By re-energizing and renewing yourself frequently, you will avoid burnout and become much more motivated and productive. Don’t keep your nose to the grindstone for years and wait for retirement to travel. Balance and consistency are the keys. Enjoy the process, not just the result. Don’t fight the passing of time. Don’t fear it, squander it, or try to hide from it under a superficial cosmetic veil of fads and indulgences. Life and time go together. Do enjoy each phase of life. Do make the most of each day, and draw maximum joy from each moment.
Many people today are concerned with quality time – time generally defined in part as that spent on recreation, personal pursuits, time with children, spouses and friends. While I certainly believe quality time is important, I believe two other aspects of time are equally important.
First, one must also spend quantity time. The average father spends less than 30 minutes each week in direct one-on-one communication with each of his children. How can we possibly expect good family relationships with so little communication?
Second, one must spend regular time. Many supervisors and company presidents go for weeks, even months, without seeing many of their employees. There’s no substitute for regular meetings and open forums in which managers and team members can share ideas.
Time has a dual structure. On one hand, we live our daily routines meeting present contingencies as they arise. On the other hand, our most ambitious goals and desires need time so that they can be assembled and cemented. A long-term goal connects pieces of time into one block. These blocks can be imagined and projected into the future as we do when we set goals for ourselves. Or, these blocks of time can be created in retrospect as we do when we look back at what we’ve accomplished.
It’s not in the image of our big dreams that we run the risk of losing our focus and motivation. It’s the drudgery and routine of our daily lives that present the greatest danger to our hopes for achievement. Good time management means that you maximize the daily return on the energy and mental effort you expend.
Ways to maximize your time productivity:
· Write down in one place all the important contacts you have and all of your goals and priorities. Make a back up copy, preferably on CD, DVD or Zip disc. Write down every commitment you make at the time you make it.
· Stop wasting the first hour of your workday. Having the chat and first cup of coffee, reading the paper, and socializing are the three costliest opening exercises that lower productivity.
· Do one thing well at a time. It takes time to start and stop work on each activity. Stay with a task until it is completed.
· Don’t open unimportant mail. More than a fourth of the mail you receive can be tossed before you open or read it, and that includes e-mail.
· Handle each piece of paper only once and never more than twice. Don’t set aside anything without taking action. Carry work, reading material, audiotapes and your laptop computer with you everywhere you go. Convert down time into uplink time.
· Spend twenty minutes at the beginning of each week and ten minutes at the beginning of each day planning your to do list.
· Set aside personal relaxation time during the day. Don’t work during lunch. It’s neither noble nor nutritional to skip important energy input and stress-relieving time. Throughout the day, ask yourself, “What’s the best use of my time right now?” As the day grows short, focus on projects you can least afford to leave undone.
· And as we said at the beginning of this message, take vacations often, mini-vacations of two or three days, and leave your work at home. The harder you work, the more you need to balance your exercise and leisure time.
Action Idea: Plan a relaxing 3-day vacation within the next three months without taking any business work with you. Reserve it on your calendar this week.
By Denis Waitley