Time management

The term “time management” is a misnomer. Although you do not manage time, you do have the same amount of time to work with every day. The only thing you can manage is how you use the hours you have during any given day.

How to manage time? Slowly. It takes time to manage time just as it takes time to increase your ability to run a marathon. In either case, you need to go slow. While it’s best to organize time on paper at first, you will not get results immediately. “Start with the way you’re using the hours now,” writes the late Charles Hummel, “and plan only a few changes as they become possible for you.”

You’ll make a good start by working with a calendar—either paper based or the one built into your computer or smart phone. Block out required activities like commute time, shopping, and working out. Next, consider an important task for which you need more time and make the hard decision as to what activity must be cut back, if not eliminated, to free up that time.

This can be repeated for another task where you need to carve out more time for its accomplishment. Hummel, author of the classic “Tyranny of The Urgent,” suggests you don’t try to make too many changes at the outset. That’s because the way you spend time now as been developed over the years and has become habit. As mentioned above, go slow by making one improvement at a time. Then watch your small successes in managing time become a habit until you achieve many successes across the board.

Another way to carve out more time is to get up a half-hour earlier. Or go to bed a half hour later.

When your schedule finally comes together, allow blocks of free time each week. “Just as dollars need to be set aside for emergencies, so hours should be reserved for unexpected demands,” advises Hummel.

If you’re interested in reading a related article about managing time, click here.

Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of yourcareerservice.com. For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.