Time is what we want the most, but what we use worst.” - William Penn, 18th-century British philosopher.

‘I don’t have the time’ is one of the commonest excuses we all come across in a variety of situations - for not exercising, not finding time to meet friends and family, not finding time for ourselves, eating or relaxing properly.

Although there are techniques and models that can be learned, good time management eventually boils down to the individual. Because our time is a personal thing, we don't like other people telling us how to do it.

The first step to good time management is to recognise that what we usually do isn't always the best way. We need to identify our weaknesses and see where we can learn from other people around us.

Let’s look at some of the opinions people generally hold about managing time. Do you recognise yourself in any of them?

  • 'I know all about time management, about prioritising and planning my day. I just can't be bothered to practice them'.
  • 'I don't have the time to plan and prioritise. The second I arrive at work, it's all non-stop'.
  • 'If I don't finish something, I know I can always stay later or come in at the weekend to do it'.
  • 'I like to leave things to the last minute, that's the kind of person I am. It usually all works out OK in the end.'
  • 'I can't always trust the people I manage. If I don't check everything, they'll do something wrong'.

Now, here are the top five tips that will help get your life in shape: 

  • Start your day early - Sleep early to start your day early. The earlier you start your day, the more you will be able to achieve. 
  • Prioritise your tasks - Everything in this world is not important. Handle your tasks according to what’s important for you at that time or in the near future. 
  • Time to say ‘no’ - If you don’t have time to do extra work for others, simply say ‘no’. Life is too short to burden yourself with additional tasks that you can’t handle. 
  • Organise your space - Messy rooms lead to messy minds. Organise your worktable according to what works for you. Think of minimising clutter.
  • Have clear goals - Not clear about what you want to achieve at the end of a task can lead to wastage of precious time. Decide your goal, before you begin a new task. 

As the legendary Bruce Lee once said, ‘Knowing is not enough. You must apply. Willing is not enough. You must do'.