin whistle.
I never got round to the tin whistle and only learned to play the other instruments at a pretty basic level. It is wiser to focus on one key goal at a time in each key area of our lives.
Set goals that are achievable, unlike mine, and then take massive action to attain them. Set SMART Goals - specific, measurable, attainable, results oriented, time based e.g. Do twenty pushups a day for a month. Count the pushups. Do an easy version of them if necessary (i.e. keep your knees on the ground). You feel and look stronger. You do the pushups for one month.
If one of your goals is to learn a skill like copywriting, decide to spend an hour a day for 6 months improving your copy writing. Use a spreadsheet to measure out 180 squares and cross them through after each one hour session. If you wish to learn 3 skills in 6 months, you will obviously need 540 squares.
A third basic of time management is to follow the famous advice which Charles Schwab paid $25,000 for i.e. make a list of about 6 things you want to achieve tomorrow.
Sleep on it overnight and your subconscious will provide you with the drive and the wisdom to make a good stab at achieving those 6 things in the next 24 hours.
In the morning start on the most important of those 6 things and get as far as you can. If you have anything left to do. Put it on your list for tomorrow.
I won't take up any more of your time with this article as you are doubtless keen to make your list of 6 key things to do tomorrow.
About the author
John Watson is an award winning teacher and martial arts instructor. He has recently written two books about achieving your goals and dreams.
They can both be found on his website http://www.motivationtoday.com along with a daily motivational message.
The title of the first book is "36 Laws To Ignite Your Inner Power And Realize Your Dreams Now! - Acronyms, Stories, And Pictures...Easy To Remember And Use Everyday To Grab Your Life And Soar With The Eagles"
The book can be found at this URL
The book uses acronyms, stories and pictures to help readers remember 36 laws that can gradually transform your life if you apply them.
You are welcome to publish the article above in your ezine or on your website so long as you do not alter it and keep in the words about the author and the 36 Laws.