There are hundreds of books on time management and it would take thousands to describe the topic in detail. But here is my summary of what time management is all about.
Do not try to manage time.
You cannot manage time, but you can manage how you use it. In other words, you can manage yourself with respect to the time at your disposal. Time is to people as water is to fish and air is to birds. It is the medium through which we travel while we are here on earth.
When we die, time is still here for other people to use, completely unchanged. You have no control over time. You cannot stop it or slow it down or speed it up or use it up. So, forget about trying to manage it or saying you do not have enough of it or that you are running out of it. Time does not run out. You do. However, you are free to use time while you are here on earth. So, use it wisely.
Getting the right things done.
Do not simply do anything that comes to mind. Do the right things. These are the tasks and activities that will achieve your goals. Your goals are simply those things you would like to accomplish while here on earth. Since you have free will, it is up to you to decide what you will accomplish, how you will accomplish it, and when you will accomplish it. This is called planning.
Think, plan, do.
The simplest and most popular tool for planning is a planning calendar, which displays the weeks, days, and hours of the current year. This provides the opportunity to put your plans in writing, with the actual time to work on your goals blocked off in increments of a half hour or more. “To do” lists are fine for non goal-related activities, but to make commitments, schedule appointments with yourself to get the important work done. “To do” lists are just intentions.
Important things first.
Urgent items should only be scheduled first if they are important as well. Things scheduled first are called priorities. You are free to select anything as a priority, and at times, relaxation, walking, sleep, prayer or whatever might be your priority. In general, priorities of those things that will have the greatest positive impact on your goal achievement. These are the right things.
Keeping on course.
Using time wisely by getting the right things done through planning, scheduling, and working, requires self-discipline. To help maintain this focus, take periodic breaks, minimize external interruptions, and work in an environment that makes it easier to get the right things done. This could include a quiet room, a busy coffee shop, or sitting on a tree stump in the great outdoors. Whatever works best for you.
Reaching your goals.
Goal achievement is the purpose of time management. Goals are the object of your ambition or effort. They could involve achieving a satisfying career in a field of your choice. Or starting up a company of your own. Or writing a book, earning enough money to buy a car. Or whatever. They are the measurement of success in your life and should be personal as well as business-related to achieve balance in your life.
A well-rounded life.
The achievement of your goals should meet all your needs, which could include your business, family, friends, personal happiness, and spiritual relationships. All work and no play make Jack exceptionally good at working, but little else. Your life purpose becomes evident once you are leading a fulfilling, meaningful life that not only brings satisfaction to yourself, but helps others as well. Purpose brings with it the knowledge that you will leave this earth just a little better because you spent time in it.