Time management is viewing and planning your time.
In [the book] ‘168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think’, Laura Vanderkam looks at how people view and use their time and how to do both better. The book begins with an outline of research that concludes most people overestimate how much time they spend doing things. Vanderkam includes a few examples of study participants who, after logging their time for a week totalled over 168 hours, the total hours in a week.
Vanderkam begins to lay the foundation for how we could be viewing time. Her suggestion is to fill time with your ‘core competencies’ – the things you spend time on are the things you choose and are important. Not to say that every moment should be in pursuit of these – in the book her suggestion is to block out a chunk of time to shop online or check your favourite sites but to get back to your core competencies like family, exercise or work when that time is over.
Work is the largest single chunk of time and Vanderkam again suggests finding the big ideas to strive for in the right job. This job, and your success in it, can help build your life outside of work. You can also control your calendar and say no to requests that don’t let you pursue that dream job. You also need to choose a career path. If you’re going to say no to things at work then you need to have a plan for what you’re doing and how it is going to help you enjoy the job more.
The idea of saying no to things continues when Vanderkam writes about living better at home. She suggests saying no to laundry and housecleaning and instead paying someone to do it. If someone does these chores and you can use that time to work – in a job you love – then that’s a good choice of using your time. You can also use money from other areas in your life to maximize what you want. Instead of going out to eat you could pay for that house cleaning. Cancel cable and you can take kids to a park and ice cream. Which do you value more and which fit within your dreams?
Our time each week is finite, we all have 168 hours. To get the most of those hours though we need to plan and choose what we do with them. Vanderkam suggests creating a list of 100 dreams so that you know what you want to be striving towards.
Whatever your dreams, you have 168 hours for them.