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Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M.Scott Peck.

Those who make the worst use of their time are usually the first to complain of its shortness. We often take too long to think about doing things — scurrying from task to task, running errands, making calls, organizing something — you know the usual “busy” stuff which leaves us in a frenzy of undone activities. The people who do this often subscribe to the idea that “staying busy” means you’re working hard and are going to be more successful. The key to a clear space in life that includes time for people, time for rest, time for work, and time for play is to time management.

Time management is all about working smarter, not harder. There are thoughtful ways of getting work done efficiently or fully accomplished. Rather than being robotic in your approach to work, we’ve compiled a list of time management tips to nudge you in the right direction.

Dedicate the first 30 minutes of your day to plan

The most important time of the day is the time you use to schedule/plan your day. So before you commence your daily activities, plan out what you have to do for the next 24 hours and do not forget to also plan for interruptions.

Walk around with your planner

Carry with you a schedule or a planner wherever you go to record your thoughts, ideas, goals, and to decide what results from your plans you want to attain.

Prioritize ruthlessly

You should start each planning session with prioritizing the tasks for the day and setting your benchmark. Do not take things too far by deeming and classifying every task at hand as urgent and important. At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for. Once you’re done, the day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential.

Set time limits for your tasks

Instead of just sitting down to work on a project and thinking, “I’m going to be here until this is done,” try thinking, “I’m going to work on this for three hours”.The time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient, even if you end up having to go back and add a bit later.

Establish routines and stick to them

While crises will arise, you’ll be much more productive if you can follow routines most of the time. For most people, creating and following a routine lets them get right down to the tasks of the day rather than frittering away time getting started.

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