Someone once said: "Time is the substance from which life is made. Wasting time means wasting your life". If you think about that for a second - it's a very true observation. Almost anything in life can be regained if lost, but time is lost forever. There will never be another year like 2005. Whatever you achieved during that year is yours, but whatever you failed to achieve in that year will never be achieved in that year's time frame (though you can achieve it later). This brings us to the conclusion that effective time management is essential so we don't waste our lives. Let's take a closer look at a few strategies for effective time management:

Long term planning - Make a list of all the things you want to get done this year. Than, make another list for all the steps you need to take to get these things done in that year. This will give you a list of assignments for each month and each week of your year, and you will also have the larger picture in mind.

Short term planning - Every week, you should have a plan of what to do that week in a manner that will support your long term goals for that year. This will help you advance in those small steps that are so needed to accomplish the larger tasks that take all year.
Prioritizing - Accept the fact that you cannot do everything. You need to set priorities in your life so that most of your time will be spent on the important things. For examples, if you planned to watch a TV show that day, you need to make sure your important tasks are completed first, and that the TV show has a low priority (you can record it for later).

Plan your work and your breaks - How long can you concentrate on a certain task? Some people can for 50 minutes, and some for 20 minutes. You probably know what's your attention span. Plan you breaks so that they come when your attention span is exhausted. For example, you can work in 50 minute intervals on your computer, and that have a 10 minute break, where you make a phone call to a friend, have a cup of coffee, or whatever makes you feel refreshed.

Put similar tasks together - As much as possible, you want to group similar tasks to the same time. This saves a lot of time. If you know that you need to make 10 phone calls in a certain day, do them all at one time. This will be a lot more effective than spreading them across your day.

Delegate and outsource - How much is your hour worth? Think about all the things you do that don't justify your time. Are you cleaning the house by yourself? walking the dog? washing the car? attending the garden? Many of these tasks can be given to someone else to do for just a few dollars an hour. If you're a small business owner - this is even more important to you. You simply can't do everything and expect to get good results. If you don't outsource considerable amount of you tasks, you'll get mediocre results at best, and you'll work 14 hours a day. It's a lot smarter to pay someone else to do the things you are not an expert on.

Time management is an important aspect of modern life, simply because we dont have enough of it. We're constantly bombarded with more tasks, but still only have 24 hours a day. Knowing how to manage this important resource will help us get the most of life.

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