Ideally, no man in possession of his sanity does not dream to become a man of success. Yet a lot of people who dream of success end up being a mere dreamer; they never achieve the success which appears so close to them in their dream. Why?
Whether or not a man will turn his dream into reality depends on what he does, or fails to do, with his time. The time format may be 12-hour or 24-hour and the GMT maybe +1, +2, -1, etc. but the fact remains that everyone has got 24 hours per day. Other socio-political and economic factors may not come to everyone equally but time does. To make your lofty dream a reality, you’ve got to use your time well.
Time is what we want most but what we use worst—William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania
How do use your time well?
You use your time well by boosting your effectiveness, and this has to do with how you get things done in relation to time (spent).
Here are some techniques to master if you wish to boost your personal effectiveness:
1. Be organised
Take good care of your physical space—your office desk, your library, room, etc. For instance, when you’re searching for a file, you should know exactly which section of your office or room you will find it. Apart from saving you sufficient time you could have wasted searching for a single file, it also ensures you avoid being needlessly frustrated.
2. Be focused
Don’t be unnecessarily distracted looking at how far your colleagues have gone. This only draws you down more. Rather than unproductively competing with a colleague, work on improving yourself and ensure you’re better than who you are the previous day. In other words, compete with yourself. Competing with yourself makes you focused and increases your productivity.
3. Define your area of specialisation
General knowledge is good, no doubt; it makes you a well-rounded and resourceful person. Yet, you have to define your area of expertise so that you can continually work on being best at it. Don’t be the proverbial jack of all trades and master of none. Master something!
4. Take care of your health
Whatever you do, know how to draw the limits. Don’t overwork yourself. Know when to work and when to relax. Eat at the right time. Sleep when your body demands to shut down. Keep your body and environment clean. Understand that when your health is down, everything in your life is down. Knowing this will help you make the right decisions about your health.
5. Set targets/goals and plan well
You should set your specific targets/goals and plan well how to execute them by drawing up lists of tasks you need to do to ensure the goals are met. This enables to have a vivid mental picture of what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.
6. Know our time-zone
By this, I do not mean GMT. Your timezone is that time of the day when your brain is at the most active level to get things done faster. You do not have to work 24/7, avoid relating with your colleagues, look unkempt, etc. before you achieve your goals. No. All you need do is to work smart—work like you’re not working. Your boss, because he sees you chit-chatting, helping others, cracking jokes, and so on will think you are not working but your performance will prove him wrong! Observe your time zone, get your tasks (at least 80 per cent) done within it and you have almost the rest of the day to yourself.
7. Delegate tasks/seek helps
Whatever you do, always understand that some situations may demand that you delegate some of your functions or seek help from your colleagues. When your desk is over-filled, and you have a colleague who is less busy, shift some of the tasks to his table, politely.
8. Avoid procrastination
Procrastination is a plague; so avoid it. It is one of the foremost enemies that steal away time. So, you have to deal with it. I recommend this formula (a quote by Benjamin Franklin): Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
9. Avoid negativities/worrying
Always guard your feelings/emotions. Avoid worrying; limit your relationship with negative-minded people. Negativity/worrying doesn’t help or solve your problems. Instead, it kills your creativity, hampers your productivity, and pulls you down. Always find a way to inspire yourself and relate more with people of positivity.
10. Do personal assessment
If you have goals/targets, then it’s crucial you assess yourself. What fraction of your goals have you achieved? What is left? What is your area of strength? Your weakness area? And so on. The essence of assessment is to know where you are getting it right so that you can hold on to it (and possibly improve on it) and to see where you may have to change your strategy. The unexamined life, Socrates asserted, is not worth living.