Organizing Your Time

Delay means inefficiency and stress.


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Everyone  has precisely the same amount of time – twenty four hours per day. Think of the busiest man you know. Perhaps he is a businessman whose work takes him up and down the country. He serves on several committees. He is chairman of one or two associations. He conducts a voluminous correspondence. He plays cricket, cultivates roses and serves on the local P.T.A. How does he do it? What is the secret?

Some busy people may, in fact, be too busy, perhaps neurotically so. They may be unable to rest alone or be quiet or have time to think. Some hidden compulsion or unrecognized guilt drives them on. They rob themselves of necessary peace. They may undertake so many duties that they cannot give enough time to their failures. Some other people have more animal energy than others. It may be a matter of physique or body chemistry. We could all have more energy, if we could wipe out all negative thinking. Much energy is unprofitably consumed in the luxuries of anger, worry, frustration, self – pity, envy and pessimism.

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We should also have enough rest and recreation to keep our mental and spiritual dynamos in peak condition. This will give us the energy  to pack more into our time. If you have decided that you really want a busy life, and are prepared to sacrifice a leisurely tempo and a degree of idleness, the following suggestions might help.

1. Keep a Sense of Proportion:

If you want to indulge in many different activities, you must not spend too long on any one  thing. Television in particular has become a great time – robber. This waste must be reduced

by selection and self – discipline. The same can be said of sports – fans, news – hogs and bookworms. Sports, newspapers and books should enrich our lives but not dominate and consume them.

2. Look Out for Wastage:

It’s worthwhile to scrutinize each day of a week, looking for periods of wasted time – intervals between one activity and another when nothing is achieved. Many people employ several hours traveling to and from work. It is worth trying if you can considerably reduce your traveling time. Look out for wasted quarter – hours. If you can find several of these, you will have redeemed an hour and a half or two hours which can be applied to something really worthwhile.

Perhaps you are a person who wastes time because he cannot make up his mind. If so, begin chronic ditherer? If so, begin training yourself to make snap decisions on unimportant matters like whether to have your eggs fried or boiled, or whether you want tea or coffee. You will soon find yourself coming to more rapid decisions on important matters and thus getting more things done.

Another time – waster is gossiping, as opposed to intelligent conversation. This wastes not only your own time but that of others. Some people make every chance encounter an excuse for at least half – an – hour’s gossip.

In your quest for time, you might consider cutting down  your hours of sleep. Do you really need eight or nine hours? Certainly as you get older you will be able to do with less. We could very easily reduce our eight hours to seven or even six without harm.

3. Use the Time -Savers

Mechanical aids and technical devices can give us more time. A telephone, a means of transport, a tape-recorder, a type – writer, a refrigerator and gas – stove can all  save us time and enable us to accomplish more.

Another time – saver is to speed up our reading. Most of us were taught to read by silently mouthing every word which passes before our eyes. Try to overcome this habit. Instead, learn to take in whole phrases at a glance and keep pushing on resolutely. When you are confronted by a fresh page of print, look for the main ideas. Try to centre your line of vision on the middle of each line of print. You should be able to read without the tiring  and time – wasting swing of the eyes backwards  and forwards across the page. But it takes practice to do that.

Alert observation will save time going over a sentence or paragraph. Building up a good vocabulary is also a wise investment. It may slow us down during the process, but it is  a time – saver in the long run. It has been proved that a fast reader understands more and remembers better than the slow one. Keep prodding yourself to get a move on.

4. Get Organized:

This will boost your morale and give you a sense of getting things done draw up a routine and stick to it. If possible set aside a room or a part of a room for your work area. Have a desk, shelves or cupboards for all relevant material. Orderly habits, and the use of a desk – diary and files will all help to save time. Take “Do it now” as your slogan. Delay means inefficiency and stress.

Those who achieve most are those who discipline both their time and themselves. They waste no chance to grapple with their tasks and duties.

They are men and women of action.

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