Time Management

Are Time Management Classes Really Necessary?

Why ‘Gaining Control’ Over Time Is a Flawed Paradigm – And Understanding Time Management Will Set You Free!

 

Time management classes teach you how to draw up lists of things to do, prioritize them, and execute efficiently. This creates the illusion of controlling time. But unless you really understand the nature of time and what managing it really means, you’ll never be free of the shackles of “too little time”.

Time is natural. Since pre-historic times, time has been perceived in harmony with nature. The passage of day into night, the cycle of seasons, and the predictable patterns of evolution of time have all been watched, accepted and understood by mankind.

In the modern world, however, the wristwatch (or alarm clock) has shifted this perception and created a different understanding of time. It has become something to manage, control and optimize – because we think that things will spiral out of control otherwise.

Reality? They are spiralling out of control anyway!

So what’s a man (or woman) to do? Well, when you understand what time management really involves, you’ll discover the secret that ancients knew and internalize the concept of natural time – which will set you free from the stress and anxiety of modern time management, and at the same time make you super-effective and hyper-efficient.

Task-Based To Time-Based Living

Things were simpler in the days when people viewed life through a task-based lens. You harvested the land and planted seeds. It didn’t matter how long it took, you completed the task. You hunted prey, cooked it, and ate it. How many hours or minutes you spend doing it hardly mattered.

And then, as the industrial age developed, the factory re-defined your job by the time it took to complete – because more efficient workers added to the productivity of the enterprise. The time-table, time sheet and duty hours gained prominence.

You no longer worked from sunrise to sunset. You work from 9-to-5… and are pressured to get as much as possible done in this time. That’s stressful, and so we needed time management classes to instruct us on doing this well.

To Do Lists, Priorities And Effectiveness

Time management classes focused on teaching managers and employees (as well as CEOs and entrepreneurs) how to squeeze the most efficiency out of their working hours. To do lists gained prominence after the legendary Charles Schwab was advised to draw up a list of his 6 top tasks every day and work his way down them… which he found dramatically enhanced his productivity.

But even if we make to do lists of 6 (or, as is more popular these days, 10) of your top chores and prioritize them by order to focus on getting each done, it still won’t make you more effective. That’s why time management classes in the mid-1960s shifted emphasis to guiding students to be more effective.

That happened by carefully picking the tasks to focus on, by asking 3 questions:

  • 1. Does this need to be done?
  • 2. Do I have to be the one doing it?
  • 3. Am I wasting someone else’s time doing it?

The immediate results were seductively great, and more people embraced the philosophy of “controlling time” through this approach. But as efficiency grew, people became aware of a disturbing reality. They weren’t any less busy or happier because of their time management systems.

Are Time Management Classes Necessary?

Yes. And they need to teach a different message. One that is rooted in the age-old understanding of time as an ‘internal’ thing, that’s a part of our nature, and something we must work with in harmony with. Time Management Tao is about embracing this inherent naturalness of time, making it a facet of all our efforts, and going with the flow to get more done in less time.

This attitude takes away the stress and anxiety that go with fighting time deadlines and trying to conform to time limits imposed from the ‘outside’. It is certainly important to get things done on schedule, to be at an appointment on time, and to work with specific time frames on projects and targets. But it is also important to do it in a way that resonates with the very nature of time, and that is non-confrontational or stressful.

Our approach with time management classes is to teach a style of time management rooted in balance. We help you find your center – and realize what’s most important for you to get done. We guide you to understand order, so that you won’t fret and worry about trying to rush things ahead of their natural schedule. We show you how to choose the right timing for any task, so that it gets done almost automatically, with the least effort and time.

All of this will be revealed on this website. You can explore sections that will teach you about how to:

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Time Management Ideas To Improve Your Efficiency

Time management ideas can be extremely powerful in transforming your success. The right idea, when implemented effectively, can double, triple or even quadruple your efficiency – with just a simple tweak to what you’re already doing. Here are two time management ideas that you’ll find helpful.

Mind Maps On Paper

When beginning a complex project, try to ‘think on paper’. Fill a blank sheet with random notes, often radiating out of a central theme or purpose. As an example, for a project where the central theme is building awareness about a cause and raising funds, the steps to take might include lists of 10 to 12 items for each, and some tasks needed to be broken down into smaller parts.

There may be people to meet and ask for support with spreading the word. A list of promotional activities to carry out, announcements to write, and other trivia will fill up your time sheet. At the end, when the paper is filled with random thoughts, you can spend an hour formulating a sequential plan.

The best time management ideas are of no use without correct implementation. But when you set out to execute a well-thought plan, you exponentially increase the chance of success with it. This simple process will save you hours of time later down the line. If you just plunge in and start, you’ll only get stuck at various stages – and maybe forget to cover a few bases.

Select Off-Peak Times To Get Work Done

Ever been stuck in rush-hour traffic? Or caught in a long queue at the check-out counter at the supermarket? Or waited for your turn at the popular rides in theme parks?

Not fun.

Not fun at all.

Plus, think of the enormous waste of precious time. That’s why you must learn to live your life ‘off-peak’.

Try and drive to work a bit earlier to beat the traffic jams. Encourage your spouse or significant other to do the bulk of your shopping around the middle of the month, when stores are less crowded.

Avoid going to amusement parks on holidays, but instead take time off during regular work hours to enjoy the peaceful, uncrowded entertainment.

There are times when you must try new time management ideas and do things during peak hours. For instance, if your ‘friends’ or partners are known for long-winded drawn out conversations on the phone, try calling them when they are likely to be busiest – so THEY try and cut the conversation short (saving you time!)

By tailoring the timing of what you do, you’ll benefit from the ‘off-peak’ periods in multiple ways. Timing is an important tenet of the Time Management Tao philosophy, which is based on learning to:

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A Powerful Time Management Principle

Let me share a story which teaches a powerful time management principle. It applies to everyone, no matter what your occupation or position in life. The story is one that a leading time management expert uses in lectures to his audiences, to drive home a point.

He used a practical demonstration that those students will never forget. Commit this story to your memory… and think about it as you plan your own day, week – and life.

So, here’s this expert, standing in front of an audience of high-powered over achievers. He looked at the crowd of eager, ambitious faces listening attentively to him, curious to learn about the powerful time management principle he had promised them.

He said, “Ok, it’s time for a quiz.”

Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set in on a table in front of him. He then produced about a dozen fist sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class said, “Yes.” You see, they hadn’t yet learned this unusual time management principle – once they had, their answers would be different!

So, the Professor smiled and asked, “Really?”

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is this jar full?”

By this time the class was onto him.

“Probably not,” one of them answered.

“Good!” answered the expert. And again he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.

He started pouring the sand in, and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted.

Once more he said, “Good!” He grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked,

“What is the point of this demonstration?”

Aware that it had to do with this powerful time management principle, one eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!”

Surprised, the speaker said, “No, that’s not the point at all! The time management principle I’m trying to share through this demonstration is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

What are the big rocks in your life? The important tasks that lead you closer to your biggest goals, the WHAT of your life. This may vary in specifics. It may be a project that you want to accomplish. Or more time with your loved ones. Time spent pursuing your faith, or your education. Maybe supporting a worthy cause. Teaching or mentoring others.

No matter what it is, remember to put the BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all. That’s a very important time management principle to keep in mind, one that’s a cornerstone of the Time Management Tao philosophy which is rooted in learning how to

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Study Time Management

Why study time management?

Maybe time management is not a cutting edge, hot, ‘in the news’ subject. Breakthrough technology or newly discovered psychological tactics may not festoon the specialty. Yet, studying time management is important – because even when you read the same book, or listen to the same tapes or CDs, or review the same seminar notes or recordings, you’ll learn something new from it.

And since most time management guides have content that is applicable to your needs only when you reach a certain level of optimization of your work process, this new knowledge will help you break new ground – and get better. That’s a reason why students in school and college must focus on studying time management.

On your bookshelf, you should have different books, recordings, workbooks and more about optimizing your time. That’s the only way to get more done in a day than you used to handle in a week. There’s always room for improvement. And you should be constantly learning.

When you study time management, you’ll learn several new skills, tips and techniques about saving time or improving efficiency. Often, on your to-do list, there are some things you can do very quickly, and others that you struggle with.

When you study time management, you’ll learn strategic approaches and realize how it may be smart to “swap” time with those who have the opposite problem. You’ll understand how it takes them time to do what you do quickly, but it also takes them less time to do the things you do slowly.

Many will say this is just outsourcing. But its not. It is more about using your time wisely on the things you do well and quickly for yourself as well as for others, while also benefiting from them using their time wisely doing the things they do quickly. This way you both get things done faster and at the same time do the things you enjoy and do well.

Time that is enjoyed as well as productive is time used wisely. You’ll master this when you learn about time management strategies and understanding the basis behind Time Management Tao, which involves knowing how to

The Ming Vase Time Management guides go deeper into some elements of managing time and serve as good references for people looking to study time management. You can also receive tips and advice about managing time from a free email newsletter – the “Time Taozine”. To sign up, register using the form below.

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Time Management Hints You Can Take To The Bank

Want some time management hints you can cash in immediately? Ok. I’ll share a few with you. Here’s the first. Stop planning for a day.

Many time management guides teach you how to plan out your day. And surely you know of some amazing folks who plan for a day in great detail. Personally, I’ve never been able to. Part of the reason is that my professional schedule is unpredictable. Without the luxury of a fixed and regulated lifestyle, daily planning is bound to become a frustrating and inefficient waste.

That’s why one of the most practical time management hints is to keep a longer range in mind while making plans.

Most of us do not like being tied down to too rigid a structure – even if following such a strict time-table will be beneficial. This is a mind-set many entrepreneurs share. That’s the reason why we look for time management hints to help us enjoy our desired lifestyle without losing track of our goals or getting distracted off our course.

So, how can you manage and plan your time?

It still helps to chalk out broad plans for things that you would like to get done each day. But more important are the mini-goals that you break down your big ones into. If writing a book is your big goal, your smaller milestones will be outlining the chapters, conducting the research, and writing individual chapters (or even smaller sections) of it.

Those mini-goals are then prioritized, so the most important ones get done first, followed by the less important ones.

A fringe benefit of having an irregular, uncertain schedule is that there is an in-built sense of urgency. If you have a goal to reach – but am not sure when you might be disturbed – it serves as an agent of focus, and will help you concentrate all your attention on the task at hand, until it gets done.

But remember that it’s not all about projects and work, no… these time management hints involve family and social life too. ‘Do it today’ is a watchword that helps a lot in maximizing your here and now.

Want more? Fine. Here’s another hint that’ll save you time and improve your efficiency.

Build flexibility into your to-do list. Divide your working day into sections. This allows you to take steps towards achieving your goals, and gives you room for unexpected opportunities that require quick action.

If your master plan requires you to take action in four areas, break your day into four sections. In each section, list individual task(s) you need to complete. Take one step in each section toward your goals.

In case something comes up that needs immediate attention, you can reschedule your other planned tasks to take advantage of the new opportunity. You’ll still have your section completed for that day. Simple – but very effective.

All these time management hints are based on the Time Management Tao principles which depend upon learning how to

There are many more time management hints scattered around this website. Take a look around and you’ll pick up many nuggets. You can also sign up (see below) to the free “Time Taozine” where you’ll receive simple but effective ideas to manage your time wisely and well.

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