How to manage your time wisely

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Are you struggling to maintain a good work/life balance while you keep up with ever-changing regulations? Time management expert Jeff Davidson shares 12 tips on how you can manage time by “living in real time”.

1. Leave home in the morning with grace and ease. If you can manage the 'beforehand' by taking care of as many things as possible the night before, in the morning, you only have to get bodies out the door. No need to have a mad rush, because you've got everything ready to go.

2. Focus on the important issues facing your organization, your department or division, and your job or career. You have to pay homage to the issues that you identify as important in your life and have the strength to ignore the less important. Magically, when you handle the important things, the others fall into place.

3. Handle and address the mail when it arrives, keep piles from forming on your desk, and handle phone calls within twenty-four hours. No need to be inundated by receiving too much mail, have piles that rise ever-higher on your desk, or have a mounting number of calls to return.

4. Enjoy a leisurely lunch. Know the importance of completing tasks so that when you go to lunch, you're at lunch. Some insist on having lunch away from their desks. By getting away from the office, they're able to regenerate their batteries and focus on their work and how they'll approach it. They feel that when you stay at your desk too long, every task competing for your attention, big and small, seems urgent.

By getting away at lunchtime, they're able to stay focused on the big picture. They find that having the outside lunch enables them to return to the office with newfound energy.

5. Depart from the workplace at normal closing hours and feel good about what you accomplish each day. Leaving the workday on time is the single most important step toward permanently living in real time. When you use the magic phrase, "What do I need to accomplish by the end of the day to feel good about leaving on time?” you have little excuse for leaving in a bad mood.

6. Have sufficient and up-to-date health, life, disability, and automobile insurance coverage. If you want to live in real time, this is part of the overall picture. Getting adequate insurance to protect you and your loved ones is bound to be one of the goals that support your overall priorities.

7. File your income taxes on time. In any given year, nearly 40 percent of taxpayers seek an extension! You, on the other hand, once making the decision to live in real time, know too well that taxes will always be around and completing your own tax returns on a timely basis yields peace of mind once you're done.

8. Take time to be with friends and relatives. People, not things, count most in life. Carve out time on your scheduling software or appointment calendar to ensure that you don't shortchange the key people in your life.

9. Stay in shape and at your desired weight. When you observe the bodies of most people, you can see the results of a losing tug of war with gravity – but gravity need not win. Fitness experts say that working out for only thirty minutes a day can keep you comfortably fit. If you're too busy to stay in shape, you're too busy!

10. Make time for hobbies. On the way to losing your time, did you abandon enjoyable activities that were a part of what made you who you are? Revisit that stamp collection, your garden, the hiking club, or whatever you let slide. Living in real time means enjoying your most rewarding hobbies and pastimes on a regular basis.

11. Participate monthly in a worthy cause. It's not possible to give your time and attention to all worthy causes or even many worthy causes. Your life is finite regardless of how long you live. When you pick the one or two that matter most, and take action, you feel good about yourself and about how you're spending your time.

12. Finally, drop back at any time, take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and renew your spirit.