• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
businessday logo


Make your time productive to improve your money worth


Time is the most expensive resource in the world. No amount of money can buy you time. Time cannot be bought, stored or stopped; every second that passes is gone forever and can never be recovered or re-used, say experts.

In view of this, they say effective time management enables you to be productive at the end the day and still have time to rest.

Ajakaiye, a retired military officer, said time management is a set of skills, tools and systems that work together to help you get more value out of your time with the aim of improving the quality of your life.

It is important to note that time management is a broad subject that covers many areas from day to day actions, he said.

“The most common form of stress experienced by people today is the feeling of being overwhelmed with far too much to do and not enough time to do it, in fact, ‘time poverty’ is the single problem facing majority of workers today,” he said.

He told a group of leaders that effective management of time requires them to assume responsibility. He added that they should work on being more proactive than reactive in their schedule. “While emergencies and urgent situations do arise, try to get on top of things through careful planning, organisation, and learning to say ‘no’”, he said.

“Don’t be a slave to the cell phone or email. You check messages and return calls and emails at set times during the day.”

To manage your time more efficiently experts say you should begin to organise your thoughts, plans, files and activities. They say you need to start by keeping a daily log of how you spend your time during a one-week period.

According to experts, note the amount of time you spend on small tasks or interruptions, which take you away from important work.

Furthermore, they say once you have identified your time usage, evaluate each type of activity and the time spent on each. You should be able to differentiate between activities that are important to operations and the ones that are time stealers.

After you realign non-productive or less productive tasks, plan to use your new found time. Block the time for analysing major operational decisions, future planning, or sales calls, among others.

Other ways to effectively manage your busy schedule, Ajakaiye said, is to reduce “mental clutter” by writing down your thoughts, ideas among others, putting them on paper (or in a computer file) helps clear the mind and reduce anxiety.

He warned that you should beware of “time suckers”- those activities that can suck away hours of your time, things like online games, Facebook, television and so on. “In moderation, these activities are fine. In fact, some are necessary. But moderation is key,” he said.