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Time management – let’s celebrate success

Time Management – Let’s Celebrate Success

This article explores the extent to which we manage time well already, and how just marginal improvement can be of enormous significance. Let us start by celebrating our successes. Many of us have developed routines that work well for us. These routines can involve household chores, preparing meals, taking exercise, travelling arrangements,hobbies and pastimes.

Much of this has become a habit – based upon what we have got used to suiting our needs. However habits are…… well habits, and we tend not to concern ourselves about whether they remain as suitable as they once did.

The majority of people give little regard to time management, except perhaps when at work. Our working life can be highly demanding and we prefer to relax away from that atmosphere. Home and family life tends to be a carried on in a much more relaxed attitude to how time is spent and organised in a much more haphazard way.

As time passes we become content with our routines giving little regard to whether they might be improved. We often follow them even when other things change and they gradually work less well. Much of this is a result of the way different people in a household live together and need and want to know that others will behave and do things as expected.

Furthermore, to be overly concerned about how each waking moment is used would be to invite stress and is a dangerous attitude and state of mind.

But – and this is key – this attitude means that we only manage time well up to a point. Accepting this works in our favour – and against us. Our habits allow us to function without having to think through what is required each time, but unthinking acceptance of the status quo can be like dragging an anchor.

Life does not stand still. Our routines should change accordingly. The phrase “old habits die hard” speaks volumes for an attitude that does not embrace change …. leading to stagnation and failure. The only way to make progress is to closely examine our habitual routines periodically and then unpick those that do not serve us well. Encouragingly, changing out-dated practices can often save significant and disproportionate amounts of time.

To illustrate the point, let us suppose that you run your own business and work and travel takes 10 hours a day. Better organisation could release an hour each day. That is a 10% saving. But that saving is worth so much more. If other commitments leave you only 2 hours of free time each day, then that extra hour gives you 50% extra free time. The same principle applies to saving 10% of the time on home-based tasks each week.

If we cope reasonable well with little onsideration, think how much more could be achieved with real conscious effort to make best use of our time. Ambitions are often achieved by utilising marginal time.

So, what is there to celebrate in this? Firstly, by forming what were once good habits demonstrates that almost all of us can manage time effectively – if only up to a point. Secondly, we should be gladdened to know that marginal improvement can have enormous impact. Thirdly, we can use this approach both at home and at work – seeking gains from examining and adapting established routines works well in any situation.

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