Most of us complain about time, which passes too quickly. Sometimes we cannot understand how fast the time has flown… And occasionally we even want it to pass by even quicker, we wait for the evenings, weekends or holidays. Some people even wait for their retirements to realize their biggest dreams, like fishing by the lake and resting1. But in fact, while waiting for those, it is our life that slips away…
“Dost thou love life?
Then do not squander time,
for that is the stuff life is made of.”
We wish the day to be more than 24 hours, but it is exactly 24 hoursJ. We have a logical excuse for things we could not do, it is because; “the day is not more than 24 hours”. But this excuse loses its validity when we notice somebody doing the same job and similar things as we do, but able to spare time for his/her hobbies, education, personal development and even travelling as well. We have to pay attention and observe how he/she is managing all these together, what kind of a method she/he is using. These kinds of people love to live and feel the moment. Furthermore, they don’t like wasting their time.
“The day is of infinite length for him who knows how to appreciate and use it.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Firstly, we have to make a self-evaluation. It is a good way to ask ourselves some questions to do that:
- How many hours do you sleep?
- How do you distribute the hours of the day among your basic needs? (How many hours for working, for sleeping, for self-improvement)?
- Do you get late usually?
- Do you miss deadlines frequently?
- Do you find it hard to focus on something?
The aim is to be able to say this; “I did lots of things today, and I lived today to the fullest.” I am sure you had some days that seemed like more than 24 hours because you did many things. Here are some tips to live your days to the fullest:
I like the idea of Erdal Demirkıran (writer of the book “Only Fools Sleep for 8 Hours”), “Any level headed person does not give away one third of her lifetime to sleep.” It is like living only twenty years, if you are thirty years old.
“The one who wakes up with the sun will have plenty of time. The one, who waits for the day with a sense of responsibility and a passion for improvement, wakes up before the morning lights.”
Decide on your priorities:
Find out and make a decision about what are the really important things in your life and work. Start spending your time on them. At the beginning of the day, make a list of each task by putting them in order according to their level of importance and deadline. It will be good to use an agenda or an application like Outlook to plan and monitor the sequence of them. Mark the most important ones.
Focus on and set deadline for each task:
Focus on what you are doing. Block out distractions such as Facebook, MSN Messenger and unimportant calls. Whatever you do, be aware of the time wasting factors and get rid of them. Embrace the moment and be in it.
E-mails are also significant distractors and obstacles for focusing on. You will notice that most of them are not important matters, some of them are just “cc”. It is a good way to spare specific time for e-mail reading as well (in the morning, afternoon and evening). You may just check it for the ones signed “high importance”.
While you are planning your day, set deadlines for each of the tasks. You can prepare a report in one hour or it can take a whole day. If we decide to do it in one hour, we will focus on it and achieve this aim. You should set, preferably multiple deadlines for more complex tasks (Separate a complex task into action steps and set target timing for each).
Just like Lao Tzu said in Tao Te Ching: “In action, watch the timing”
The technique named Pomodoro is helpful in increasing your consciousness about time and will assist you to focus on a certain task. This technique suggests using a timer (even your phone or kitchen timer), setting it to 25 minutes and starting it with a promise to yourself “I will spend 25 minutes on this task and I will not interrupt myself.”
You have to be conscious all the time. You can easily find yourself sitting in front of the TV, just zapping and spending your hours doing nothing, even without watching any specific show or movie (It is not so bad to watch TV, but decide on what to watch first to make it effective). Decide what you want to do and do not waste your valuable time.
Double the time:
By means of doing two things at the same time, you can discover new ways to increase the efficiency and productivity.
“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.” William of Occam (1300-1350)
If you can do two things at the same time, you will be more productive in time management. For instance; while working, you can also develop yourself. You can read while you are running on a treadmill, doing sports. You can finish audio books or learn a new language while you are driving. Think about it. You will surely find useful methods; and share them with us pleaseJ.
Delegation is also a way to improve productivity, if you are working with teams. It helps you to multiply your time if you do the delegation properly.
“I not only use all the brains I have, but all that I can borrow.” Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States
Ask yourself every day “What have I done today?”. There is an application called “Idone this” for tracking and sharing what you did every day. You may also have a diary. Actually, it inspires you to get more things done, when you live a day to the fullest.
“Do not postpone anything. Settle up with life every day. The one who accomplished his daily tasks do not need more time. If he has this need, he feels fear and hunger for tomorrow. If one wastes today, he will be dependant to the future… Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life. He who has thus prepared himself, he whose daily life has been a rounded whole, is easy in his mind.” Seneca
- 1. “The Butterfly Inside Your Palm” (The Butterfly in your Palm), Ahmet Şerif İzgören
- 2. “Bilgeliğin Peşinde – Ders Notları” (In Pursuit of Wisdom – Lecture Notes), Alp Saldamlı