By in Tutorials

The Secret To Time Management

Managing Time

Managing time can be difficult. We all have the same amount as we keep getting told but some of us have to put more into that time than others. And some of us manage to get a whole LOT more done than some others so what's the secret?

The Secret?

There is no secret really, but there are certainly some techniques that are very useful and there are some observations we all need to make of ourselves that will help if we choose to make use of them. A couple of hints here. I may write more.

Critical Few, Trivial Many

The critical few items really IS a sort of secret. And it's one of those ideas that once you have learned it, you wonder why you didn't always know it. Maybe you did and were practising it without knowing. But once you realise how important the critical few are, you will look at the work you do with fresh eyes. This is also known as the 80:20 rule or Pareto's Law.

80:20 Pareto's Law

I am paraphrasing here but Pareto's Law says that 80 per cent of your results come from 20 per cent of your actions. If you are a manager, it also tells you that 80% of the work comes from 20% of your staff and 80% of your problems come from 20% of your staff! Obviously unlikely to be the same 20% in these cases. emoticon :grin:

What Do You Mean? How Does This Help?

Say you are trying to keep your house clean. Pareto's Law, the 80:20 rule, tells you that 80% of how your house looks comes from 20% of the work you put into it. That 20% is the CRITICAL FEW. The same for exercise, 80% of your results in exercise come from 20% of the effort you put into it.

Find The Critical Few

You have to find the critical few things to do that get you the most results. With a house, it may be keeping on top of your laundry and cooking and cleaning up after meals. With your exercise, you may find that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can give you the results you want in less time.

What are YOUR Critical Few?

Whatever you want to do, there are a few things that you do that give you most of your results. In the office, it may be getting the accounts finished by the right day each month or filing the paperwork each evening. The trivial many might be watering the office plant or making the tea. Those might be part of your job but they need to occupy the least possible time, even though they may be the most fun part of the job. At home, watching TV or playing on line games may well be part of the trivial many. And this is where observations come in.

What Do You See Or Observe?

Whining about how hard something is or how long it will take will NOT get it done, BUT the time you spend whining may well seem to become part of the job. I was helping my granddaughter with her homework last night. She doesn't like doing it but it has to get done. I have offered to let her not do her homework and for her to explain to her teacher the next day that she didn't want to do it but she was not willing to do that emoticon :grin: . The actual homework does not take long. The whining takes longer!

What Are you Whining About?

Is there something you need to do that you keep putting off because it will take too long or you hate doing it? You may find that it takes very little time if you JUST DO IT! Yes, that's a famous phrase from a sports clothing company. It works.

Motivation Chart

I may well write a tutorial about how to create your own Motivation Chart soon, because a motivation chart can help you determine your critical few and help you keep track of doing them.


Image Credit » by Unsplash

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msiduri wrote on June 11, 2015, 8:42 AM

I had a roommate in college who used to spend time "psyching" herself up to clean her area of the room. I had to bite my tongue not to say, "Just clean it or don't. With all the energy you're spending on psyching yourself up, you could have clean half the rooms on the floor."

bestwriter wrote on June 11, 2015, 8:52 AM

I am pretty good in time management. So far so good.

MegL wrote on June 11, 2015, 9:08 AM

Definitely! Just do it!

msiduri wrote on June 11, 2015, 9:26 AM

But the secret is that there is no secret.

MegL wrote on June 11, 2015, 9:37 AM


Ruby3881 wrote on June 11, 2015, 2:06 PM

Great advice here! More people should learn to think about time management this way. I pinned your article.

MelissaE wrote on June 12, 2015, 7:16 AM

I am a time management freak. I make lists and count seconds. I like the information about eighty/twenty. It is very useful.

MegL wrote on June 12, 2015, 8:03 AM

Thank you very much emoticon :smile:

MegL wrote on June 12, 2015, 8:04 AM

Thank you. We all need a reminder sometimes!

MegL wrote on June 12, 2015, 8:05 AM

Pareto's Law is brilliant. It applies to so many things. Someone has even written a book about living in an 80:20 way!

CoralLevang wrote on June 13, 2015, 4:45 PM

I never was good at the whole time management thing. I tried more systems that I can shake a stick at.

scheng1 wrote on June 23, 2015, 8:00 AM

For many working adults, housework is not in the list of critical few. They eat out and hire part time cleaners to clean their house.

MegL wrote on June 23, 2015, 8:17 AM

And then wonder why their pocket books feel so light and their waists are not as trim as they used to be! LOL