Do you find there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what you need to, let alone want to do?
There are 24 hours in a day. That’s 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds, which isn’t really very many. And, if you sleep for the 8 hours we’re told is good for us, then you only have 16 hours, 960 minutes or 57, 600 seconds (and you’ve just used about 18 of those reading this).
Build your time management toolkit
The fact is, we can’t make more time – time is finite. What we can do is make better use of the time we’ve got, managing our time effectively so we’re spending it where it counts. While there are lots of tips and tricks out there to help you organise the hours in your day, gaining a better understanding of the way we perceive time can be valuable in helping you find the best way to build your ‘time management toolkit’.
Have you noticed that some people seem to be better at time management than others? They never miss deadlines, they’re punctual, good at planning and reviewing and they make prioritising look easy. While some people do tend to be naturally more organised than others, time management is a skill that can be learned with a few simple tools, and an understanding of what time is and how we perceive it.
How do we perceive time?
Physical time is objective (seconds, minutes and hours passing) but psychological time is malleable and subjective. Our perception of the passing of time changes and we have sayings like ‘time flies’ and ‘a watched pot never boils’. Often, things we enjoy seem to take no time at all, whereas spending a few minutes on a difficult or frustrating task might feel like hours. Our perception of time can change based on how we’re feeling: tired, excited or bored. For me, it always seems to take longer to drive home when I’ve been working away than it does to get to where I’m working.
Neurologists believe we have a complex system to make sense of time in our heads. This system differs from our experience of our senses, since we can’t directly perceive time like we can with sounds or smells but have to reconstruct it. As time passes it’s the changes in time, or events, that we perceive, rather than the passage of time itself. We often perceive time in a linear way with a series of events so that the line resembles a string of pearls with gaps of different lengths between events.
Do you see yourself as ‘in time’ or ‘through time’?
The way people experience time can be broken down roughly into two categories: either in time, or through time. People who visualise themselves in time are naturally very good at being in the moment and having creative ideas, and often manage their time much less effectively in respect to tasks. Through time people are usually really good at managing time, hitting deadlines, being punctual and planning well.
Once you understand whether you are in time or through time, you can change it when you want to or need to. You can start to visualise the time you have as something that can be picked up, changed and arranged to suit you. You can take control of time. You’ll be more productive at work and at home, enjoy your hobbies more and relax when you want to.
If you’d like to know how to do all of this, have a look at our short online Time Management Toolkit. You might have to make time to do this and plan it in to your busy life but if you did, and you found you could enjoy your time more, would that be useful?
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