Everyone will have happened, at least once in their life, to hear others say or utter, first of all, the "fateful" phrase/excuse: "I don't have time" or "I didn't organize my day!".

In reality, it is not time that is lacking, rather so much time is "wasted" in unrewarding activities, at the expense of activities that really can make one feel good and can grow personally and professionally.

Time is the most important and valuable resource we have to be able to achieve our goals. 

Regardless of how beautiful, tall, lucky and rich we are our months will always be 30 days, our weeks will always be 7 days, our days will always be only 24 hours: time is, fortunately, a democratic resource.

That being said, it is necessary to understand where we are "wasting" our time so that it can be better managed and optimized.

Time management

In today's society, the measure of our productive capacity is mostly given by our "time management skills." The time we have at our disposal strongly conditions the productivity of each of us (given the same technology, know-how, market position, etc.).

Not surprisingly, every year we are asked to produce more, albeit with fewer resources. We have to do more and more! Unfortunately, we can't always find the time we need to be able to carry out all our projects, which is why, below, we offer some useful tips for more effective time management and optimization.

Time management: doing one thing at a time

If to err is human, to persevere is diabolical. Too many times, through sheer distraction, we are wont to make the same mistakes. We get so caught up in wanting to do a thousand things at once that, in the end, we fail to do even one of them well. We lack concentration; it is as if we live in a perpetual state of distraction. 

To avoid the risk of making the same mistakes, wasting valuable time, therefore, better to concentrate and do one thing at a time.

Recognizing the essentials

So many times we prefer easier activities over more difficult ones, without first assessing their actual usefulness/utility, simply because they give us an illusory feeling of tranquility and security.

For example, to organize an evening with friends, a phone call of 2 minutes at most is better than the lingering with an endless series of messages on Whatsapp.

Time management: unnecessary waiting.

Essentially, unnecessary waiting can be handled in two ways: it can be eliminated or exploited.

With a minimum of organization, we can eliminate all the waiting resulting from our own poor organization of the day; instead, we can take advantage of/use the time of "suffered" waits and out of our "control" (waiting for trains, subways, etc.) with activities useful to our education (audio course, reading a book, etc.)

Setting the right priorities

If we jump from one activity to another and have a bad feeling that we have not completed anything and are clearly behind schedule, it may mean that we need to make a reorganization in the planning of our activities. 

One possible strategy for defining activities/priorities may be to write a list divided by areas (family, work, leisure, etc.); in this way, it will be easier to understand how we are using our time (whether in priority or low priority activities).

For a businessman, needless to say, the priority activities are those that generate revenue, bring in potential customers or build customer loyalty.

In family/personal life, however, priority activities are those that feel good, that make you happy (going to the park with the children, reading a book, doing yoga, etc.). Every day we should try to carve out some time for these kinds of activities.

Without an accurate definition of the activities to be performed and their respective priorities, it becomes almost a utopia to understand one's moment of real satisfaction.

Perhaps when working long hours?
Maybe when you do a lot of things? 

For those who are used to living with guilt, the only way to feel at peace with themselves is to ravage themselves with work every day (quantity mentality): from the "I've done all I can, more than this I cannot" series. 

On the contrary, those who think with the quality mindset, that is, those who define the activities to be performed and their respective priorities, feel truly satisfied when they complete all the planned activities without ravaging themselves with work.

Create a to-do list to manage commitments over time

Creating a simple daily to-do list, based on defined priorities, can help improve organization and reduce stress: there will be no more need to remember everything, overloading the mind.

Writing down the things we have in our minds on a sheet of paper is a first step toward materializing them-the next step is to realize them.

Depending on how you are most comfortable, you can opt for either virtual support (Google Keep, Evernote, etc.) or the traditional "pen and paper" method. 

Given that we absolutely must not become slaves to to-do lists, the priority list should be compiled only once; at most, it can be revised from time to time, just to bring some order to the countless activities we accomplish every day.

The to-do list should, therefore, be a mere aid to remembering what to do and forgetting what has already been done. At the end of the day, it may be useful to do a general checkup.

Organizing the day and overcoming procrastination

Procrastination is one of the best ways to find yourself crushed and flooded under deadline, and Not being able to organize the day. Procrastination is, in fact, a great thief of time.

If we are in the habit of procrastinating as long as possible, we are most likely suffering from this "virus." Getting well is not impossible! 

First, it is necessary to understand why we put off certain activities, that is, why we do not want to do them right away. Perhaps they are too boring? Perhaps they are too big? Perhaps they seem like a "waste of time"? 

Once the reason is identified, it is necessary to break down overly demanding tasks and large projects into smaller parts; this will make it easier not only to schedule boring tasks at specific times of the day but also to delegate, to others, tasks that are excessively routine and seem like a "waste" of time.

Learning to delegate

Delegation, especially in the work environment, is perhaps the Biggest secret for time management represents an excellent weapon for time management and optimization. If we have a good staff working to help us, we can easily delegate some of our activities.

In the absence of a staff, one can alternatively consider what activities can be handled externally, perhaps using other professionals or trusted suppliers. 

Delegation results in significant time savings that can be used to perform more specialized and value-added activities.

In delegation, it is' critical to communicate the instructions/guidelines absolutely clearly; before leaving the task under the responsibility of the staff, one must make sure that the instructions have been fully understood so that no doubt is left.

In the end, optimizing time does not mean scrambling to do things faster and with more stress than we are already accustomed to doing, rather it means eliminating the superfluous, the wasteful, so that we focus all our energy only on activities that gratify us and add value to us and those close to us (family, colleagues, clients, etc.).

Recommended books

- 4 hours a week. Rich and happy working 10 times less.

- The 15-minute rule.

- The miracle morning. Transform your life one morning at a time before 8:00 a.m.