Some people claim time management isn’t an issue for them. They aren’t being honest with themselves.
Time is the most precious of resources there is. It’s also the most difficult to manage.
It’s tempting to think money is more valuable, as it gets a lot more attention that time does. But loose some money and you can theoretically earn it back. Time, on the other hand, is always fleeting.
Many authors claim they have THE solution for time management. They get drunk on their own words and fall in love with their ineffective strategies.The problem with most of these schemes is that they offer quick fixes instead of providing long term solutions.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
A couple of years ago, in the saturated sea of self help book, I found work that truly stood out from the crowd: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey. In it, he educates us on the misunderstood art of time management and proposes a strategy that not only makes sense, but actually works. I can honestly say so after having followed the strategy for a couple of years.
Time management shouldn’t be taken lightly. Its benefits are plentiful. Here a just a few of them:
- Less Stress and anxiety
- More free time
- Less time wasted
- More freedom
In Seven Habits, Covey introduces us to a different angle on time management. He call this point of view the Fourth Dimension of Time management.
Entering The fourth Generation of Time Management
As a result, many people have become turned off by time management programs and planners that
make them feel too scheduled, too restricted, and they “throw the baby out with the bath water,”
reverting to first- or second-generation techniques to preserve relationships, to meet human needs, and
to enjoy spontaneous moments on a daily basis.
-Steven Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
As opposed to conventional time management strategies, the Fourth Generation aims to get us to manage ourselves rather than our time. This implies that we must know ourselves to begin with: our strengths, our weaknesses, our goals and our mission. Once we decide what it is we truly value and want to gravitate around, the fourth generation of time management can be played out.
Covey purports that our time is spent in four different ways:
Urgent VS Not Urgent
Important VS Not Important
I find this interpretation of time management to be much more effective than “To Do” lists or daily planners. Giving priority to urgent and important matters-staying in quadrant 1- is a far more effective way of managing your time.
However, although this system is great, the addition of a modern apparatus may work well alongside it. Perhaps a fifth generation of time management is in order.
A Possible Fith Generation of Time Manaagement
Covey’s great book was published in 1989. However, times have changed since then. We now have private assistants in our pockets that are great at helping us in our time management struggle. Indeed, our smartphones can help us in a variety of ways. Here are 5 great apps that can help us stay on track.
The Clear Focus app is great for breaking down work in small parts. It uses the Pomodoro technique, which is to work for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. That constitutes one period. Every 4 periods, you can take a longer break (10-15 minutes).
It’s important not to skip breaks. The whole purpose of this technique is to get you to “sprint”, rather than “jog” when completing a task.
Evernote is basically the modern day assistant. You can write notes, share them, create groups and much more. You can also have Evernote on your PC as well and the information will synchronize seamlessly.
The app also allows you to input information in a variety of ways; text, voice, pictures, Screenshots, you name it.
Keeping all of your social media accounts up to date can be tiresome. Buffer automates the timing of your posts and tweets and does so with style. It’s user friendly interface allows you to program items for specific times.
Buffer is a great tool for businesses and busy entrepreneurs needed to get an online presence.
We sometimes stumble upon an interesting article, but don’t really have time to read it in its entirety. Pocket offers a simple solution to this problem. It allows us to save those articles that caught our attention into a reader. We can then categorize the article.
Keeping the same password for all of your accounts is pretty dangerous. Last Pass takes cares of different passwords you set for your different accounts.
Store logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, keep track of personal information, etc.