There is plenty of time
The Finnish proverb says: “There’s nothing more than time in the world”. Yet we often hear people say “interesting, I only wish there was enough time” or “I’d say yes, but I have no time right now”. We all have access to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So how does one rhythm own time? When it comes to entrepreneurs, the use of time during evenings or weekends is not so different from weekdays.
More time comes with age – or do we have more courage and experience to make choices? Is there a chance not to do something? To do things less, without perfection. Perhaps we have more experience and courage to say no as well.
You may also have heard one saying: “If you don’t have time to take care of yourself now, you need to have time to get sick later”. It makes you wonder. Is it ultimately a matter of prioritization – what do we want in our lives?
There is a lot of talk about time management. It has also become a commercial product. We are sold various tools and programs to help us manage our time. However, if you would like to have better control over your use of time, there are several free time management tools and exercises available. There are a few examples below.
Divide tasks into four groups according to their urgency and importance. This makes it easier to organize your day’s work.
- urgent and important tasks
- urgent and not so important tasks
- non-urgent but important tasks
- non-urgent and not so important tasks
Also, consider whether a task needs to be done very quickly. If the task could be done in less than two minutes, it is worth doing it immediately. Also, think about whether you’re the right person to do the task – if you are not, delegate the task to someone else if possible. If you do not complete the task immediately, record it for later. Post the required actions in either the calendar or the “do next” list.
Task recording and phasing
- You should only focus on a few things at a time
- Choose 1-3 important tasks that you want to complete for each day and week.
- It’s a good idea to start your day’s work by focusing on one of the most important tasks.
- Remember to reserve an empty time.
Phasing the work makes the progress visible. It promotes time management and predictability. Defining clear subtasks makes it easier, as there is no need to constantly structure the whole picture. Looking at own use of time gives an overall picture of the work. By evaluating your own work you can see successes, failures, and progress, and identify your own way of working.
Each of us will be interrupted several times during the day for a variety of reasons. However, high-quality thinking requires time and the opportunity to focus. Moving from one task to another impairs problem-solving ability and creativity, as well as strains you. That is why it is very important to control both internal and external interruptions.
You can practice controlling interruptions with various techniques. One such technique is the Pomodoro method, where work is divided into intensive working periods as well as restorable breaks. The method is based on the assumption that human concentration decreases during excessively long periods of work.
Getting Things Done or GTD
The oldest work management methods still in use is from the 1950s. One example is The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two by George A. Miller, published in 1956.
- Gather all the things, thoughts and stimuli that affect your own activities – these are the things you should do something about.
- Process and analyze: What is the significance of your task? What do you want to achieve?
- Arrange: Use to-do lists.
- Prioritize: Rearrange tasks – remember the four groups. Schedule.
- Review: Review your own activities regularly, at least once a week.
- Work and implement
In other words, one can develop time management skills. Take small steps and goals. “The time is always right to do what is right.” (Martin Luther King).
Read more about time management:
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. Time management https://www.ttl.fi/tyontekija/tyoaika/ajanhallinta/