Author Topic: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)  (Read 24735 times)

Offline Mark Austin

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What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« on: February 21, 2009, 04:28:03 PM »
What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)

Just imagine yourself every morning, still sleepy and dreamy from the less than five hours of sleep. You are about to start your day with seemingly insurmountable tasks: there are bills waiting to be paid, reports to be submitted before 12 noon, calls to be made, a long grocery list for the weekends, a barbecue party, endless post-6 p.m. meetings, tasks, tasks, tasks…and even more tasks. You are an overworked and stressed out machine and you feel the weight on your shoulder. Your biggest enemy is not your boss, nor is it your children’s math teacher; but TIME and the lack of it to finish all your duties and activities. 

Likewise, the rapid flow of time is very much felt in highly urbanized and industrialized societies. Gadgets and modern tools, like cellular phones, microwave ovens, computers, and portable electronic organizers (PDAs) have made our lives easier and have given us the necessary advantage to lessen our time to work on certain tasks. The connectivity of people through mobile technology, as well as the vast and efficient transportation system in industrialized and currently developing countries, leads to faster communication and social linkages. Changes like these have emphasized the importance of time management and a creation of a more organized and practical lifestyle.

Time has therefore been measured and controlled through these developments, so we have to adjust according to the demands of our times. To picture this out, just think of your life as a giant hourglass with golden grains of sand, the top-half running empty and inside the bottom-half, we are being drowned by so many works and labors. We can say, that in our daily struggle towards our goals, time and the lack of it becomes our enemy.

But this should not be the case since time is also a human invention, a form of measurement in knowing our past or history. The narrative of time, or how we have organized our memories and our past experiences using the standards of time, is very important in knowing the development of human civilization as well as societies and cultures.

More than this, we can also influence the changes in time and space relationship. We can manage these changes and prepare ourselves for the tasks within the time being that we can foresee. Time Management is an important skill and knowledge especially in organizing complicated social structures. In practical terms, we must recognize the importance of every moment and how each daily perception of second, minute, hour, etc, affects our survival and interaction with others in our rapidly changing environment. We could learn new things by knowing the importance of little changes that could affect larger phenomena.

One should know that a particular second in a chemical change is very relevant to whatever result of a scientific experiment. On a more practical note, a decision made within a matter of seconds or days can change a destiny of a person, more so, even a nation. The Millennium Celebration during the onset of the year 2000 was a major event and had inspired millions of people on what to expect and what to reflect as we marked two thousand years of human triumphs, defeats, and struggles. That celebration marked some of the most important achievements and even worries, as time is about to enter its historical leap. The millennium bug made some of us anxious. It scared people with cataclysmic scenarios of technology going frenzy as the two zeros of the year 2000 enters into our state of mind, resulting in outdated computer technology.

We are now moving towards the future, when and where time is one factor that can influence our success or downfall. In this regard, we can contemplate on some concepts and ideas about time.

Time Management In Your Life

We have not only invented time and its various measurements (seconds/milliseconds, days, centuries, millenniums); but we’re also able to give meaning in the usage of time when an experience was felt or when a task was done.

The highly organized structure of human society gives us the ability to limit our physical and mental space. Our environment is composed of objects and things that we have invented, and associated with these are the labels and concepts that define their existence. For example, medicines have expiration dates, which give us the time period to use them within their period of potency. We have birthdays, wedding dates, anniversaries, and other special dates to recognize as important events, as they signal significant changes or developments in our lives.

We have also created the working periods in which human efficiency and environmental conditions are considered to maintain balance. Just imagine the importance of rest and sleep and the rhythm/cycle that is followed in the creation of our work, play, and learning schedules. Thus, we are able to measure and define things according to their proper space in what we measure as time.   

However, things are not always perfect, or should we say that time may not be perfect, all the time. There are stumbling blocks along the path towards success. One of these is the lack of time to reach your aims. The improper use of time, the wrong utilization of resources, or the undertaking of unnecessary tasks within a given period might cause these delays or time wastage. Most people also commit mistakes because they’re not able to accurately perceive the proper time to do a given work, or because of unforeseen circumstances and delays. In these cases, we must consider the best ways to utilize our time. We must expect the limits of time in defining our tasks and goals.

Time Management is one human organizational aspect that we should give utmost consideration to. This form of management (either as part of self-improvement or within the level of professional work) is the process of perceiving the measured changes/developments and closely monitoring how we utilize our skills and labor capacity within a limited period. By analyzing our “work styles,” along with the development of other processes (machine works, transportation, communication), we can lay down basic foundation in which we can assess our development as individuals.

Part of this development is our ability to make plans and revise/improve our working conditions. The fluidity of time - its restriction or leeway – should be considered in making plans, in organizing, and in bringing out the efficiency of each individual to create a smooth work flow.

However, Time Management is also a part of an individual learning experience in getting along with other people and with changes in the environment. Practically speaking, time is constant: 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week (24/7). However, the usage of time differs among each individual. Some might give time the capacity to control their lives, and others may find themselves a slave of time. Some might have no time at all to relax and create a stress-free lifestyle. But the bottom-line is not to make time an enemy. One must have time to think of things in order, to plan ways to minimize waste of time, energy, and valuable resources.

Effective time management involves patience and practical thinking. Time and the natural changes in the environment may be modified but in the end, we should follow the natural order of things. Remember that “Haste makes waste.” Yet you must also think about the saying “There's no day but today.”  On the other hand, we can use tools and ideas that could improve our efficiency in using time. There are things, like energy (fuel), that are not renewable; and there are moments that are irreplaceable. Actually, we can say that a thing done or a past experience cannot be recreated.

However, we can expect these changes and prepare ourselves for better or worse scenarios. We cannot control time but we can make adjustments based on a given moment. Learning or studying something to achieve mastery is one good example where we can minimize errors or develop ourselves amidst the ever-changing times. During this period of learning, we must maximize the given resources (including time) to fully develop a skill or to acquire knowledge so that by the time we need such skill, we won't be wasting hours just by learning the necessary human adaptation to solve a problem.

One who is able to prepare for a number of possibilities upon entering a situation may have more time to think of the moves and decision to take to minimize the possibilities of errors. Here are the necessary pre-requisites to help you manage your time effectively:

1. Think of goals and aims as necessary achievements. In achieving your desired goals, you should start with a positive outlook. You must be excited with the challenges and tasks that you have to do to give you the right start or motivation. However, you should also see the path towards your goals in concrete terms. These achievements or aims can be reached by becoming realistic and by knowing your directions. Think of the scenarios of success but you should also recognize the fact that these roads have to be traversed in a given time. This way, you are not only looking at the possibility of success, but you are also giving yourself the right motivation and the proper time to prepare for a fresh start and achieve your goals at the soonest possible time.

2. Think of the time frame in achieving goals and aims. You are to do a task at a particular time. As you begin planning your strategies, you must also look forward and recognize your time frames in doing such tasks. Time frames are the periods you are giving yourself to finish a task. These are just estimates or approximations since you are not the sole factor that will contribute in finishing the given task. Be wary of the processes in your environment; for example, if you are to write a book or an article, consider the time you are giving yourself for this activity. However, since you are also doing other things, you cannot devote your entire time in doing the said endeavor. Finally, think of the flow of things or the movement of time in your daily life as you move forward in achieving your desired goals. Think of your other activities that might affect the time factor in finishing given tasks. You might be spending too much time on a very idle activity (like too many late night parties or soirées or a whole day in front of your computer playing online games) that will give you less time to go on with your plan towards self-fulfillment and success. 

3. Be realistic and expect changes. Time Management involves flexibility and open-mindedness. Do not expect that you can finish a task in what you’ve considered as your time frame unless everything is laid down perfectly. You should allot some allowance in your time frame, probably for the sake of the unforeseen or unexpected circumstances. Remember that contradicting factors bring development so don’t be upset with these changes since everything is undergoing a sort of a synthesis. For example, you already made your business plan and a lot of careful considerations have been completed, including the period in which you expect your business to give you financial and personal satisfaction. However, during the course of execution or theory application, there are other factors or changes, which you have not included in your feasibility study. In this case, time should not be wasted in complaining about things or about people surrounding your path. Instead of becoming immobile or paralyzed with the situation, cope up and be flexible by accepting such changes. Level the playing field with innovative strategies based on the situation and knowledge you will acquire from your experience in doing the task. Maximize your time by examining your errors and by moving on with solutions that will sustain whatever efforts you have given to traverse difficult situations and challenges.   

4. Know your work style. You are a time clock too. You work with your habits, your cycles, and bodily rhythms. You sleep, eat, exercise, read a book, or cook with either efficiency or a sloppy lifestyle. Of course you wouldn’t want to be caught like a snail and be crushed with pressures because of limited time, so it would be better if you will give yourself some time to think about yourself. Know how fast you can work on things. And if it’s not as good as others, try to make some improvements. This may be difficult since habits and lifestyles have become personal markers themselves that give you the idea of your daily routines or tasks. Taking three meals a day will remind you of other things you must do after eating like brushing your teeth or going to the toilet or having a 15-minute nap. Your sleeping habits and work efficiency are based on what you’ve grown-up with as an individual – you may either stay late at night or sleep early, as what you’ve been taught or what your household has been doing since you’re a child. Finally, examine yourself and know how fast you can work on things, like typing or encoding words in a computer, filing office data, writing a term paper, or even reading a book. You don’t need to know the exact time but at least, you will have an approximate measurement of how long you can finish such task.

5. Know your environment or workplace. Your house has a time of its own, your office has schedules, and your neighborhood has activities to offer. You are surrounded by these time schedules. It would be better if you would be conscious of the time flow in your surroundings. The daily tasks in your house are definitely main factors in determining your personal time. More so, your working hours are defined by the nature of your work and your workplace. The activities by the people around you may affect your strategies and daily endeavors. Finally, you are not alone in your workplace and other people are also wary of their time and schedules. All of these would affect your time frames and you must be in-synched with all of these to manage your limited time hassle-free.

6. Make Plans. Planning, like in any other preparations, is a way of saving time for errors. Mistakes usually happen because of unexpected and unforeseen factors such as wrong estimates of resources or the entry of new variables in solving a problem. However, with the proper plan and preparation, these unforeseen circumstances can be expected as well as minimized. In such way, you may still finish the task in a given time.

By considering the above-mentioned factors, you are not only giving yourself a period to reflect on how time flows in your life. You are also recognizing the factor that affects time and its fluidity. You will not be drowned because of the seemingly uncontrollable flow but you can now swim with the waves that time brings about. 

What’s the Most Important?

Let’s face it. 24 hours in a day is not enough time for many people to do everything in their schedule. It is therefore imperative that people perform their activities in the order of priority. 

The art of prioritizing covers 4 major task groups:

1.Important and Urgent
2.Not Important but Urgent
3.Not Urgent but Important
4.Not Important and Not Urgent

Important and Urgent

These tasks are the ones that must be done right away, or consequences may result. An example would be bills that are due today. If you don’t pay your bills on time, you would incur additional charges or they might cut off their services to you. Activities belonging to this category need to be acted upon without delay. You should give them the highest priority.

The good news is that some of the tasks included in this category are simple enough and can be delegated to someone else, like buying grocery items for the party tonight. Outsourcing can be a very intelligent decision when it comes to taking care of manual jobs. If you can spare some money in exchange for your time (when you can do much more productive stuffs), then go for it. The rich treat their time more importantly than their money.

Not Important but Urgent

The significance of an activity falling in this category depends on the individual. For example, a 3-day super sale might not be important for some because the items on sale are things that they don’t necessarily need at present. (They might take advantage of the sale even when they think it’s not important because they just felt the urgency that this is a rare occasion and this might never happen again.) Whereas someone who always wants to buy a Harry Potter book but cannot previously afford one may treat a book sale as both important and urgent.

One thing you can do to determine its significance is to analyze the negative effects that may occur as a result of not doing it. If you consider the consequences too immaterial upon nonperformance of the task, then just don’t do it at all.

Not Urgent but Important

You might often put off tasks in this category, but these are the ones that require your attention more. These involve planning, organizing, and implementing your objectives. 

The real danger in delaying these activities lies on the possibility that you may engage in more unimportant tasks that you see as more urgent. This would therefore eat up a lot more of your time. For example, instead of planning on how to increase your sales or minimize your expenses, you tend to put most of your time in entertaining customers (which, by the way, can be done by other people).  Or worse, you may procrastinate (more of this in a later chapter) until you realize that you’ve not been doing any activity under this category for a long time now.

Give these tasks high priority. You may not immediately realize the advantages of accomplishing them, but the benefits in the long run is worth the efforts you will be pouring into them. 

Not Important and Not Urgent

You might think activities in this section are not worth people’s time, so they won’t engage in these activities much. Think again. You would be surprised to know that people spend most of their time doing things that are both unimportant and non-urgent, such as watching TV and movies, playing video games, senseless chatting for hours on the phone, shopping for new clothes, etc.   

Of course, it is essential for people to relax and unwind once in a while. ”All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” as they say. But you should be strict in limiting your time for these activities; that is, if you really want to accomplish a lot in your life.

Treat activities belonging to this section with the lowest priority. If you really want to succeed, strictly limit your time in doing these activities or don’t do them at all. Focus on those that will bring you fruitful results.

Numbered Priority Tactic

Here’s one of the most powerful techniques that you can use to manage your time efficiently – the Numbered Priority Tactic.

Buy a very small notebook that you can put in your pocket. You should be able to bring it anywhere you go. At the front page of the notebook, put the title: Important and Urgent. At the back page, put the title: Important but Not Urgent.

If an idea or event you encounter is Urgent but Not Important, then forget it. You want to utilize your time well, won’t you? If you think it’s significant in some way, then you may put it under Important and Urgent. Ignore Not Important and Not Urgent tasks.

Every time something comes up during your daily work or on your mind, put it in the appropriate page of your little notebook. So let’s say your boss told you to submit a report due tomorrow. Write it down on your notebook under Important and Urgent. Then your friend told you that there’s a big 2-day sale at the downtown furniture store. You may put it under Important and Urgent if you simply must have that furniture you’re drooling for months. But if you think your house would do fine without it, then don’t write it anymore. As you’re walking down the street you suddenly thought of a great new idea for your part-time business. You may put it under Important but Not Urgent.

As the day goes on, write down each and every idea, thought, or event that comes to your mind. As the list increases in each category, examine each of them carefully and start numbering each item in the order of priority - with 1 being the highest priority. Start working on Number 1, and never go to Number 2 until you’re done with Number 1 for each category. If distractions come about, you may take care of them first but always come back to your numbered list when you’re done.

Because priorities may change, you may switch or change the numbers of the items in the list. You may also transfer one item from Important and Urgent to Important but Not Urgent, and vice-versa. When you do any changes, make sure your notebook stays clean. Transfer your writings to a new page when you see that it’s getting untidy. Start off with a new page every day.

This method can enable you to achieve more in one week than what most people can accomplish in a month. The important thing you must do is to buy that little notebook and to start doing this super tactic right now! Time is running fast.
Time Robbers

They’re on the loose. Almost everyone (if not everyone) is guilty of giving in or becoming victim to these time thieves one way or another. In fact, most of these time robbers have become normal parts of people’s daily lives.

TV and Radio

Who can resist watching their favorite shows on TV? If you really want to save time, turn off the boob tube. I know it’s extremely difficult to control the urge; but if you start watching TV, you’ll get hooked. What was originally a decision to watch a one-hour show could turn into a 4-hour addiction. Be strict in limiting your watching time. Better yet, don’t watch at all!

The same thing applies to the radio. If you’re going to listen at all, choose classical music. It stimulates the brain and is a more productive use of your time.


The phone can actually be a time-saver if you know how to use it properly. Instead of emailing someone, engaging in a phone call can allow you to get the answers right away. “Saying it” is definitely faster than “writing it.”  Of course, there are exceptions when email or other methods are better, like when a detailed list is needed.

You can prevent phone calls from stealing your time by telling the caller nicely that you have some urgent matters to attend to, and that you will try to call back soon.

Do you know another reason why telephones waste a lot of your time? They require the use of your hand, which makes it difficult to do other tasks when you are talking. Invest in a headset if you can. It will free up both of your hands so you can do other things while you are chatting away.

Waiting in Line

Nothing could test your patience more than waiting for your turn in long queues. As much as possible, avoid going to crowded places. If you cannot avoid this, pick a schedule where you least expect many people to show up. For example, buy your groceries on weekdays. Don’t shop during weekends and paydays. If you can afford the higher price tags of items that can be bought through the phone, internet, or third-party services, then go ahead and buy them. If you treat time as gold, then the extra time you’ll be saving as a result of this act is worth much more than the extra money you’ll be spending. In case you really have no choice but to wait in line, then don’t waste your time complaining. Do something productive like reading a book, listening to educational tapes, or writing your future plans on your little notebook.

Traffic Terror

This is another hair-pulling moment, especially when you’re running late for an important appointment. Avoid the rush hour by all means. Anticipate when a traffic jam is usually occurring during the day so you can adjust your commuting time. If your destination is not too far away, a walking session might be a great idea to evade traffic, save on gas or money, and attain a healthy lifestyle.

Too Much

Life is becoming more and more complex everyday. We are presented with a variety of choices on a particular product to be bought. We are being inundated with tons of paperwork. We have too many tasks to do in a day.

To solve this dilemma, try to make everything in life as simple as possible.

Don’t present too many choices. People will be confused if you sell them products with too many combinations, varieties, or options. Lots of time will be consumed in deciding which one is really the best.

Try to minimize the quantity of papers you have to keep. If you can afford programming or e-commerce solutions that minimize the use of papers, then it is a rational decision to acquire them.

Pause a while every time you are going to do an activity. Always ask yourself, "What can I do along with this task to save more time in the future?” For instance, you are going to buy a birthday card for your friend. By asking the question, you might come up with the decision to buy more birthday cards instead of just one, to give to those who will be having their birthdays later in the year; so you don’t have to go to the shop every time there is a birthday occasion.


Emails have helped save lots of time and money for many people. Instead of the old-fashioned snail mail, more individuals rely on email to get their messages across faster, cheaper, and more conveniently.

However, there are certain downsides to using email as a means of communication. Many people check their emails many times during the day, therefore hampering their productivity. They’ve become addicted to emails so much that they spend hours reading and replying, even to junk mails! And speaking of junk mails, sorting out your emails and separating the junk from the not can be a very time-consuming activity.

Written below are some great tips to make emails work for you in your pursuit to manage time efficiently.

1. Check your emails a maximum of twice a day. If you want to accomplish many tasks, limit your time in reading your emails. Suitable times would be first thing in the morning (to take care of urgent matters) and a few minutes before you end your work (to catch up with last-minute concerns). 

2. Set up templates or a “Frequently Asked Questions” page. The same questions can be repeatedly asked by different people - things like how to operate a certain product, how to download a resource, how to join your affiliate program, and so forth. It is obvious that typing the same answers to the same questions over and over again is extremely time-consuming. It is therefore advisable to set up templates of answers so you can just copy and paste them whenever the same questions are being asked again. A better way is to set up a “Frequently Asked Questions” page so you can just refer people to it when they have queries. The only time they’ll email you again is when their concerns have not been properly addressed.

3. Reply briefly. Answer your emails clearly and to the point. Don’t overcomplicate the explanation. Never reply to spam messages or to junk mails.

4. Take the phone. Several minutes spent in replying to emails can be shortened tremendously by just calling the person. You’ll get faster responses and you’ll end up saving lots of time. And of course, the personal touch is priceless.

5. Terminate spam. Spam messages are very prevalent nowadays. Not only can they waste a lot of your time, but they can be very annoying as well. To prevent spam, don’t spread your email address like wildfire. It would be advisable to have a private email address that only a few trusted people know. If you can, make your email address more intricate. For example, use instead of If you’re inserting your email address in websites and messages, you may replace @ with “AT.” For instance, write down instead of   

6. Get your email across. Sometimes, your email could mistakenly be regarded as spam, and this would waste your time in composing that message. To prevent such occurrence, be careful with your choice of words. Avoid words or phrases that trigger the spam filters. Some words to avoid: free, money, sex, amazing, limited offer, naked, opportunity, debt, loans, lottery, retire, urgent 

Other Robbers

There are certainly many other time thieves depending on each individual’s circumstances. Examples include waiting for your spouse in the shopping mall, making mistakes in filling up application forms, and other such things. Use your mind to think of possible solutions. If you can’t avoid being involved in such predicaments, then at least make those moments productive by reading books, listening to educational tapes, etc.   

Time Management in the Workplace

It is a sad fact that many employees tend to work longer than 8 hours in a day. The addiction of working continuously even after the clock strikes 5 has become a prevalent scenario in today’s fast-paced world.

For workaholics, working overtime has become a way of life. Many employees admit that they feel obliged to do as much work as possible or to finish their tasks the very same day they’re given. In my previous job, some of the employees even work past midnight in the office just to get things done. This is absolutely absurd. There are much better ways of exceeding the expectations of the boss rather than sacrificing your health and personal life. In this chapter you will learn some terrific tactics to enable you to get home early and achieve a balanced life.

Work Quality Hours

Some employees may acquire a “happy-go-lucky” attitude because they think that whatever they have not finished within the normal working hours, they can accomplish later during overtime. They therefore tend to work slower. They have the inclination to do other things during office hours like chatting with their co-workers regarding the latest gossips, surfing the internet for personal reasons, and reading joke emails sent by their friends.

These are not acceptable acts by a responsible employee. Not only will the employee spend less time for rest and relaxation by staying late in the office, but the company would also have to shoulder more overtime pay for work that can be finished within the regular working time.           

If you want to maintain a balanced life, then leave your office early. You might think that this is not a logical step to take especially when you’re bombarded with piles of assignments and reports that are due soon. But once you get the hang of this, you’ll become more focused with your job and you’ll spend less time doing unproductive tasks.

The magic word here is focus. Tell yourself that you are leaving early by hook or by crook. By doing this, you are imposing a strict deadline on yourself. When you make up your mind to go home early from work with full determination, your subconscious will help you in achieving such feat.

Word of advice: start gradually. If you’re used to working 15 hours a day, you may start by lessening it to 12 hours, then to 10 hours, then finally to 8 hours. You may also decide which days of the week you’ll be leaving work early.

For example, this week you’ll go home early on Wednesday. Then next week, it’s Wednesday and Thursday. Then the week after that, it’s Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Keep on decreasing the numbers of hours you have to work for a particular week until you have achieved a normal 8-hour work routine daily. 

But please. Don’t leave the office early feeling guilty and unproductive. Just think. By achieving balance and getting enough rest, you’ll end up becoming more efficient than if you work countless hours the day before. A better use of your time is to plan on how you are going to handle the work that you will be doing tomorrow.

At the start of every day, always ask yourself, “What must I do to feel satisfied when I go home from work on time today?” Another great way to accomplish more is that during the middle of the day, contemplate on the tasks that you have already done, then ask yourself “What other things do I need to finish?” You will gain more direction to accomplish whatever needs to be done. 
Be Efficient and Productive

Certain factors may negatively affect the employee’s performance, the effect of which could be disastrous to both the employee and the company. Listed below are some of the things you need to pay attention to if you want to become efficient at your job:

1. Do not accept more than you can handle. Sometimes, people want to please their bosses so much that they would be willing to add up more work to their already unending tasks with the hope of being recognized and promoted. What they didn’t know is that they’ll end up being more inefficient, frustrated, and stressed-out just to meet the deadlines. If you think you cannot accommodate an additional workload or a new project, then be honest and tell your boss about it. With a justifiable explanation, your superior would understand your situation and would be glad to assign the task to someone else with less workload. 

2. Organize your files and office supplies well. A table with too much clutter can leave you in disarray. Make sure you group identical things together so you won’t have to waste time in finding the things you need.

3. Move it. Your body, that is. Exercise has been proven to reduce work-related stress and anxiety. Regular exercise can help maintain your body in tip-top condition to handle the challenges of work. If you can, stretch your body or take frequent breaks within your work schedule to revitalize yourself.

4. Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make you drowsy and weak, thereby impairing your concentration and ability to do the job well. 7 to 8 hours is normal for most people but there is actually no norm. Some could sleep just 4 hours and still be in great working condition. Know the minimum hours of sleep you can take to become productive during the day and make sure you get enough of it daily. Take a short 15 to 30 minute nap during break time if you can. It will give you energy for the rest of the day.   

5. Use devices or supplies that save time. Get a stamper with your signature in it so you can minimize your time in signing documents. If you’re given a choice, choose a laptop instead of a desktop computer for better accessibility to your work when you’re outside the office.

6. Eat light lunch. If you splurge in an eat-all-you-can treat at lunch, there’s a big chance you’ll get lethargic later on in the afternoon. Stay alert for the rest of the day by limiting your lunch, and by taking a light snack if you go hungry at mid-afternoon.      

7. Delegate. During the normal course of your work, you would most likely encounter time killers such as unwanted phone calls and emails, or waiting in line to photocopy some documents. If you could delegate these and other similar tasks to others, you could be freeing a lot of time for more productive pursuits.   
The Art of Delegation
“No man is an island.” There might be some people who disagree with this saying, thinking that they can live happily by themselves and there’s no need for anybody else’s help.

While some may adopt the philosophy “If you want to do it right, you got to do it yourself,” we still need other people’s help sooner or later. And when it comes to effective time management, delegating or assigning tasks to others is a must.

You might think that doing it all yourself would make you a hero. Nope, it would only eat up a lot more of your time – time you could spend in doing other things that could make you feel more satisfied or accomplished. Also, who would like to do things they don’t enjoy? You only live once, so make the most of it.

What are the things you can delegate to others?

1. Customer support
2. Cleaning the house
3. Grocery shopping
4. Bathing your pets
5. Cooking
6. Fixing broken tools and equipment
7. Mowing the lawn
8. Wedding arrangements
9. Gift-wrapping
10. Catering
11. Ghostwriting
12. Web designing

There are many unemployed people who would be willing to do the jobs for you, if the price is right. But how do you determine if it’s really worth it to hire someone else in exchange for your hard-earned money?

Write down the more enjoyable or more satisfying things that you can do, as a result of not engaging in tasks you don’t enjoy. I believe you’ll live a more fulfilling life by shedding out a few dollars in exchange for some valuable free time. After all, money can be replaced anytime, but lost time can never be reclaimed.

Goals and Time Management

Goals are necessary to give you the right motivation. Goal-oriented persons manage their time efficiently. They always think of what they can achieve if they will be able to get on the right track and finish the task in lesser time.

Just imagine the oval track in the athletic event. You are there to compete in a running competition. As an athlete, you are to define success in a matter of seconds. For you to win, think of the finish line and the track on which you have to run. You have to see the lines that give you the idea of your track, your direction. You have to be at the end of the path in less time in order to win.

You should be aware of your goals and you should know the right ways to achieve them. Goals are motivational tools or ideas that will give you the zest to start the task or duty with vibrant enthusiasm. This will give you the idea on how to execute a task and overcome challenges in a time frame that you would also be formulating. Goals must be concrete or specific, measurable within a time frame, realistic, attainable, and relevant. These are the markers of success that will give you the idea of your future and of what you want. Goals are based on your present conditions and resources; however, you must increase your resources or change the conditions within a given time to attain your desired result.

A goal is also a projection, a way of directing your thoughts toward what you foresee as success. It is a mind channel; therefore, you should be aware of the power of the mind and of what you believe you can do with the aid of positive thinking. How to do it will be the next step; but on your way to success, it would be necessary to set things in order, to make some priorities and plans, and to maintain a positive outlook. Here are some goals that you can employ in reaching your desired scenarios in less time:

1. Motivational Goals – These goals help in enervating your moves and in encouraging you to be good in whatever you do. Motivational goals are imaginary pictures or moments that you see yourself as, like becoming rich or famous after some years of work and struggle. You may also think of yourself based on social conditions like leading a nation for a better future, becoming a good and patriotic citizen, or anything that you wish to achieve in terms of your status in life. A person is motivated by how he defines the future, or by what he wishes to accomplish in life. Motivational goals are not necessarily the specific conditions that you would want to reach in a particular time. These are scenarios that give you the encouragement to work hard and to waste no time in achieving what you want. Motivational goals are what define you as a person, including your personality and philosophy in life, as well as your vision towards the future. Motivational goals will encourage you to persevere and reach for your dreams.

2. Projected Goals – These goals are the ones that you wish to achieve in less time or within a given period. The result of your plan depends on your projected output. You will reach what you want provided that you have created the right conditions to reach the end of that path. Projection is a way of estimating the result of your plan like your projected income after a year from the start of your business, the projected result of your thesis or study, or your plans after five years of marriage. These are similar to motivational goals. However, these goals are what you wish to achieve so you can create conditions to reach them. Examples of projected goals are enumerated below:

Perceptual Goal:
Am I optimistic or pessimistic in perceiving ideas or situations? Do I get upset by people or by things that do not meet my expectations? Do I grumble or look forward after a failure or wretched situation?

Professional Goal:
What is my notion of success and how do I get there?

Educational Goal:
What do I want to learn and why should I learn them? What are the things, information, and skills that I have to acquire in order to excel and become a productive citizen?

Familial Goal:
What is my concept of home and how do I define my family? Am I aware of my lineage and my goal for my family? How do I envision myself as part of my family, and my extended family? How do I want them to envision me?

Financial Goal:
What are my financial expectations? Do I want to become rich? Have an affluent Lifestyle?

Physical Fitness Goal:
What do I want to become, physically speaking? What are my hobbies or preferred sports? Do I wish to compete in athletic events and how do I see myself doing it?

Recreational Goal:
How do I want to enjoy my life?

Public Service Goal:
How can I make this a better world or a more humanly society?

3. Concrete Goals – These are parts of your plans and what you wish to achieve realistically. Concrete goals are what’s written in your “what to do list” or noted in your planner or calendar. Concrete goals must be the result of your feasibility study or business plan.

It would be better if you always set some goals in planning your activities or in projecting your future. Goals are meant to encourage you in reaching something. But sometimes, goals can be frustrating especially when failures start to enter into the picture. You should not waste time indulging in low-motivational factors such as frustration, low-self esteem, confusion, and anxiety. Instead, you should focus your attention on how you can learn and benefit from such failures.

Goals are set to help you encourage yourself. Goals should be based on your capacity and should be reflected by your strengths and weaknesses. These aims should also be realistic and should be based on your immediate concerns.

As what Abraham Maslow had elucidated in Psychology, behaviors are defined by what we consider as “hierarchy of needs” or pyramidal structures in which we are predisposed to strive with. There are basic needs like food, shelter and material things that are necessary for survival. This should be met in order to get into the next level, which includes social interactions and the need for love and belongingness. On top of this pyramid is the need for “self-actualization” or the fulfillment of a person after meeting the more basic needs in life.

Along with this is the assessment of one's spirituality, the higher definition of success, like personal happiness and higher forms of gratification in line with creativity.

Goals should also be set according to the proper way to adjust in case you do not meet your expectations. If you’re not able to reach what you initially desired for the first time, try looking at your aim and modify it. For example, you want to buy a sports car from your savings and additional compensation because you are really working hard for such reward. However, during the middle of the year, you learned that you need to spend your money on some very important expenses, like an increased payment for the amortization of your housing loan or an unexpected expenditure. In order to veer away from frustration, what you can do is either delay the buying of your car until you can save the right amount or buy a car with whatever money you have left.

Never let frustration confuse you or give you the terrible feeling of not achieving what you want. Just in case you decided to buy the car by having another loan from the bank, just imagine the additional money you have to earn to pay all your bills. This would only derail you from your initial agenda. Remember that a wise man is patient with his purse and will never spend a dime for stone.

Other things that you should remember in setting goals include:

1. Your priorities in life and their order.

2. Your strengths and weaknesses in doing things or in executing actions.

3. Your personality and the things that should be improved in meeting the demands of your plans.

4. Your plans for other people, especially for your love ones that will give you a sense of fulfillment and personal happiness.

5. Your past achievements that will pump-up more encouraging spirit in your next struggles.

Keep in mind that goals are guideposts but not necessarily the exact result of what you have in mind for your plans. Sticking with your goals and not adjusting to the changes will give you time-wasting frustrations. A right move would be recognizing the changes and moving on to reach your aims amidst any unexpected circumstances.

Another part of motivational aspect in efficient time usage would be to avoid procrastination. This kind of negative virtue is a result of the loss of motivation because of many factors that surround your work habits and conditions. These include low-self esteem, discouragement from superiors, the absence of concrete rewards or pleasant results, or plainly because of boredom. Procrastination is one big hindrance in achieving your aims or goals. Therefore, you should avoid such feeling or mindset. Here are some basic tips to get away from such negative thought and activity:   

1. If you are the type of person who gets easily bored, avoid routines or try to change your daily activities once in a while. These would give you a sense of dynamism and would help you avoid the boredom of familiarity and habit formation.

2. Try to accomplish two boring tasks by alternating each of them.  They will give you a directional movement to achieve your desired result.

3. Reward yourself after doing a very difficult task or a very boring activity, like encoding a private manuscript or filing a card catalog cabinet. You may also think of the reward you will be getting after finishing such activity either in concrete or abstract terms.

4. In case you are working on a very uninteresting task along with your other activities, make sure to take note of this by writing it down and posting it at your workstation or at your cubicle. By doing this, you would be reminded of the task even when you’re not interested to do it initially.

5. Enjoy your work with what motivates you like listening to classical music or going out once in a while to see the natural scenery.

6. Never put pressure in your mind. This will just increase your frustration level.

7. Talk about your work with your colleague and think about the happiness you feel inside the office. By becoming cheerful and positive, you not only imbibe good mood but also motivate others and yourself to work hard.

8. Avoid too much caffeine or sweet foods during pressured moments. They will give you too much energy level that can bring your anxiety level and worries up. However, during a relaxed and comfortable situation, you may sip your favorite coffee and dip your spoon on the luscious caramel-chocolate cake in a café where you can enjoy time in a relaxed ambiance, especially if you have just finished a very long and challenging day at work.

Planning and Time Management

Planning means preparing yourself with theories, ideas and concepts that will lead you in executing your task. A carefully crafted planning procedure doesn’t waste time and effort. Planning involves management of resources and tracking down the logical steps in executing a task or project. This also involves creativity and patience since you would not want to start with an empty hand or pocket.

Now that you are ready and energetic about your plans, your next step would be to manage your time as you execute your plans. In this case, you must have effective ways to manage time. Your strategies to work with your plan should follow logical, relevant, and intelligent moves that will make you adjust with the changes and flux of time. A good plan is not enough unless it is executed well. You will just end up with a good plan and not with the best result if you will just keep on reading and re-reading your plans. In the strategies of time management, you should:

1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

2. Try to veer away from complications.

3. Avoid mental contradictions.

These three important aspects will help you know your best moves. By looking at your strengths and weaknesses as an individual, you would also know what to avoid (like procrastination, boredom, laziness, low self-esteem) and what to bank on (creativity, flexibility, or cheerfulness). You would also work with your best effort because you want to finish the said task and succeed. By knowing yourself, you would also know how to adjust during trials and testing.

Make things simple. This doesn’t mean you can’t think of complicated matters over the period of planning or during the execution of your plans. Simplicity means that you reduce complication as much as possible. In making your calendar of activities or time frame, do not include irrelevant agenda or unnecessary tasks. Do not put too many variables in your plans. Just think of the needed resources. Finally, think of ways of achieving your goals without too many directions or strategies. Just focus on what you think is the most effective way in the execution of your work plan.

You are your own enemy. Mental contradictions are also called cognitive dissonance. This means that if you think of your goals or aims, and something bad happens which might cause some delays or change of plans, do not pressure yourself with opposing poles of thoughts. In other words, remove anxiety from your mind.    

There are ideal scenarios in your mind (like remodeling your house during your given vacation leave and spending a week with a newly refurbished house).  But there are realities to face (Because of the delay of materials, a one week delay was incurred and you weren’t able to enjoy the pleasant rest period you had envisioned). In this case, don’t grumble and complain. Instead, think of the future, or the succeeding days that you can have to extend your plan of rest and recreation. Lessen the cognitive dissonance or mental contradiction that you would feel every time a problem or hindrance comes across your desired path. This will only muddle your thoughts and make you less energetic because of dissatisfactions. Often, this kind of displeasure will lead you nowhere and will eat up your time in reaching your necessary objectives.

Now after keeping these in mind, you are now ready to execute your plan.

A plan, especially made for a targeted result in an organization or as a personal aim (like saving some money or thinking of an activity during the summer), should be written down to achieve concrete actions. Never underestimate the value of planning because it is the start of the creation of strategies in executing your moves to achieve what you envision to accomplish.

A long-term plan involves a lifetime endeavor or a long-range projection. This can be part of an individual’s journey towards his notion of success. This might include ambitions, the kind of life a person wants, or the philosophy which defines a person’s meaning of success. Long-term plans can also be part of the bigger plans a society would create to better organize human existence. It can also take a longer period of time and necessitates a lot of changes.

On the other hand, a short-term or short-range plan involves a plan for tomorrow, for the week, for the month, or for the year. This is a personal plan that manifests the shortness of time or the limitations of a day or week. Short-term planning needs a lot of skills in balancing between tasks or duties that require time. It also involves insight in the right usage of resources and its relationship with time, such as the availability of the required supplies or the delays in communicating messages.

There are ways to create a sound plan, both simple and complex. Here are some of the ways:

1. The use of the calendar should be maximized. Calendars can help you plan for things you will be doing in the future. Make sure that in your house, in your office desk, your wallet, or through your gadgets, you are constantly aware of important dates and schedules.

2. Use organizers and day trackers: Similar to a calendar is an organizer or pocket diary where you can write your important activities or agenda for the day, week, or month. Use this tool efficiently and you would have no hassle managing your schedule. Remember, these were made for the purpose of being used, and not to be stored on some dark, dank area of your house.

3. Highly sophisticated electronic organizers such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) can give you more comfort and efficiency in managing your schedule. You can use these gadgets to give you details of your plans or important dates to remember without the hassle of turning the pages or writing it down with a pen. PDAs are designed to give you the most logical and modern method of locating your data and organizing them to create better timetables and goal projections.

4. Make a list of agenda: A “What to Do List” is one simple way of planning your day in a very timely organized manner. You can write down your planned activities for tomorrow especially if you have to do various tasks in one day. You can also keep this list as an initial way of tracking down your activity until you can create your own mental note or a list of desired activities inside your mind for simple undertakings. However, for bigger and more complicated agendas, it would be better if you have your small notebook or PDA where you can store a list of what you need to do or finish at a particular point in time.

Feasibility Studies

This kind of planning involves technical details and a lot of logical questions regarding a projected plan. Business establishments, organizational developments, and personal studies involve a kind of study or plan that will create timetables, projections, and strategies to be employed in getting the conclusive result of an activity or endeavor. This kind of planning requires a lot of preparation and critical inquiry. However, feasibility studies can also be employed in creating simple projections like the possibility of earning or saving money because of some available business opportunities. Also, a simplified feasibility study would be helpful in creating an annual career plan that involves an array of achievement possibilities in one year. An example of this is working while studying (or finishing a graduate degree) at the same time enjoying some other activities or engaging in some social organization. An annual plan for all of these could be a skeletal framework that will remind you of your priorities in life.

In making plans, you have to remember important key points that will help you become a better organizer of resources and time. Here are some key elements in strategic planning.

1. Productivity – Always remember that in your move to success, there should always be a clear or concrete result. Though the result won’t always be in your favor, just be reminded that you are doing something because you want to achieve something. Productivity also means that you are not wasting time or effort in doing something or as you move on with your plans. You are gaining something. You are moving forward. In making business plans, you should consider the result of your effort and the limitations and eventual expansion of your resources. Productivity as a key should follow the rule that “there’s no day but today” in getting what you want or keeping yourself on track.

2. Logical Decisions – A plan should be empirically based, meaning you are not basing your assumptions on fantasy (becoming a millionaire after a month or so of working, or getting the dream house without any concrete move or action). The rule of logic also follows the rule of intelligent decision-making. You are to minimize mistakes with the use of logic and step-by-step analysis of things and situations. You must base your decisions after realizing the pros and cons. Don't make hasty decisions. Logical steps create logical results, and these results are efficiently following the rules of time. Following the process will keep you definitely on time to reach your goals.

3. Resources – The availability of your resources may affect the execution of your plan. In estimating the time frame, you need to get to the end of it all. Good managers are insightful about the limited conditions due to the limited quantity of materials, manpower, and most importantly time. But because there are expected limitations, a good plan can help an individual who is expecting these possible problems or scenarios prepare better. Time, though not a basic resource, is a factor itself that affects the availability of the said requirements. For example, delays in delivery or the absence of a particular reference material would mean a lot of things for an entrepreneurial venture. To manage this situation effectively, a good estimate or an initial expectation would cause less panic on the part of the people involved in the operation.

Finally, your plans are just plans and they are not the products of your achievement until you begin taking actions. Moreover, your plans should be flexible and should not be a source of anxiety or frustration in case you do not meet your set of expectations.

The Use of Action Plans

The use of action plans is different from making a “what to do list” since in the latter, you are just making a list of what to do for a particular task or project. You must give focus on what you need to do in a period of time to reach for your aim. Action plans will give you concentration and a clear line on where you would start and how you would utilize your effort/energy to become an achiever. In making an action plan consider the following:

1. Go back to your goals, what are your objectives?

2. Go back to your strategies, how will you do it?

3. What are the most logical ways of doing your tasks or plans? What are the points between A and Z?

4. How will you do you plans within a period of time? One day, a week, a month or a year? How realistic are you in getting the desired result?

The most important and valuable insight of an action plan as a strategy or tool for time management is how it gives you focus and motivation in finishing your task in less time. It will also give you an organized feeling of finishing a project. You need the list of your possible moves and the time frame that will require you to achieve such actions. For example, if you are making plans and you are still confused on how to execute your theoretical framework, try solving the basics first. In organizing an event, you may compartmentalize the different sets of tasks that need to be finished within a period of time. List down the necessary actions you need to do on each of the defined tasks. Then try to picture the situation in a more general manner and you would realize that you are actually defining the blueprints of your move, and therefore becoming more organized in your attempt to achieve success.

Remember to make plans in every important aspect that you do, either for complicated projects or mundane activities. Just keep in mind that you are here for a purpose and that is to be positive as much as possible, everyday of the week, every minute of every hour. Mental plans will give you a feeling of security especially in facing scenarios like meeting new people or your boss or your parents-in-law. However, do not become slaves of your plan since this will make you obsessive and anxious. Just make sure that if your plan doesn't work or you are not able to achieve your expectations, go for your next move. The more choices you have, the better planner you are.

Scenario: You feel unmotivated because every move you make seems futile. You think that you are not getting any younger and your achievements are as tall as the newly cut grass of your lawn. You don't seem to be getting anywhere, you are a floating ship and your sail is broken. You feel sick and tired of your routine inside the office. You feel that time does not cooperate with you since it became wicked, forcing you to finish things and tasks beyond schedule or boring you with a slow melting trepidation.

Solution: Now what you can do is scrap this kind of life and start with a leap of faith by changing your destiny. You can start this by getting a pencil and a paper and listing down your past and present, and highlighting what you want in the future. Motivate yourself with aims that will give your heart a different and cheerful smile. Remove the dread by having positive projection and by thinking of what you want as an individual, as part of your family, friends, and society. Write the word SUCCESS in bold letters and take action!

Organizing and Time Management

After carefully laying out your plans, you have to work with the execution using an organized structure to efficiently manage time. Time Management tools involve a lot of organizational aspects that limit and control the flow of resources.

A suggested organizational method you can do to manage your time and to entail great results is by using Time Estimates. First you need to know where your time goes or how you would like to spend the rest of your day. If you work in an office, calculate how much time you spend in your office and at home. Time estimates will give you the idea of your workflow, your efficiency in doing work, and your time to relax and rest. For other time estimates, try considering these:

1. Time of Work – The regular workload for most people is 8 hours, more or less. You have to maximize your time and energy during this productive period. Work time should also follow regulation that is created to sustain a harmonious atmosphere for both employees and employers.

2. Personal time – This is the time in which an individual can have personal space and time for reflection. This can be either a time to contemplate or rest for a while (during coffee breaks, a prayer, or cigarette break). Personal time can be short but it is very meaningful for an individual who is seeking refuge and silence after a day of hustle and bustle. This is also a moment of reflecting the time spent on other things like work and other activities.

3. Interaction moments – These are times spent talking with colleagues, friends, relatives, and loved ones about relationships, professional matters, personal things, or anything that concerns the speaker and the listener. Usually we become unconscious on the time spent for this activity but we should be aware of the many things learned from interaction and socialization.

4. Time for Relaxation and Recreation – This is the time when you reward yourself after spending so many hours and days at work. This is a time to feel free and to enjoy the moments of life.

You can organize your time by creating a daily agenda and by checking your agenda at the end of each day to track down your schedule on a daily basis. Other suggestions include:

1. Keep an activity log in which all your activities, either major or minor, can be written down and later on, be analyzed by you. You would see that you have a remarkable capacity to do so many things or, on the opposite side, there are so many things that you have not done because of tardiness. This would also help you become more aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. You can also analyze your period of alertness and productivity through this activity log.

2. Track-down your idle moments or your periods of tardiness. For example, know what might have been the cause of the delay of finishing tasks such as writing a report or going to your appointment. This way, you would also know your weaknesses when it comes to motivation and goal setting.

3. Know your personal histories, your family history, and learning insights from the past. This way, you would recognize the importance of time and how it has affected your development as an individual or as part of your family or society. 

4. You may also compare your work efficiency with the work style of others. But this should not frustrate you if you see that others leave you behind. Contrary to this, you should be motivated to excel or to improve your condition if you see that you are not working as fast or as efficient as they are.

Importance of Filing

Some people think that filing is a complete waste of time. The opposite is true. The benefits of filing far outweigh the inconveniences of engaging in such task.

The importance of filing lies in the fact that you don’t have to wade through lots of stuffs when you’re looking for a particular item. You’ll know exactly where it is located.

Here are some super tactics for organized filing.

1. Get colorful. Buy folders of different colors, each color representing a specific category. For example: green folder is for bank accounts, blue folder is for health records, red folder is for utility receipts, and so on. You may even put labels of various colors in every folder. Let’s say in the bank accounts folder, you can put a label colored brown for one bank, then orange for the other bank.

2. Go through all your stuffs and just keep the things you need. People sometimes keep things that they don’t even need or that they don’t find any value in. Give to your relatives or to charity your old clothes that are now too small for you to wear. This applies to your other things. Upon checking an item, just ask yourself, “Will I still find use for this thing in the future?” If the answer is “No,” then give it away or dispose of it. Then properly organize and file whatever is left.

3. Create a unique folder for each day of the month. This may be a little time-consuming at first; but once you’re done, you have a very efficient system for organizing and scheduling your tasks. The way it works: Create a folder for the 1st day of the month, 2nd day, 3rd day, and so forth. After having 31 folders (representing the maximum number of days in a given month), you are now ready to utilize this tactic. Let’s say your credit card bill arrives on the 12th of June, but it won’t be due until the 20th. You may put it in the Day 20 folder, or Day 19 (to give you some leeway). By using this method, it would be hard for you to miss out on any important date or occasion. 

Deduction and Induction

There are ways to organize sets of ideas. Like in a story or a narrative, one can look for the conclusion in the end or sometimes, as most flashback stories would narrate, you can go backward. This is also true in the process of Deductive and Inductive Logic. You could either start from Generalization to Specific details in the process of Deduction. You may create your hypothesis first like: “Earning more in three years through small business ventures with close friends is possible if…” and giving specific details like how to do it or what should be done to follow the organized pattern towards a successful conclusion.

On the other hand, Inductive Logic may involve specific details first (like what are the factors that lead to bankruptcy) to form a general conclusion or an overall analysis. In creating an organized strategy to manage time, you can also employ the deductive and inductive way of projecting ideas or concepts. To further concretize these points here are some situations, which use both deduction and induction in the process of calculating time.

At the grocery, when buying things, you might consider the needs of your family, your own needs, your budget, or your general preference in choosing items. It would also be helpful if you prepare a shopping list. On the other hand, you may also think of the menu you are about to cook for the whole week and from this, you can create your shopping list. This way, you are not only saving time spent in the grocery but you may also estimate your money for such expenses.

During business meetings or formal negotiations, the objectives agreed by both parties should be the guiding principle in knowing what to discuss and in what order. In negotiating something, goals or conclusive statements like “a successful bargaining agreement” would be the necessary end that will condition the creation of means or moves.

In writing a book, one would have a general idea of the story and the flow of the narrative.

In preparing for a party, one would be wary of the theme or the desired atmosphere that the organizer had thought of.

In some research work for an unknown knowledge or conclusion, the researcher has to look for evidences or facts that will give conclusive results.

Planning for a grand vacation might have no conclusions yet but during the preparation or the actual trip, a person may experience a lot of different moments, which can contribute to a memorable vacation or a regrettable one.

To make architectural plans, much specific details should be considered (though this can also be done using a general theme or conclusion). The final plan is based on the availability of the resources, the time frame on which the house or structure should be built, and other factors that are involved in the construction.

In solving some problems, you have to know the different factors, which might have been the cause of the dilemma. There are many things to think of in solving difficult situations but these factors or details would help you create a clear picture about what might have happened and what can be done to resolve conflicts and contradictions.

The process of logical reasoning is a good strategy to create and organize plans and execute preparations that you have made. There are more ways to create strategies and these two are just the basic directions that can guide you in finishing your task. You must be creative and flexible in handling the situation and you can base the direction you are following on these two scientifically proven processes. You must intelligently choose from these directions based on carefully crafted ideas to succeed in less time and effort.

The Benefits of Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the organized and scientific study of space and its possible perfect feature for better human management and labor. The use of space to avoid cluttering and pressure is very important in minimizing errors and mistakes that could lead to the disruption of operations during work.

Ergonomically crafted office space is better than unplanned or disorganized working scenarios. In making office supplies and machines that aid human work and behavior, the intelligent use of space and human efficiency are considered to better equip highly complicated labor scenarios like big offices and factories, or specialized venues like hospitals, laboratories or even our homes.

However, planning the place for work doesn't only give comfortable working conditions but it is also saves time and energy as you engage in different tasks. Organized space can lead to a more organized flow of work and the production of better products and services. On the other hand, it would also help an individual in avoiding pressures, mistakes, and obstacles from unfit spaces and conditions. Here are some ways to help you create an ergonomically better working space and lifestyle:

1. Avoid clutter. Neatness doesn't only give an impression of human cleanliness but it also makes a room free from dangers and oversights. It would also be easier to find a tool or a document if things are in their proper order. This would minimize your time looking for such objects. Examples:

Keep a handy box that will serve as your multi-purpose box whenever you pick lost objects in your house. You can use this box after cleaning a room or making an inventory inside your closet. Finally, make sure that those objects you will find go into their proper places.

Clean as you go. Maintain the habit of cleanliness, in small ways or in general clean up. You can spend 10 minutes picking up objects or misplaced things. You may involve other people to engage in this habit too.

Never put garbage anywhere. More so, don't let these unnecessary objects hide inside your cabinets, closets, or under your bed until they become little monsters of their own.

Your table should be your soul. A clean and organized working table will help you become more efficient. Daily tasks or mundane things (like sharpening a pencil or putting staple wires on a stapler) wouldn't become a detraction to more complicated activities like analyzing entries of an accounting book or filing important documents if your table is neat and highly organized.

Do not buy bulky appliances or office equipment. Your house or office should have more space for movement and accessibility for things you need for your daily tasks.

Always follow the "On the fly" philosophy: Close an open drawer when you pass by it, empty a full wastebasket, pick-up a clothing item lying down on the floor and hang it up, file papers and never let if fly around the house or office space.

Check the items if they are arranged according to their proper grouping. A pencil shouldn't be with the knives, spoons and other utensils. Milk cartons shouldn't be near toilet disinfectant. Food and insecticide being together could endanger people’s lives.

Compartmentalize, organize each box, label them and arrange them in such a way that no heads will suffer bumps from falling objects.

2. Keep updated on the ergonomically designed houses or office spaces. You can either hire a professional industrial interior designer to do the job of keeping your space organized, or learn the principles of maintaining an efficient and cozy working environment.

3. Use colors that will motivate or encourage people to become cheerful, happy, and interested with their works. Bright colors can subdue the feeling of loneliness in a vast office space but brightness shouldn't become a distraction or an irritant to the eye. The color gray, on the other hand, commands formality and a savvy environment fit for serious and corporate setting. Verdant or green surrounding relaxes the mind and eyes but these should be balanced by neutral colors such as black or blue to avoid redundant feelings or laxity.

4. Make the temperature just right. Temperature is also a factor that could either irritate or motivate a person to work. Temperature should be just right and the senses must be tempered with pleasant stimuli during work. Make sure that the air conditioner or thermostat of your heater works properly and gives the right temperature according to the change of weather.

5. Use modern gadgets and equipment. They can be of big help in maintaining a functioning working environment. Chairs should be adjustable, with tilting features and rotating bases. Acquire forearm and wrist supports. Fax machines, telephones, computers, modems, printers should be in proper network to help you work with things faster. However, delays and malfunctioning of these gadgets can be a source of headache or time wastage if improper use is frequent or if technology and human conditions are not properly managed. Also, technology should not be a hindrance in creating a better working environment; therefore, you should learn from the basics and should be updated on the current information in the use and maintenance of sophisticated office equipment.

These are just some of the ways you can improve your house or your working space. Now if you try to follow some of these, you would notice that your working time would become fast and efficient. You would also become aware of your environment. This would give you the feeling of command and control over your workplace, your life, and the time that surrounds you.

Time management, like any other skill, is not hard to develop. Time should be kept not as an enemy, but as a companion towards your destined paths.

There's a time for love and romance, for jubilation, and for sorrow. There’s a time to relax, and a time to catch up with the running moments. But what is important is to be in control of time, no matter how pressured or tight any situation might be.

We have different perceptions regarding this temporal aspect we call time.

But in the end, what is important is to be on time for everything, under the natural conditions of things, on a normal flow of moments.

Communication lines worldwide are vast and interrelated. Roads and transportation system create dizzying paths and passageways. More so, data are overflowing and overwhelming, drowning us with limitless ideas and knowledge.

Likewise, we have to be equipped with the right information and updated with the critical intelligence to get into where we must go, wasting no time at all. We should lead our lives with ways to manage our resources, energy, and time efficiently. 

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great.”
~ Mark Twain


  • Guest
Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 11:49:10 PM »
This one cuts right to the bone. Time management is my biggest downfall.  ;;:B

And the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. Now that is downright SCARY!

Thanks for a comprehensive article, Mark.

Deb Gallardo

Offline KarenMcG

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Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 09:02:25 AM »
This report is a great addition for us, Mark. Lots of information to consider.  Somehow I missed it when you first posted it.

Thank you.



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Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 03:40:43 AM »
Absolutely, that is a great article mark. I think the most precious asset for everyone, aside from education is to have a physically fit body. Healthy body is important for us to be far away from any sickness. And we can do everything we want to do.

Offline Donald

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Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 07:53:25 AM »

Excellent article. I will go over that again more slowly. I think a lot of people think $$, me included. You want it to happen now and when it does not happen you get stresed and hacked of. I am learning to do things at a more slower pace. I write things down and do them as they arise. Don't get me wrong I still slip into the old ways. Debs mentioned that the older you get the faster time goes. I wouldn't have believed that 10 years ago when i was 40, all of a sudden 50 appeared. I wondered where the last 10 years went.

Well done for an excellent article, see, I mentioned that twice.......



Offline Mark Austin

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Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 05:40:45 PM »
Absolutely, that was a great article mark. I think the most precious asset for everyone, aside from education is to have a physically fit body. And that was mine, to have a healthy body that you could show to everyone. Healthy body is an important for us so that we are far away from any sickness. And we can do everything we want to do.

Hi Bernacj21

Welcome to the forum!

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great.”
~ Mark Twain


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Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 06:40:55 AM »
Truly some excellent points to think about Mark!

I'd say that my most precious assets beyond time, and those of a familial nature of course, are:

1) The intense drive to succeed no matter what obstacles are standing in the way.
2) A genuine desire to be of service to others.
3) The self-confidence and feeling of personal worth gained through dogged determination.
4) Freedom - Through the realization that no matter what damaging beliefs were forced upon me while growing up, I am ultimately responsible for what I choose to accept as truth--and by taking personal responsibility for my own actions I'm free to enjoy the rewards as well as suffer the consequences of my actions and beliefs.



  • Guest
Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 03:03:19 PM »
Mark, I've been a member of RRW a few months now,  and have come to admire your curatorial sense in choosing products for your members.  I believe there is great value there, and it has certainly expanded my sense of what types of business models I could successfully deploy.   I also wanted to say that your articles are always spot-on and valuable,  and this one in particular.   Thanks so much for your great work in managing this terrific membership site.


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Re: What is your most precious asset? (no, it's not $$$)
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2011, 11:31:56 AM »
Fantastic article.  A lot of people could benefit and improve their lives from reading this article.  In fact, it should be Required Reading for anyone attempting to work for themselves in any business, but especially anyone working online.
I think I will put reading this on my to do list of New Years Resolutions, Every year!

Thanks Mark,