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A Minimalist Approach To Time Management

Posted in Minimalism on June 19th, 2017

Time may be the most overlooked commodity in that time never returns to anyone once it’s gone. This doesn’t mean a short period of time can’t have value, or that a long period of time has significant value – some people can make a mustard seed worth of time worth and entire mountain of time, as they apply some of the techniques in this tip. They also improve on these – anyone can expand their time once or twice, but can they continue to do so and improve to make their time even more valuable?

Geting Strict

1. Organize tasks by importance. Sarah prepares for a big project for the next few months and knows that with her daily commute, health routines, and tasks, she’ll experience a full plate. Sarah works out her priorities starting with the most important tasks to the least important. She can either eliminate the items lower on the list, or she can reduce their time significantly. Depending on the project, she may want to also narrow her focus to a few activities so that she saves the most energy possible. One thing to consider when organizing tasks: how much of this task relies on external factors? For instance, if one of Sarah’s tasks requires a 10 minute commute, this adds an external factor to the task, while the task of cooking food may require fewer external factors.

2. Use a timer. When minimizing other tasks, timers can significantly help. This depends on the situation though, as this only applies to tasks which can be done as a part of one’s logistical routine. If a task requires additional time, such as a commute, a timer may not assist because it’s possible a traffic jam exists, the person experiences a flat during the commute, etc. This is another reason to consider external factors when organizing tasks – time estimates for tasks can be wrong as more external factors affect the time.

3. In some cases, use lunch. This depends on a person’s lunch or concentration. If someone likes to eat and enjoys the mouth-watering taste of food, this isn’t an option, or this is an option to skip. A person’s enjoyment of food may be their best use of time. In the same manner, if a person lunches with colleagues, friends or family, they may want to avoid it completely – this limits opportunity. If eating isn’t a person’s “thing” then this opens a door to get some tasks complete when time is restricted. The advantages with using this method is that it (1) allows one’s mind a break from a bigger task and (2) can be useful for some delay tasks, like waiting on hold for a solution or waiting in the office for a doctor. Like the first item, be careful with external factors during lunch, if lunch must also be strict on time.

Keeping Perspective

4. Do what works and that’s it. While many enjoy reading about topics like this – from time management to productivity, reading too many books on time-management (or attending seminars) can become counterproductive. It may create a mentality of analysis paralysis when considering what to do, or whether one is using time the best, or it may prevent an individual from taking action. This defeats the entire purpose. To a certain degree, it “feels good” to learn about productivity if one “feels good” about growing, but it may actually hinder the same person from growth as it becomes a buffer against action. Buffers against action paralyze growth; if one knows what they need to know, action is the next step.

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