Time is what you make it

Christmas is a great time of year to take a step back and review whether you are making the best use of your life time and plan any changes.


Time is What You Make (not what you have got)




If you are in full time employment you will almost certainly have been subjected to a Time Management course at one time or another. When I was working as a Civil Servant, I attended a few – always with the genuine intention to learn something. Those courses made virtually no difference in my working life. Here’s what experience has taught me:


Create a daily “to-do” list (a new one every day)


First thing every morning, I make a list of what I would like to achieve during the day. I rarely achieve everything on the list. I have learned its unrealistic to expect to do so. However, knowing what needs to be done helps me feel more in control of circumstances and less likely to be overwhelmed. There are two steps in the production of my list which might help you.


Step 1: I just write everything that needs to be done without giving any consideration to its importance, urgency or the effort which might be involved in tackling it.


Step 2: I review the list and highlight the issues which really need to get done and I just start working them. Putting a line through them when they are boxed of is very satisfying. Seeing a six or seven crossed off verges on fun!


Link effort with impact


The effort you put into the choices you make about the way you spend your time should be in proportion to the importance/impact the actions will make in your life.


Don’t spend days choosing a new mobile phone and hours choosing a new job – because the implications of both decisions have entirely different scales of impact in terms of the quality of your life.


Be satisfied with good


Try to come up with solutions which are good enough rather than striving for perfection. If you aim for perfection or the arrival of the ideal circumstances it will hamper your progress. The ideal conditions, circumstance and situations are unlikely to emerge – so just get on with it. Aiming for an adequate solution implies you will need to lower your aspirations, standards or objectives.


Give yourself a break


I read somewhere that people who are happy with their use of time are more likely to be people who take time out for themselves. What time do you make for yourself?


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