How to be smart with your time

Posted at 07/04/2014 4:30 PM | Updated as of 07/07/2014 9:07 AM

Editor's note: The Business Mentor is a weekly business column by Armando "Butz" Bartolome, president of GMB Franchise Developers Inc. and chairman of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc.

MANILA, Philippines - I decided to write this as dedication to all who are in search of a better life. Today is the 4th of July. This is a great day celebrated in the United States.

In the Philippines, we commemorate the Filipino-American Friendship Day. We recall the many hardships and lives lost to obtain freedom.

However, many of us are faced with various stress and challenges in life. The recent series of news about people, especially the young generation, easily giving up was disturbing to me. Employees as well as those in top management are finding it difficult to cope with life.

Our life is bound by what is called "time management."

The Pareto Principle, also known as the '80:20 Rule', states that 80% of efforts that are not time managed or unfocused generates only 20% of the desired output.

However, 80% of the desired output can be generated using only 20% of a well time-managed effort. Although the ratio '80:20' is only arbitrary, it is used to put emphasis on how much is lost or how much can be gained with time management.

Some people view time management as a list of rules that involves scheduling of appointments, goal settings, thorough planning, creating things to do lists and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill. These basic skills can be fine-tuned further to include the finer points of each skill that can give you that extra reserve to make the results you desire.

But 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. Every knowledge you acquire, each new advice you consider, and each new skill you develop should be taken into consideration.

Having a balanced lifestyle should be the key result in having 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.
The six areas that personal time management seeks to improve in anyone's life are physical, intellectual, social, career, emotional and spiritual.

1. The physical aspect involves having a healthy body, less stress and fatigue.
2. The intellectual aspect involves learning and other mental growth activities.
3. The social aspect involves developing personal or intimate relations and being an active contributor to society.
4. The career aspect involves school and work.
5. The emotional aspect involves appropriate feelings and desires and manifesting them.
6. The spiritual aspect involves a personal quest for meaning.

Thorough planning and having a "to-do" list for each of the key areas may not be very practical, but determining which area in your life is not being giving 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 should not be so daunting. It is a very sensible and reasonable approach in solving problems big or small. Given sufficient practice, one will enjoy the benefits especially self-fulfillment.

A great way of learning time management and improving your personal life is to follow several basic activities:

1. One of them is to review your goals, whether it is immediate or long-term, often.
2. A way to do this is to keep a list that is always accessible to you.
3. Always determine which task is necessary or not necessary in achieving your goals and which activities are helping you maintain a balanced lifestyle.
4. Each and every one of us has a peak time and a time when we slow down, these are our natural cycles. We should be able to tell when to do the difficult tasks when we are the sharpest.
5. Learning to say "No". You actually see this advice often. Heed it even if it involves saying the word to family or friends.
6. Pat yourself at the back or just reward yourself in any manner for an effective time management result.
7. Try and get the cooperation from people around you who are actually benefiting from your efforts of time management.
8. Don't procrastinate. Attend to necessary things immediately.
9. Have a positive attitude and set yourself up for success. But be realistic in your approach in achieving your goals.
10. Have a record or journal of all your activities. This will help you get things in their proper perspective.

These are the few steps you initially take in becoming a well-rounded individual.

As they say personal time management is the art and science of building a better life.

From the moment you integrate into your life time management skills, you have opened several options that can provide a broad spectrum of solutions to your personal growth. It also creates more doors for opportunities to knock on.

Happy life to all!

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For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by email: [email protected]. His website is www.gmb.com.ph