5 Time Management Tips

WAQT NAHI - No Time...!!

The top ten time wasters

When you don't know what to do, you keep on doing whatever comes to you, and in the process waste a lot of time. Here are a quick short tips to help you identify the common top ten time wasters:

1. Clarity of Priorities
Not knowing one's priorities is the biggest time waster! Know your priorities and you'll have a road map to guide your behavior.

2. Investment of Time
Not putting enough time into "A" and "B" activities wastes time. It's been said that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. Maximize your efforts by investing 80% of your time into the essential "A" and "B" activities.

3. Interruptions
Interruptions, distractions, drop-in visitors, unplanned telephone calls are all potential time-wasters. Schedule "open hours" during specific time frames in order to accommodate those who need to contact you.

4. Conflict
Conflict takes up energy and drains us of our ability to be enthusiastic, focused and productive. Handle whatever conflicts are in your life so as to minimize the "drains" in your life. You'll have more energy and focus as a result.

5. Personal Concerns During Business Hours
Whether one works for a business or in one's own business, it's important to respect the boundaries between personal concerns and business. Boundaries help you to stay focused on the present task at hand while also minimizing distractions.

6. Procrastination
Indecision, daydreaming and delay on taking action impede progress. Consider creating supports that can help you in your decision-making. Create an accountability system with a colleague or friend, or better yet, consider working with a professional coach!

7. Lack of Self-Discipline
Lack of structure can be a problem. Structure supports our creativity ­ it doesn't impede it! Self-discipline is knowing what to pay attention to and living from this awareness. It's also about creating the supports and structures that help us "stay on track" so as to fully honor our commitments.

8. Unfinished Projects
Jumping from project to project without resolution of the previous project, leaving tasks partly done, constantly switching priorities all contribute to wasting time. Treat every day like the day before vacation ­ tie up loose ends! You'll have more energy, less stress and renewed focus the following day.

9. Socializing
Too much socializing with our colleagues or customers can be distracting. Understand the difference between productive socializing and wasting time ­ there's a fine line and balance between the two.

10. Guilt and Shoulds
"Shoulds" come from the unexamined beliefs that unconsciously guide our behavior; guilt is the outcome of these "shoulds." Identify your pre-existing beliefs to see whether they make sense to you ­ whether they're still worthy of orienting your life around. Unexamined beliefs create guilt when we don't live up to them. Explore what's really important to you NOW as you deconstruct outdated beliefs.

Time Management is one of the most important soft skills training one must work to overcome the above time wasters.

How to read faster?

Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned ...

1. Use a Pointer

Your eyes don’t actually stay fixed in one spot. They are frequently making brief twitches away from your center of focus to gather more information. These movements are called saccades and they represent the first tool novice readers can use to read faster.

Normally, when your eye twitches away, it must relocate in its previous position. Unfortunately, when you read, this position is constantly moving. Saccades (and just general distractions) cause you to slow down as you must search for your current reading position. The solution is to use a pointer.

The easiest pointer is just the tip of your finger. Simply place your index finger below a line of text and move it as you read. Initially, using a pointer will be slower than regular reading. But after you’re used to the motion, you can read more effectively.

Note for Advanced Speed-Readers: You can further increase your speed-reading rates by keeping your pointer 1-2cm away from the margins of the text. Your eye can catch the words in about a 1″ radius, so this can shave off a bit of reading time.

2. Speed Reading Is About Control, Not Speed

I dislike the way speed reading is often presented because it makes the skill seem to be only about increasing your top speed. As a result, many people are quick to judge that people can’t physically process more information or point out that comprehension goes down while speed reading.

To me, these arguments miss the point. Speed reading is about controlling your reading rate, not just going faster. If you’re in a racecar, top speed is important, but even more important is the driver’s skill at adjusting speeds to make careful turns. The ability to control your speed will make you a much more efficient reader than just blazing through text.

A pointer helps with control because instead of just using your eyes, you can physically move your hand to adjust your reading speed. If you move your hand faster, you will be forced to read faster. Also, if you slow your pointer down, your reading will slow. This kind of control allows you to carefully read confusing or important sections of text and go faster through obvious text or pieces of fluff.

For example, in a book I’m reading right now, the author frequently resorts to the same 3-4 paragraphs of description to explain a recurring idea. The paragraphs aren’t identical, but similar enough that I can use my pointer to skim through the content and still get the message.

3. Read Without Subvocalizing

When most people first learned to read, they spoke the words aloud. “Jill goes up the hill,” each word being pronounced earnestly by the young student. Eventually, you graduate from speaking aloud because it slows your reading speed. However, most people still vocalize the words inside their head, “Jill goes up the hill,” silently repeated in our minds.

Subvocalization isn’t always a bad thing. It helps us understand and follow a narrative. Just realize it isn’t strictly necessary for comprehension. Jsut as msot poelpe cna urndesnatd tihs secntene, most people don’t need to grasp every single word to get the meaning of a sentence.

Being able to read without subvocalizing is like adding an extra gear to your engine. It can open up the top speed of your reading rate, which is particularly useful for easy to understand or text with a lot of fluff. It isn’t the same as skimming, you’re still moving your pointer across every word. It’s a method speed readers can use that most normal readers don’t.

Practice moving your pointer faster than you can read words inside your head. This will break you of the habit of automatically subvocalizing.

4. Active Reading

Most people read passively, that is, reading a book hoping the information will strike them across the forehead and declare, “Learn Me!” This is a fine practice when you’re just reading for sheer entertainment, but what if your reading serves a specific purpose?

Speed reading requires active reading. That means, instead of just assuming the information will jump out at you, you become an inquisitive, seeking animal. Before you start reading, prime your mind by asking what you’re hoping to get out of your reading session. Even if you aren’t 100% sure of what you’ll learn, this priming exercise allows your brain to notice relevant details more quickly.

Active reading also means stopping to think about what your reading, as you read it. Stopping to think may not sound like much of a speed reading tactic. It’s not, but it is a smart-reading tactic that everyone should employ. If you find something interesting, pause either to reflect or even note the information in your book.

Would you rather read something today and forget it tomorrow, or read it deeply and make it a part of you?

5. Know When to Slow Down

As I mentioned in key #2, speed reading is about control, not just speed. Many people I’ve talked to after introducing them to speed reading brag about how quickly they dashed through a book. But, these same people later confess that they remember little about what they read.

Just as it is sometimes useful to speed up to move quickly through writing with a low information density, you often need to slow down to catch the important or confusing bits. Let’s view reading as if you are driving a car: If you’re on a straight, well-maintained divided highway, feel free to speed up. But if you’re doing hairpin turns on a dirt road in the mountains, slow down.

More than anything else, speed reading should give you an awareness of your speed. Most people read information with only 2 speeds: skimming and reading. Speed reading is about opening up all the intermediate layers. Now you should be able to skim, read without subvocalizing, read rapidly, read, read slowly and even crawl when faced with confusing or difficult ideas.

6. Make the Material More Interesting

I know, it sounds impossible. How can you possibly make statistics/accounting/Jane Eyre interesting?

But you can make material more interesting if you put some effort in before you pick up the book. No, you can’t make boring topics come alive as if they were the latest thriller fiction. But you can make them interesting enough that you can stay focused while reading.

I know it sounds like something out of a Tony Robbins‘ seminar, but attitude matters. When you’re approaching a book, imagine if you changed your perspective from, “Oh no, here’s some junk I have to read,” to “What could I gain from reading this, if I was really creative about it.” It’s not about confessing a secret love of accounting, it’s about keeping an open mind as to what accounting could teach you.

If you find the material more interesting, you’ll be able to read with complete focus. Complete focus can cut the amount of reading time in a third, without any loss in comprehension. That should be incentive enough to tweak your attitude.

7. Reading Rate Comes With Practice

Although less glamorous than subvocalization or pointer-enabled reading techniques, the best speed reading technique is this: read more to read faster. When you regularly read a book per week, your reading rate will improve.

First, if you aren’t reading in your first language, language proficiency will be your biggest obstacle to high reading rates. I’m an intermediate with French, and my French reading is a crawl compared to my English reading. That’s because every paragraph contains a new word or unfamiliar grammatical construction.

Once again, the way to overcome low proficiency is through practice. Even if you are reading in your first language, some authors will throw big words down you may not understand. My suggestion is that if you encounter such words frequently, look them up. I used Google’s define feature (example, “define simple“) religiously when reading through all of David Foster Wallace’s verbose tome, Infinite Jest.

Second, if you read more frequently, you get a better sense of what speed to go for the type of content and your purposes. NASCAR racers weren’t made that way. They became great at adjusting speeds through practice. Similarly, if you aren’t sure how fast to read a textbook or a novel, those intuitions can be strengthened with practice.

I also suggest for new speed readers to practice reading rather than just read. Practice reading involves taking a fresh book and using the techniques of a pointer and eliminating subvocalization to scroll faster than you can comprehend. This can help train your upper speed-limit reading speeds.
Try It Out!

Want to know your current reading speed? Pick up any book and do the following:

    * Setup a timer for one minute
    * Mark the line you started reading
    * Start reading and stop when the minute is up
    * Mark the line where you stopped
    * Number of lines - Count the number of lines you’ve read
    * Number of words per line - Take the second line and count the number of words in this line (including short words like I, and, etc)
    * Number of lines X Number of words per line = WPM, your words per minute reading speed.

Try the above steps with your regular reading pace, and after practicing several tips from above, try the measuring steps again to see how much you’ve improved. Let us know how you did!

The Big Rocks Story

 One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." He then pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table. He 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." Then he said, "Really?"

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing it to work down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied.

He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand and started dumping the sand in the jar until it filled the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?" No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good."

Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

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 in it!" "No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point."

"The truth this illustration teaches us is that 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? Your children, your loved ones, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching others, doing things that you love, your health; your mate. Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. If you sweat about the little stuff then you'll fill your life with little things and you'll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff."big

So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.

The Myth of Time Management

The Myth of Time Management

Poor time management thinking and action can undermine your best efforts. If you want to manage your time more effectively, start thinking about time management differently. You can begin to change your time management mindset by dispelling the common time management myth.

Myth - Time Management
That’s right… time management itself. What a big fantasy. In reality you can’t manage time. Everyday you receive 24 hours. You can’t add more nor do you get any less time. Erase time management from your brain and start thinking out of the clock – Self Management. You want to organize the clock to fit your needs.

Sometimes the words time management can create mental blocks especially if you tried some type of time management in the past. Look at the meaning of the word manage: handle, deal with, control, cope, get by, make do, survive and direct. Now look at the word organize: put in order, sort out, arrange and systematize.

Which you prefer to do? Organize and arrange your time or deal with and cope with it?

I know I use the word time management, but that’s how people find us on the search engines. They think they have a time management problem. In reality it’s an activity problem. One of the first things I do when working with a client is shift their mindset from time management to Self Management with organizing their time.

Write it Down: Time Mgt Technique to get Results

The Greatest Motivational Technique of All Time
By Frank Tibolt
Excerpt from A Touch of Greatness

Ivy Lee used to be a consultant in New York City. Hs regular clients were Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, the Du Ponts and other big shots.

One day Charlie Schwab of the Bethlehem Steel Co. asked Lee about his services. Lee outlined them briefly ending with the statement, "With our services you'll know how to manage better."

"HELL!" shouted Schwab. "I'm not managing as well now as I know how. What we need around here is not more "knowing" but more "doing" …not more knowledge, but more action. If you can only show us how to do half the things we already know we ought to do ...show us how to "GET THINGS DONE" ...I'll gladly engage your services at any price."

"You're on," answered Lee. "I can give you a lesson in 20 minutes that will help you get more done tomorrow." "O.K." agreed Schwab. "I have just about 20 minutes before train time. What's your idea?"

Lee pulled out a 3 x 5 filing card, handed it to Schwab and told him. "Spend 10 minutes every evening before retiring reviewing the day's work. Ask yourself, "What did I forget, neglect or foul up? What specific steps can I take to prevent these foul ups in the future? What can I do to improve on today's work? Then spend 5 more minutes writing on this card the six things you need most to get done tomorrow." That took 8 minutes. "Now," said Lee, "Number them in the order of their importance." Three more minutes passed.
"Next," said Lee, "Put this card in your pocket and the first thing tomorrow morning, look at item 1 and start working on it. Look at item 1 every hour on the hour until you've finished it. Then tackle No. 2 the same way. Then No. 3. Do this until quitting time. As you finish each task, cross it off."
"Don't be concerned if you've only finished two or three, or even if you haven't finished No. 1. You'll be working on the most important. The rest can wait. If you can't finish all with this method, you can't with any other method either, and without this method, you'd probably never even decide which are most important."

"Before making up your next day's list transfer all your unfinished items to it. Spend the last 5 minutes every day making up a "must list" of the next day's most urgent tasks. After you've tried this method, have your key employees try it. Test it for as long as you like, and Len send me a check for what you think it's worth. Schwab sent Lee a check for $25,000 saying:
"This innocent looking little lesson is the most practical lesson I ever learned in all my life. It motivated me to make a phone call I had put off 9 months. That phone call brought me an order for steel beams that netted me 2 million dollars. I explained this humble lesson to all my executives. That did more to make the Bethlehem Steel Co. the world's largest independent steel producer, than all the meetings I held with my high-salaried executives."
Schwab learned, like most great men learn, that the simplest ideas are often the greatest in getting results. This plain little lesson is so plain looking and so plain sounding that many average people won't even try it. It's so plain that its results are almost unbelievable. But it has turned more little shots into BIG SHOTS than any "secret of success," or any high priced "motivation courses". It tops all methods of turning "ordinary" fellows into "extraordinary" producers.

If you think I'm claiming too much for this humble little lesson, let's look at what bigger and wiser men have said about it.

Walter Chrysler said, "I never started producing until I engaged a taskmaster ...a written list of things to be done every day."

Henry Ford said, "No executive is worthy of the name unless he works to a written schedule."
Henry Kaiser wouldn't hire a senior executive who didn't have the HABIT of scheduling his tasks in WRITING. Ditto Thomas Watson and Lord Northcliffe.

Both Dr. Charles and Dr. William Mayo of the Mayo Clinic ended their day's work with WRITTEN lists for the next day's work. Ditto Clifford Holland of Holland Tunnel Fame, Fred Ecker, president of Metropolitan Life daily uses a pad which he heads, "to be done today."

Thousands of other big men in business, industry, banking, education, selling, and other fields, have placed this method at the top of the list of "habits that make for success".

You'll find big producers everywhere, probably in your own company, use some adaptation of this method. For GETTING THINGS DONE, it beats all the fancy, high sounding, and high priced systems ever invented.

So let's get up your "must list" right away, while it's on your mind. It'll only take 5 minutes. And it might mark the turning point in your life as it did for many others. Since, in seeking success, the hardest part is always the start; a thing begun is more than half done.

Tomorrow buy yourself a dozen packs, a couple hundred cards. Use one every day for the rest of your life. No, that's not so difficult. You'll be surprised how quickly the habit will grow into an interesting game ...and the MOST PROFITABLE GAME YOU'LL EVER PLAY.

Would you like to hire a dynamic, super duper assistant who never forgets, to remind you, prod you, spur you, and nag you to GET YOUR TASKS DONE? A silent adviser who will draw and drive you day and night toward your chief goal in life? If you have no goal in life, it's later for you than you think. Better get one. Without one, you might continue to exist but real life will pass you by. You can hire this assistant for the price of a dozen packs of 3 x 5 cards.


If you want a sure fire reminder, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.
If you want a manager to prod you out of your laziness, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.
If you want to find yourself and your right career, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.
If you want to solve a difficult problem, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.
If you need a new idea, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.
If you want to stick to a difficult task until you finish it, DITTO.
If you want to quit a bad habit, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.
If you want to acquire a new habit or a new skill, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.
If you want to become successful and rich, WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER.

Paul Durinski, a former student said, "Writing down that statement about my goal changed my whole life. Before I wrote it down, it was just "some thoughts in my head".

Writing it down on paper changed it to something real, on fire, alive. My previous 15 years of merely thinking about it was time wasted. Writing it down on paper was like planting a seed in the ground. It grew. Believe me writing a thing down on paper works and HOW!"

Writing a thing down on paper signals the subconscious mind to work on it, to incubate, to gestate, to create... to realize the thing… to turn a wish into a fact. Why not hire this dynamic, loyal helper, your silent, invisible twin, as your 24-hour assistant? It will jog your memory, develop self-confidence, sustain ambition and enthusiasm, get things done, speed you ahead "years in months" — maybe make you rich, as it did others.