Personal Growth Through Time Management

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Personal time management is one key to a better life and enhanced success.

Time management is basically about being focused. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of efforts that are not time managed generate only 20% of the desired output. However, 80% of the desired output can be generated using only 20% of time-managed effort. Although the ratio '80:20' depends on the situation, it emphasizes how much can be lost without time management and how much can be gained with time management.

Unfortunately, some people view time management only as a list of rules that involves scheduling appointments, goal setting, thorough planning, creating things-to-do lists and prioritizing. These are indeed core basics that should be understood to develop efficient skills in personal time management. But, these basic skills should be fine-tuned to include subtle points of each skill, points that can give you that extra reserve to achieve the results you desire.

The basic skills are only tools one can apply. By themselves, especially if taken to extremes, they will only inundate you with administrative tasks that distract from your main goal. It is easy to let them get out of balance and become your main focus of activity, thereby becoming an end in themselves. There are more skills involved in time management than the core basics. Skills such as decision making, inherent abilities such as emotional intelligence and critical thinking are also essential to your personal growth.

Personal time management involves everything you do. No matter how big and no matter how small, everything counts. Each new bit of knowledge you acquire, each new advice you consider, each new skill you develop should be taken into consideration.

A balanced, yet successful and fulfilling, life-style should be the key result of exercising personal time management. This is the main aspect that many practitioners of personal time management fail to grasp. Time management is about getting results, not about being busy.

Six key areas that personal time management seeks to improve in anyone's life are physical, intellectual, social, career, emotional and spiritual. The physical aspect involves having a healthy body, less stress and fatigue. The intellectual aspect involves learning and other mental growth activities. The social aspect involves developing personal or intimate relations and being an active contributor to society. The career aspect exercises your study/learn/work/produce ethic. The emotional aspect manifests appropriate feelings and desires. The spiritual aspect involves a personal quest for meaning.

Thoroughly planning and having a set of things to do for each of the key areas may not be very practical, but determining which area in your life is not being given enough attention is part of time management. Each area creates the whole you, if you are ignoring one area then you are ignoring an important part of yourself.

Personal time management is not meant to be a daunting task. Rather, it is a very sensible and reasonable approach in solving problems big or small. A great way of learning time management and improving your personal life is to follow several basic activities. One of them is to write down your goals and review then often, whether your goals be immediate or long-term. A way to do this is to keep a list that is always accessible to you. Always determine which task is necessary or not necessary in achieving your goals and which activities are helping you maintain a balanced life style.

Other approaches include:

• Each and every one of us has a peek time and a time when we slow down, these are our natural cycles. Do the difficult tasks when you are the sharpest.

• Learn to say "No". You actually see this advice often. Heed it even if it involves saying the word to family or friends. It is a delicate matter in the workplace so you have to get the feel of your company’s culture and respond accordingly.

• Pat yourself at the back or just reward yourself in some manner for effective time management results.

• Try to get cooperation from people around you who are benefiting from your time management efforts. Create win-win situations and you will achieve a snowballing effect of mutual success.

• Don't procrastinate. Attend to necessary things immediately. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to achieve your goals.

• Have a positive attitude and set yourself up for success. But be realistic in your approach in achieving your goals. This does not necessarily being discouraged when “wiser” people tell you something can not be done or that you are not capable of the achievement you desire. Especially, do no let yourself be trapped in a culture of failure. Yet, it is true that reality rules. Just strive for a well-considered balance between the dictates of reality and your urge to achieve.

• You may find it useful to keep a record or journal of your activities. This will help you get things in their proper perspective. If you are engaged in a project for a customer, a weekly status report does nicely.

We have been examining some thoughts in personal time management. These were offered for your consideration as you strive to become well-rounded and successful. As others have said, personal time management is the art and science of building a better life. From the moment you integrate time management skills into your life, you have opened several options that can provide a broad spectrum of opportunities to facilitate your personal growth and success.

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