Benjamin Franklin once wrote “Remember that time is money”. Actually, time is worth a lot more: you can’t earn extra days or reimburse lost hours. If you want to have time for work, family, self-improvement and ultimately for a living – you need to learn time management.
Time management is the process of operating and controlling your time. There is a number of books with time management tips, like Happier Hour, book by Cassie Holmes, which was published in 2022 and quickly became popular.
In this article, you will find 5 basic time management tips to help you succeed. You will learn why time management is important and what you need for effective time management, besides a long to-do list.
Tip №1: find time for things that make you happy
“Happier Hour”, book by Cassie Holmes will help you with it
This book will stimulate you to consider how you are spending your precious minutes. In his system, Cassie suggests sticking to simple principles:
- Control your working time, while not letting it control you;
- Protect yourself from distractions;
- Provide recreation moments for yourself and enjoy them;
- Keep your purpose in mind while designing the schedule;
- Appreciate your previous experiences without regrets.
The system looks pretty simple. In reality however, it raises very important questions: What is recreation for you? What is your purpose?
If you want to develop time management skills, you need to start with this book. It will help you find a personal philosophy of time management and will increase the value of each day.
“Happier Hour” is easy to read: there are both amusing stories and academic research. It is very useful in a way that Cassie Holmes turns it all into practical recommendations.
Tip №2: find time for communication
“Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi will help you find time for communication and relationship with people
Human beings are social animals, so we need relationships with other people, whether it’s in business or in personal life. We look for friends, for like-minded people, for lovers, for project partners, for potential employees and for someone to ask for advice.
The book by Keith Ferazzi is useful for all kinds of cases and will help you save a lot of time on searching for the right people and making contacts. It is also an inspiration for finding communication that will make your life happier and more prosperous. Practical tips and algorithms, essentially a networking manual, will help you become fluent in communication, even if you consider yourself an introvert to the bone.
Tip №3: stay emotionally sharp
Use “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
Why do you need emotional intelligence for time management? At least to recognize your desires and set up your life goals. In order to apply best time management tools in practice, you need to be in line with your inner state.
We get used to ignoring our feelings while prioritizing tasks and effectiveness. A developed emotional intellect will send an early signal about overload, like the smoke alarm during the fire. You will learn to prevent the inner fire, the treatment of which takes more time than the work that caused it.
Side effect: saving time for dealing with conflicts and crises. The “Emotional Intelligence” will teach you to identify the emotions of other people and yours.
Tip №4: set the goals both in your job and in life
The book by Ray Dalio “Principles: Life and Work” comes to help
It is recommended by Bill Gates and Tony Robbins. The book was published in 2017, when the author was №54 on Forbes billionaire list.
The book is focused on how to recognize and organize your goals, opposed to just going with the flow and doing what others tell you. It is about staying loyal to what really matters and being honest with yourself and the others. Ray Dalio’s ideas will teach you how to make the right decisions and to take responsibility for your own life.
There are some practical tips from Ray Dalio’s book:
- Separate your expectations and reality
- Think more about reaching your goals than of what people might think about you.
- Evaluate both short term and long term consequences of your decisions
- Appreciate the pain: it leads you to the result.
- If something has gone wrong, look for the reason in your actions, not in other people
Tip №5: organize your planning and do what really matters
Learn it with “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
Legendary book with 15 million number of copies expands on the importance of time management. How do you start your working day or your day off? Start with ultimate things, which will lead you to your goals. Afterwards, sort out the tasks by priority: do the most important and urgent things first, then what is also important, but not that urgent.
Planning your tasks is easier with the Eisenhower Matrix.
Tip №6: use the Eisenhower Matrix
Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the US and General of the US Army. He is believed to have said
“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”
His Matrix was based on this philosophy.
The Matrix consists of 4 blocks: A,B,C and D.
Block A is for important and urgent tasks: they should be done at first. Block В represents important, but not urgent tasks. They are next in order. Block C is for less important but still urgent ones and tasks in Block D are neither urgent nor important. You need to spread what’s left from your time on two last Blocks, while tasks from Block D should probably be eliminated.
With this approach you will learn to distinguish the tasks, which will lead you to real results, without wasting your time on useless things. Besides, the Matrix helps you to evaluate your productivity: in a perfect scenario, Block A (important and urgent tasks) should be empty. It means that you deal with everything on time and there is no force majeure. If it’s always full of tasks, then you should really give it a thought.
You can fill up this Matrix for a month, for a week or even for a day. You can use it occasionally: for example, in time of overload operation or during a crisis. Thus you will direct your attention and energy to what is most important at the moment.
How to sort out the tasks?
It is up to you, but here are some suggestions on where to start.
Put the tasks, concerning your health, crisis resolution, projects close to deadlines, and other emergency tasks into Block A (important and urgent).
In other words, there should be the tasks, which can be done only by you and immediately.
Block B (important, but not that urgent) is for everything, connected with: future projects planning, results evaluation, analyzing decisions and strategies, long term goals, perspectives assessment, improving relationships, education, recreation and family matters.
Basically, there should be the tasks, which can be done only by you, but you don’t have to do them immediately.
Block C (urgent, but not important) is for phone calls, breaks, some meetings and negotiations, public activity and other incoming urgent tasks, which don’t mean that much to you personally.
Meaning, there should be tasks, which can be delegated or eliminated without hurting your business, career and life in general.
Use Block D (not important and not urgent) for routine tasks, some letters, computer games, plunging in social networks, TV, idle talks.
In other words, anything that brings no benefit.
The Eisenhower Matrix can be used not only for planning. You can also evaluate how you spend your time. Fill up the Matrix with things that you did last week. How many of them were really important? How many of them were less important? It is an excellent food for thought.
How to plan your reading time
You can’t earn or bring back the time, but you can save it alright. Would you like to study all books from this list in just a week? And how about reading 52 books in a year, spending only one hour a week? You can do this with Storist interactive summaries.
By the way, a person needs 6 years on average to read 52 books.
It is like delegated reading: we have already read them and prepared a summary for each one. On top of it, we have developed mini-courses with simulators and real-life cases.
Go to Storist Catalogue: there is a collection of popular business literature, including a number of books on time management.