How to effectively manage time - a slightly different perspective

Empowerment Coaching Blog-Wheel of Life
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To start with, I agree with the statement that sometimes you can't really manage. You can manage yourself over time. Time is free and it flows steadily, free like a river. How we perceive it and how we use it depends on us.

There are various techniques for effectively scheduling your activities over time. However, I would like to write about a slightly different perspective on "time management". In my opinion, introducing changes in the field that I want to write about may bring incomparably greater benefits than mastery in any of the typical techniques.

This absolutely does not mean that I disagree with these techniques. On the contrary - I use them in my own life. However, I would like to show a broader context of our "being", tell about a general compass, without which we can manage time extremely effectively, but sometimes badly invested.

So let's start with a brief description of common techniques.

Pareto Principle (also known as 80/20 rule)

Regarding time, it says that 20% of our efforts bring 80% results. So the point is to think carefully about where to concentrate our efforts before the concept of action. For example, ask yourself: which of our actions will most help us achieve the intended results?

The Eisenhower matrix

In other words, the technique of dividing cases according to the criteria: important and urgent. In short, the idea is to be able to choose in the first place those matters that are important, but not necessarily urgent. Eisenhower himself said, "What is urgent is seldom important. And what is important is rarely urgent."

The technique of planning your calendar according to the proportion of 70/30

I believe this technique can be of use to people who are leaders at work. It consists of the fact that we ALWAYS leave 30% of our calendar unplanned. It is a buffer for unforeseen events. We do not know all matters (or do not remember) at the moment and which others may turn to.

The principle of dealing with only one case at a time

This is, in my opinion, a very important detail. It is especially important for all people who are leaders/managers working in larger organizations. Writes about it, among others Peter Drucker, a world authority in the field of management theory:

An effective manager does not get involved in anything but this one, only task on which he focuses his strength. Later, he will review the topics and choose the next task that will be at the top of his list from now on.”

On the occasion of this principle, I would also like to mention the important skill, in my opinion, to stick to one's course, keep one's concentration and deal with "time eaters".

If at work you have decided to take care of a selected matter (e.g. creating a presentation or preparing an analysis) - do not answer the phone (unless the family is calling on a hotline), do not check your e-mail, do not talk to the pass. If you have your own room - close the door. If you work in an "open space" - put on headphones or go to a free conference room.

If you plan to be a boss as part of your career (or you already are, but you want to be even bigger), in my opinion, this skill will play an increasingly important role.

And on this occasion, I would also like to mention that recently scientists busted the myth of multitasking. It turns out that it is simply impossible because of how our brain is constructed and how it works. I also recommend a book on this topic "The Myth of Multitasking: How 'Doing It All' Gets Nothing Done" by Dave Crenshaw


And now a few words about a different perspective of time management, which I wanted to write about in this post

Time management techniques are presented mainly in the context of our work. Where are the rest of our lives?

So I would like to present a different model, which is WORTH STARTING and only then apply the techniques described above.

Let's divide our "world" into 4 areas:

  1. I myself - my knowledge, skills, talents, experiences, passions, life goal, health, personal and spiritual development. Regardless of where I work and who I love at the moment.

  2. My loved ones - relationships with my relatives. Wife, husband, children, parents, siblings, fiance, fiancée. Close friends.

  3. My job and professional career - I don't need any explanations here.

  4. My social life - colleagues, friends, neighbors, associations, clubs, housing community, church (understood as a community), charity, volunteering.

Imagine a square that you divide into 4 equal quarters (similar to the Eisenhower Matrix). Now, in each of these quadrants, draw a circle and let each circle correspond to one of the 4 areas mentioned above. And let the radius of each circle show the amount of time you are currently devoting to that area in your life.

"Pictures speak more than 1000 words". So, please have a look at your own drawing. It's you! Are you satisfied with this picture? Is it in balance?

If not - please draw the proportion of areas that you would like to obtain, e.g. in 6 months, in a year, in 3 years. And from tomorrow on, invest your time accordingly.

“Moments of freedom will never be given to you. You must take them.”

A wise coach can help you a lot through this process. Especially when your first discoveries turn out to be shocking. And especially when you first think that you can't change much anyway or that you don't have the strength (or worse, time!).

And finally, let's reveal the secret that the model proposed in this post is a version (or simplification) of an awareness-raising tool that is often used in the coaching process. It is the Wheel of Life and you can find many versions of it today. One of them is nicely described HERE

There are also many places on the Internet where you can conduct such a test online (e.g. HERE) and immediately get a nice graphic result. But I believe that this valuable exercise can be done without the Internet 😎

See also:

Leaveism or Why people work while on holidays

I am busy, therefore I am

7 Wonders of the world - how do you view the world?

Human personal development - ep. 1

What are you hiding in your nooks and crannies - ep. 1

Life itself - how much you can take?

A joyful spring. And a seagull named Jonathan

How often do you have to and how often do you choose?

#work #PersonalDevelopment #TimeManagement #time #awareness #priorities #balance