Considering daylight savings JUST happened this morning and threw off everything yet again, I'm writing this post on time and some ways to adult it. As always, I don't know what I don't know, if you know share your knowledge.
I remember seeing a quote someplace that goes
While we all have the same quantity of hours, we all really don't have the same quality of hours. You and I both know this even from checking our paystubs and we know what our hourly pay rate is. The value in the hours we utilize differ from hour to hour too.
So if we wanted to be more productive adults we have to either increase the number of hours we need OR increase the quality of the hours we currently use. Seeing as we can't really increase the 24 hours we have in a day, we've got to improve the quality of the available 24. On that note, lets begin.
Get a Calendar
You can do this in one of two ways; a written calendar like one of those that look like a white board with markers. You can put it somewhere you can't miss like on your wall in your room. This would provide a visual for what you need to achieve in the coming days or month at least.
The other way would be to use a digital calendar like Google calendar or Apple Calendar.
Intriguingly, I've been using Google calendar a while now thanks to my office. (Shoutout to Thinkwrap). One of the things I've noticed there; the most effective people there load up their calendars with their schedule. This way they have reminders for coming meetings, planned vacations, deadlines, etc.
Now that we have a calendar what now?
Get a Schedule
A schedule is really an organized time table of stuff you need to do. It is not another To-do list, far from it in fact. You have a time frame everything needs to be done in your schedule. You have your meetings planned out in advance with this. I strongly suggest you plan your day at least the day before. I've found this to be hugely beneficial personally, the sticking to it part is the issue now.
Prioritize Activities within your schedule
I had to subsection this part so I can go into it.
In terms of activities we do in general, we can categorize them into four major parts.
- Important, Not Urgent
- Important & Urgent
- Not Important, Urgent
- Not Important & not urgent
- Important, Not Urgent
These are things you should generally do and spend a lot of time doing like studying, reading, learning a new skill, polishing up a resume, physical activities, talking to your family, etc. I've been advised to generally allot as much time for these as possible. The reason is, these are the things essential to development as an adult. They generally can be ignored but by the time the opportunity comes like a new job opening, and you haven't prepared before hand it now becomes Important & Urgent.
- Important & Urgent
These are activities you now HAVE to do because you failed to adequately set time aside for your Important & Not Urgent. Things like trying cram last minute for an exam you knew was coming weeks ago. Another would be trying to finish the document for your group project the night before the deadline. If you constantly find yourself in a crisis, this is where you are.
- Not important, Urgent
These are activities not essential to your development as a person, but you need to do it. Like paying a phone bill, paying credit card bills, driving to work, busing to work. It won't change your life or your future sure, but it still needs to get done somehow. The odd thing about these though, they CAN become Important AND urgent. So monitor these accordingly.
- Not important & Not Urgent
I strongly suggest we do as little of these as possible. Nothing wrong with doing them but there really isn't usually worth spending a lot of time. These are things like checking Facebook, Watching TV, reading the news. I put reading and watching the news in here because "The news" is actually a waste of time.
News that will directly impact you or your life will get to you IRRESPECTIVE of whether the TV is on or not, whether you checked facebook or not, whether you have twitter or not.
So now that we can figure out where our time is going and where we want it to go instead and have some sort of plan. It's time to become consistent at it. Consistency is not only good for you but it is good for other people too. For example, coming to work consistently 5 minutes late is actually better than being super early one day and super late the next.
Before I go...
In any important activity, remember better late than never really. Sometimes, life happens and there is nothing you can do about it. We can't always control what happens to us but we do control how we respond so yeah. Once you remember something you ought to be do, let's quickly get it done
Nigerians and time fam. I'm trying to be as on time in my life as possible, but it is hard to turn off my default settings. Pray for me.