5 Tips to Manage Your Time

This almost New Year feeling compelled me to upload one of my previously published articles which I think would be really helpful to those who have a lot planned for 2011! Enjoy reading and hope this article helps.

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As the saying goes, "Time is more precious than gold." Unless you have Midas' touch, every minute is a penny worth safe-keeping.

This issue, ZENHealth draws inspiration from the many successful teens who manage to prove the point that age really does not matter. Teens today have a lot going on, from school to other extra-curricular activities and given that we have only 24 hours to economize, proper time management plays an essential role in making sure everything on the checklist is taken cared of.

Time management means alloting time for different activities of various degrees of importance according to the different demands of each responsibility. As tiring as that may seem, not to mention intimidating and challenging too, ZENHealth has concocted this easy-to-follow guide to a schedule worth keeping.

Here are five breezy yet full-proof ways to make each minute count:

1. Start your day early.
There is truth behind the story of the early bird and the early worm. Waking up early is the quickest and most practical solution to problems of "time shortage". Instead of begging the heavens for an extra hour or two, waking up earlier than the usual would instantly "extend" the day's hours. Instead of waking up by 7 am, wake up an hour earlier and enjoy a nice morning stroll. If you have a dog, your pet would even love you more for this.

Clear up your mind and warm up your body for the long day ahead. Whether it's a dreadful exam or a loaded schedule ahead of you, an early morning would allow your mind and body to commit itself in accomplishing the tasks at hand. Likewise, revving up the body with consistent physical activity no matter how low or high impact, would convert itself to a stronger stride throughout the day. Besides, if exercise in the morning does not fuel you up for the day, nothing else will.

2. Be wise when you prioritize.
Priorities vary per person, so it is best to allow each individual to define which he or she would prioritize. Because teens are often subject to peer pressure, it is recommended to always maintain an open communication with them. However, this does not mean that you impose their priorities on them. One of the reasons why it gets difficult to keep a schedule is because of one's lack of commitment.

If you find yourself swayed by what other people think should and shouldn't be, stop. Allow yourself to find what is good for you. By managing your time this way, the schedule you would create for yourself would be more enticing to keep.

Be proactive when it comes to time management. Sean Covey, author of the book entitled "The 7 Habits of Highlly Effective Teens", said that being proactive serves as the key to unlocking the other success-boosting habits. Steering away the bad habits and welcoming the good ones will help maximize the value of each passing second.

3. Do not delay.
After prioritizing, the next big step lies on being productive. Now that you know which should be accomplished first, perform. Rid the "manana habit" as it would only delay each goal due you. Steer clear of distractions by reserving time for being idle. Instead of randomly being side-tracked, include in your schedule time to rest or to do anything that comes to mind. This won't harm your schedule as it could also serve as your "me" time.

Note that to make a schedule that is do-able, your schedule should also include less important tasks. This is why it is important to prioritize well. Erase procrastination from your vocabulary and remember that haste makes waste. It's all a matter of doing what should be done first, while avoiding any cause of delay.

4. Keep a journal.
Did you know that one of the most celebrated diaries in print is a journal gifted to a 13-year-old Anne Frank? The author of the celebrated adventures oif "Alice in Wonderland" also kept for himself a journal. Many of those who traced the lines of history also kept journals, either to chronicle experiences or to mark future adventures. This is because keeping a journal has proven itself as a very effective way to trace success.

Get over a burnout by reading through the days you have successfully covered. Find inspiration in yourself. Instead of letting emotion or frustration wear you down, turn them into wings that will carry you through a down-time safely. Keep a journal and see yourself spell success one day at a time.

Embrace change by slowly improving your "schedule" as you go. Achieve balance by giving yourself space to err--besides, mistakes are great teachers too. You'd be surprised by how exciting it is to see as much progress you have accomplished since day one.

5. Push but don't go overboard.
Being in demand is such a thrill, of course. To be invited to take on so many roles can be a dream come true for any go-getter teenager; however, doing too much can be both dangerous and irresponsible. Proper time management involves knowing what you can and cannot accommodate. Given the limited hours to allocate for various activities, from schoolwork to responsibilities at home, knowing what can still be written under your nametage is as important as accomplkishing various feats.

Don't do your body harm by sacrificing sleeo just to be everybody's player; but don't ignore opportunities once they visit your doorstep. Be involved, lead, and be led. Managing your busy schedule is not a difficult feat if you don't enlist as the leader of every band. Know yourself and your limits. sometimes it helps to be on the side than to always fight for the limelight.

as published on ZEN Health magazine, September-October 2010


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Please check out this video below to emphasize what I was trying to say in tip no.4. Enjoy!