Simple and Effective Time Management Advice
I am a great believer in getting from A to B as quickly as possible so this page about time management advice follows this belief. To this end I want to introduce you to a principle that should improve your life immensely if you use it daily.
The time management advice that I have read and used over the years tends to be too complicated and hard to implement on a daily basis. With this in mind the most important piece of advice I can give you is something called the 80:20 rule.
"The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes......"
Applying this rule will make a huge difference to your time management, from improving work and business situations to managing domestic chores or improving your social life.
A simple definition of the rule is....
20% of your efforts make 80% of a difference and conversely 80% of your efforts only make 20% of a difference.
In other words choose the most important tasks that are going to move you closer to your goals.
This is the best piece of time management advice I have ever used.
The actual percentage is just a rule of thumb, that is you could just as easily have 75-25 or 85-15 however the principle is very important and I urge you to use it.
How will I know what tasks to concentrate on?
Well that's easy, because you should have already worked out what your goals are and therefore will gravitate towards those. This is where you can learn how to formulate your own smart goals.
How do I implement the 80-20 rule on a daily basis?
Here is some more time management advice you can use whilst incorporating the 80-20 rule:
Time management advice rule One
The To Do List - this is an extremely important tool but equally important is how it is structured.
Many to do lists are far too long and many people feel they are not time managing effectively or worse still they don't actually want to do the tasks on their list. This frequently happens if your job, career or even business goals are not actually your goals. It is incredible to think that most of the population fall into this category and unfortunately I used to be one of them.
Ok, assuming you are persuing your own goals the way you structure an 80-20 to do list is easy....
Write 2 headings...
"20% of what I do makes 80% difference"
"80% of what I do makes 20% difference"
Do not shorten these headings, they are there to constantly remind you of the 80-20 rule.
Under the first heading write a maximum of five tasks that will make a big difference and move you closer to your goals. These are the tasks that you will complete for that day no matter what happens! Nothing will get in your way!
Note, it is important to limit this list to five so that you do indeed pick the most important tasks.
Under no circumstances pick anymore than FIVE.
If you feel you have more then you are not prioritising. Keep asking yourself which ones will move you closer to your goals the most.
Another reason to limit your most important tasks to five is quite simply to more easily achieve them which will increase the benefits of this time management advice and help improve your life.
When you achieve these tasks consistently you will feel soooo motivated!
Under the second heading write as many tasks as you want, 5,10 or 100 it really doesn't matter how many and it really doesn't matter if you achieve them that day either.
I'll let you into a little secret, I don't often even start the tasks under the second heading. This will happen to you too when you realise that they don't really move you forward that much.
Time management advice rule two
Emails - I have mentioned emails separately under time management advice because emails are such a large part of our lives. We are inundated with them daily. This is an excellent area to demonstrate the effectiveness of the 80-20 rule.
I receive approximately 70 to 80 emails per day. If I were to answer them all it wouldn't be long before I ended up in a straight jacket.
Applying our little rule would mean I should only answer about 15 of them. In reality I only answer about 8-10, keep 5 or 6 floating around for a couple of days just in case they turn out to be important - I have a separate folder for these - and hit the delete button for the rest.
Is it not strange how those supposedly important emails that you never answered or deleted don't seem to matter?
Very rarely does anybody follow them up. What I mean is they are not important to you and very often they are not important to the person sending them.
If they were the person sending you the email would send you another or phone you because you would have given that important person an alternative method of contacting you....right?
Time management advice rule three
Never, never ever multi-task! - It will decrease your effectiveness and make you feel overwhelmed. It is bad for your mental health, in particular your creative being.
You don't need to multi-task now anyway because you are now using this time management advice successfuly. You only have a maximum of five important tasks to perform daily which will quickly move you towards your life goals - yes?
How do we know we are concentrating on the important 20% of tasks that give us the 80% return?
You will know you are concentrating on the important 20% which will give you the 80% return when:
- you feel motivated and happy because you are achieving tasks which bring you closer to your life goals(remember you need to work out what these are first);
- if there are tasks you don't want to do you are happy to do them because you know they help you move towards your life goals or you out source them to people who have the skills to complete them more quickly and effectively;
- you consistently feel energetic and smile alot because you are being effective in achieving or bringing your goals one step closer.
You will know you are not concentrating on the 20% which gives you the 80% return when:
- you feel unmotivated because you are spending time doing other peoples' tasks and not your own;
- quite often you are multitasking (remember what I said above) because they are considered urgent tasks by someone else;
- you feel lethargic and uninspired frequently having to push yourself to finish or even start tasks;
- the tasks are quite often mundane or boring or tasks which you don't feel skilled enough to complete;
- you start to complain alot about your job or tasks and about other people and situations.
Here are a couple of life situations to help you along:
1. Do you concentrate your time on the 20% of your customers that give you the biggest revenue?
....or do you concentrate on a few of the remaining 80% who don't give you much revenue but are always complaining about your service and take up most of your valuable time writing to you, wanting special deals, discounts or some other enhancement?
2. Do you concentrate your time on the 20% of friends that give you the greatest support and help?
....or do you concentrate on the other 80% who do not support or help you in any way and might actually be using and taking from you?
The above principle is for 'rule of thumb' applications and I have included it because I find it extremely effective in dealing with day to day tasks in particular my to do list.
I hope you use it because it will transform your life especially if you find yourself multitasking or not on purpose in life.
Subscribe to Ultimate Wealth Tips
[ ?] Subscribe To
Time Management Advice and Inspiration
"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."
M. Scott Peck
"Your greatest resource is your time."
"Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year - and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!
"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein."
H. Jackson Brown