Can’t Keep Up With Your Hectic Life? 15 Ways To Master Your Time Usage

How To Become Wealthy

This is easily the longest post I’ve published on this platform.

Why? Because time is the most important resource we have. The wiser we become regarding our usage of time, the more fulfilling our lives will be.

I mean, who on earth doesn’t want to be more productive and achieve incredible results in life?

You simply have to Google “time management” to see the magnitude. As you can see below, there are 519 000 000 results:

time management

Every month, thousands of people search the net looking for time management solutions:

time management

According to Wikipedia, time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. 

It’s quite clear from the above that time management is a process. It’s also evident that you have to be intentional (consciously control) about your approach towards time management.

With all the information available, it seems odd that each year only 8% of society is able to achieve their news year’s resolutions.

Shocking, to say the least. But not surprising, considering how potentially ‘hectic’ life can get.

I truly believe that the best way to achieve great results is to simplify your life.

In other words, I am a huge advocate for “Less Is More”.

In this post, I want to highlight tips that will help you live a smarter life – one that allows you to shift your paradigm from activities to results so you can get more done in less time.

1. Give deep thought to your life

As the saying goes: “many roads lead to Rome”. We are gifted differently and are all unique. Yet, in some form or fashion, we all want to end up “successful”.

What does success mean to you?

What are you passionate about?

How can you use your passion and gifts to become successful?

The above are just some of the questions you need to give deep thought to. There are plenty others.

Way before you start planning your days, months and years – you need to have a thorough sense of life meaning.

Ultimately, you want to come up with a brief description of what life means to you. For me, this is what life means:

“Sharing knowledge with motivated and willing individuals on the power of living a life of abundance. In doing so, I create awareness and provide a wealth of information and solutions on how to achieve ultimate life abundance and balance in the Spiritual, Mental, Physical, Relationship, Career, Financial, Pleasurable and Charitable aspects of life”.

Every single thing that I do is based on the above.

2. Plan to be productive

Once you’ve figured out what life and success means to you, you then need to plot your life going forward.

Yes, this does mean you need to write your life on paper.

Personally, I think most people dread this. And this is the crux to time management.

Your resolutions each year have to be based on your life plan. Your monthly activities have to be based on your yearly plan or resolutions. Your weekly activities have to be based on your monthly goals. Your daily activities have to be based on your weekly plans.

Do you see the ripple effect?

Do you see how your daily activities are linked to you writing your life plan based on what you deem life success to be?

Writing your life on paper is a step I highly advise you don’t skip.

As an example, the inspiration behind this very blog was a plan. Not some overnight thumb-suck.

Without a plan, you’ll be headed nowhere fast!

3. Be proactively balanced

One of the greatest ways to manage your time is to pro-actively attend to all the areas in your life that you deem important.

You will notice that in my definition of what life means to me, I address 8 key areas that I think are important in my life.

Each and every single week, month and year – I make sure that I proactively take care of these areas.

One of the biggest time wasters is attending to issues in your life when they go wrong. Why wait until you get ill before you take care of yourself physically? Why wait until you lose yourself and identity before you take of yourself spiritually? Why wait until you burnout before you take some time away for pleasure?

You get my drift?

If you want to see results in your life, be proactive about living a balanced lifestyle. If you don’t, you’ll waste most of your time attending to life ‘emergencies’ you could have avoided by being pro-active.

4. Use an effective diary system

Every plan needs implementation. Your diary is probably your most important day-to-day tool.

Be it electronic or manual, it has to be your personal assistant. Personally, I prefer using a combination.

It needs to help you schedule your future. You need to be able to look at snapshots of your life ahead – be it a week, month or a quarter ahead.

In helping you schedule your future, it should help you pick up red flags. Jam packed activities and clashes are red flags. If you don’t see activities that cover all the important areas of your life, this should be a red flag.

I’ve already mentioned that activity and busyness doesn’t necessarily mean productivity. I’ve also highlighted that “less is more”.

So this tool should ideally reduce busyness and increase results and effectiveness.

It should also help you control your present. Being fully present in today is vital. Your diary should help you get the very best out of today. Living  too much in the future can potentially mess up your focus on the present.

5. Choose your relationships wisely

Your relationships – especially the intimate ones – are vital. Unlike the obvious time management aspects like “planning” and “usage of diaries”, the issue of relationships is less obvious. However, it is just as important.

They say you can’t choose your family. But you can choose your girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse. Likewise, you can choose your close circle of friends.

Relationships are fuelled by energy, be it positive or negative energy. Those that are based on negativity and time wastage should be canned.

If priorities change and differ drastically from those who you intimately relate to, you need to be very wise about how you relate to them.

6. Optimize your mornings

Whilst some people will argue that “they are not morning people”, your mornings are arguably the most important part of your day.

You are fresh and sharp.  If you rise really early, there are very few distractions. An hour or two spent on important tasks makes a world of difference.

I’m up between 04h30 and 05h30. The very first thing I do is pray. Then I’ll spend 45 minutes to an hour reading my Bible. Alternatively, I go to the gym or go for a run. This is my “me” time where I try to attend to my spiritual and physical health.

By 08h00, I’ve done a lot and I’m ready to take on the day.

7. Focus on your gifts and talents

We are all gifted differently. As such, it’s important to spend most of your time on those gifts.

Some gifts are very obvious, whilst others are hidden.

If you are not quite sure of your gifts or talents, serve others. Be a problem-solver. Over time, you’ll figure out what you naturally love doing. Once you’ve figured that out, hone in on it. Improve it and spend most of your time doing it.

I spend most of my time creating content on wealth creation. This, to me, comes naturally and I love doing it.

8. Create a “brain-storming” session

Despite our talents and gifts, there are key tasks that require special energy and brain power.

These are often tasks that yield a good return on time investment.

Schedule these sessions into your diary – be it once a week or daily.

Whether you are home or office based, these sessions should be your “do not disturb” moments where you kill difficult tasks.

Again, it is ideal to have these sessions early in the week and early in the morning.

9. Delegate smartly

Certain activities that you have to do, fall outside of your realm of ability and expertise. In addition, there are activities that you have the ability to do, but their return on time invested does not justify you personally attending to them.

Ultimately, you need to realise that you can’t do everything yourself.

Even if you can, you don’t have to.

Get others to assist you. Train people and upskill them so you can delegate. You can then spend your time monitoring the results of delegated activities.

An example of how this can come to play is this very platform. I built 99% of the RunForWealth platform. However, I am neither a web designer nor a technical person. My focus is content creation and circulation (marketing). For effective usage, I had to delegate.

So what did I do?

I delegated the design features (banner and logo) to an artistic guy. He was able to produce those in record time.

For functionality, I delegated as well. I went and searched for a fully integrated plugin that would allow me to build without stressing about aspects I am not good at. And voala, I found OptimizePress. It does wonders for my website.

10. Create an admin smart schedule

Administration is important. If not done smartly, it kills your time.

E-mails, social media and returning voice messages are all important activities.

We all receive a crazy amount of e-mails each day. Most of us have social media profiles that are important for business or work purposes. And most of us receive a huge volume of calls each day.

Allowing them to pile up will not help either as these are critical means of communication.

The best way to deal with all these admin issues is to attend to them in scheduled blocks.  Personally, I attend to e-mails, social media messages and return calls three times a day, in blocks of 15 – 30 minutes.

First thing in the morning, as soon as that laptop switches on, I check my e-mails and social media. This allows me to go through overnight emails. Then I will do the same thing around lunch time or early afternoon to address e-mails and calls/voice messages that come through in the morning. Then I attend to e-mails and social media at some point in the evening before I go to bed.

11. Pursue opportunities wisely

As an entrepreneur, opportunities spring up all the time. Likewise, for employees, opportunities are always there for them to ‘get involved in various projects’.

Opportunities help us build our dreams. Opportunities help us improve our skills and expertise. And when you are well on your way to building your dreams, opportunities will come and knock right at your door. In other words, opportunities will always be there.

When opportunities knock, always remember to bounce them off your “life meaning” and “life plan”.

You need to avoid constantly chasing and getting involved in opportunities for the sake of money or seeming important or busy.

Just because an opportunity is great does not mean it is great for you or the direction of your life. Dividing your time amongst various opportunities will kill your time. Often, you end up frustrated and de-railed.

Learn to say “no” to certain opportunities.

12. Don’t over-work yourself

This is a very tough one.

In research conducted, an American Time Survey Usage chart shows that an average of 8.7 hours per day is spent at work between the ages of 25 and 54. That is a whopping 36%. Considering we sleep an average of 7.7 hours per day, it leaves us with only 7.6 hours to do everything else.

Now, here’s the scary part. In the competitive life we live in, you get told to pump in more hours if you want to move up the corporate or business ladder. In other words, if you want to improve your career, over-work yourself.

All of a sudden, you are spending 10 – 12 hours per day on your career. That’s a crazy 42% – 50% spent working.

Before you know it, you are in over-work mode.

Overworking yourself kills time in two ways.

The first is that eventually you get burnt out. But, before the burn out, you are less effective because you are constantly fatigued. Therefore, your productivity declines way before the burnout.

Secondly, if you are working 10 – 12 hours per day and sleeping 7 – 8 hours, you only have 5 – 8 hours to attend to all other areas of your life. And so family, health, relationship and your spiritual health begin to suffer. All of sudden, you are putting out fires in all those areas, all of which wastes a huge amount of time.

In the end, you end up worse off.

13. Review your performance

Keeping tabs on EVERYTHING you do is essential. This is probably the most important area of any activity.

Without a progress report, you’ll find it difficult to improve. Even if you do improve, it will be difficult to identify areas that are yielding the best results.

When you can identify areas that yield maximum results, you are able to optimize your activities.

I keep close tabs on all my activities in all 8 areas of my life.

Do you now see why it is advisable to do less? Do you now see why it is important not to chase opportunities and get involved in everything that comes your way? Imagine trying to manage and track progress on all these opportunities.

Take time at the end of each week or month to analyse results.

14. Schedule down time

I’ve already mentioned that over-working yourself will result in fatigue, burn out and time wastage.

To pro-actively avoid this, you need to schedule regular down time and spend time on your relationship and pleasurable wealth.

These are the areas of your life where you simply relax and enjoy life. This can be daily or every week, preferably on weekends. This should also happen in scheduled blocks during the year, where you get away and go on holiday.

These scheduled down times are your “let loose” moments.

The most effective way to get this done is to plan ahead. Use public holidays during the year to spend time on your relationships and pleasure.

This allows you to refresh and de-stress. When you refresh, you are able to re-boot and tackle life with enthusiasm and focus.

15. Just do it!

It’s amazing how many people wait for the perfect time to get started with living the life of their dreams.

There’ll never be a perfect time to start thinking about life success really means to you.

There’ll never be a perfect time to plan your life.

There’ll never be a perfect time to start implementing what gives you sleepless nights.

If you don’t get started, you’ll never have anything to measure and analyse.

You don’t have to be perfect. Things won’t always go the way you plan. But it’s fine.

Get started and “just do it!”

You’ll fall and fail a few times. You’ll get egg all over yourself for pushing boundaries and seeking a fulfilled life.

When the chips are down, remember, it takes time and practice to master anything, and time management is no different.

Conclusion

The essence to mastering your time is defining what life means to you.

You then need to compile a plan in line with what life means to, focusing on highlighting key and important areas in your life.

Following that, you implement.

Lastly, you need to measure and identify your areas of greatest progress. Hone in on them and spend most of your time doing those activities. Delegate the other areas and monitor them.

In a world where everyone is hectic, the wisest thing you can do is remember that “Less Is More”. Do less, more important activities and you’ll be amazed how effective you’ll be.

I hope this post will help you live an enjoyable and fulfilled lifestyle, despite the challenges this type of approach will attract.

God Bless!

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