Time is life…

In beginning…

In my opinion, time management is to spend time efficiently on the way leading to the targets and according to specified priorities, since it cannot be returned. It is not to live but catch the moment. I don’t look it in a narrow sense as enforcing it just for business life, but in a broad sense, as enforcing it to every area of life.

It is important to distinguish business life and family life from each other. Like a battery that needs to be charged, people need to relax and engage in issues that will motivate themselves, as well as to work. Therefore, if we succeed to manage time efficiently, it will also allow us to spend longer time with our families and hobbies.

Based on Imam Ali’s words saying “rubies are achieved with times, but times cannot be achieved with rubies”, we should spend time efficiently, and combine streams flowing for nothing thereby making them an efficient river. Otherwise, we will scatter around like a leaf against the wind.

In my paper, I will share my experiences related to personal time management.

Personal Time Management

Time management has great importance at the present time in which not the big fish, but the slow fish eat the small fish and in which media and similar time thieves increase. None of those I have read and watched has planted in my face as severely as those in below video (“If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?” -Franz Kafka-).

“What would be your perfect day?”

Please spare time to watch the video below, then keep reading the article.

(Note: If you are in search of the course of your life, Brendon Burchard might help you so much.)

Having watched this video, I have been convinced that a perfect day for me is that in which I spend 6 hours to develop myself in topics I have selected in the direction of my goals. (sporting, reading books, working on a project, worshiping etc.)

Eventually, a second problem arose at this point; well, how will I follow and account for that? (“You cannot manage those you are unable to measure” -Edwards Deming-). After several program trials, I decided that SwipeTimes program was the most appropriate option and I proceeded on my way with that.

The program is quite simple. It offers a very convenient utilization for Android users by means of its Widget opportunity. You do select the predetermined activities over Widget on the main screen and then time counter is set to zero, and restart to count. I have been using it for about one year without any problem by means of its useful characteristics such as reporting, exporting, backing up and labeling, and it has fallen into my habit.

Eventually, my experience of many years on cost control and my curiosity on database/analysis programs brought me a step further, which is to transform these useful data into knowledge. I used the Microsoft Power BI program for this purpose, which I have already interested in. However, the same reports might easily be achieved in Excel as well, My way is just from a special curiosity.

Let me detail the issue now…

The report consists of three sections: Brief Report, Details and Productivity Chain

Brief Report

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Details

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Productivity Chain

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Considering the aforementioned and report, it can be assumed that I spare considerable time a day for this issue. That is not the case. Totally 35 activities in average happen during the day, that is, I make a selection from Widget for 35 times, this figure, I suppose, is one-third of the number of ring ups and hang ups a day.

Besides, every a few evenings, I print the report exporting in order to see the state of affairs. Since BI Program is fully-automatic, it is enough only to press “update” button. The duration covering exporting, looking at, interpreting, closing the report is about 5-10 min. Let’s assume that we do this every day regularly, it takes less time than looking at Facebook once. Whereas, I think we look at that for many times during the day.

Although SwipeTimes Program includes statistical data in itself, I needed this program that I prepared at Power BI, to achieve more brief and guiding information.

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Well, what all these efforts gained? Thus, I became aware of thieves and started to spend days more productively. By setting a target of working for 6 hours a day, and when I approach my target I noticed to produce something. The books I read started to end, my English level started to develop, my breath started to be sufficiently longer when sporting etc. I saw something changed around me eventually as I proceeded in this way. (Targets are often available to guide you, not to reach them. -Bruce Lee-).

The report consists of three main headings and activities (Due to my habit of the database, the program is completely in English);

  1. Improvement
    1. ALES – Math
    2. ALES – Turkish
    3. AOF
    4. Blog
    5. Driving
    6. edX
    7. English 1) Reading
    8. English 2) Listening
    9. English 3) Speaking
    10. English 4) Writing
    11. English Study
    12. Pers Dev – 1) General
    13. Pers Dev – 2) Martial Arts
    14. Photography
    15. Power BI
    16. Purchase
    17. Reading
    18. Religion
    19. SCM
    20. Sport – 1) General
    21. Sport – 2) Walking & Running
    22. Sport – 3) Weight Training
    23. Sport – 4) Boxing
    24. Sport – 5) Martial Arts
  2. Work
    1. Break
    2. Driving
    3. Eating
    4. Meeting
    5. Transport
    6. Project – x1
    7. Project – x2…
  3. Relax
    1. Comm
    2. Eating
    3. Guest
    4. Hobbies
    5. Meeting w Family
    6. Meeting w Others
    7. Personal Care
    8. Sleeping
  4. Waste
    1. Others
    2. Transportation

Whatever I do during the day, I uncompromisingly select from the list above.

Let me review the sections in the report;

Achievements

Here is harvest area. Having knowledge is good. Goodness is deceptive at the same time. Therefore, it is very important to follow up results regardless of the figures.

There is a rule in planning. One should detail as much as he can follow up. For this reason, I detailed as much as I could follow up.

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Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance is a heading about which many studies have been conducted especially recently and it has been increasingly awakened day by day.

Our work and private life actually feed each other. In other words, if the rate of one increases the performance of the other decreases. Setting out from the muscle sample, if you balance exercise and relaxation correctly, it will allow you to exhibit a healthy development. But, if you exceed the limitations of one of them, then both your pains will get more severe and your development will get slower.

Although work-life balance is wrongly perceived by managers, it is crucial due to the aforementioned reasons. To balance both our work life and private life to some extent will lead success in both. This is a cycle.

Regarding the graph; the reason why I haven’t included idle time in the formula is that it likely arises from Development, Work and relaxation sections. The graph has importance due to showing me at which point of the target I am.

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Long-Term Trend

This graph showing the distribution of the main headings on a monthly basis is beneficial for indicating the monthly basis tendency while showing the big picture.

Ideal& Perfect Days per Month

I have two targets in order during the day. The first one is a 4 hours target, which is needed not to be broken like a chain and eventually, it allows a rhythmical proceeding. The second one is 6 hours target and it drives “Perfect day” target.

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10K Hours Rule Status

10K Hours Rule stated by Malcolm Gladwell in his book namely “Outliers” (even if various criticisms are available), had considerably drawn my attention. The conclusion he reached after conducting various studies is that one might become specialized in any topic provided he/she consciously made practices of 10K hours on that topic ( the website of the brief writing related to the book: http://www.wisdomgroup.com/blog/10000-hours-of-practice/ ).

I created such a list to identify my status.

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Productivity Chain

Continuity is the most important trivet of development and needed to be interrupted like a chain. I awakened that nearly two years ago in Barış Özcan’s video with the title Breaking Chain. In this video, as well as Barış Özcan states that provided even a little progress is made patiently on the way to the target, success will absolutely be achieved, he also shows with examples how it will be made.

I follow up my stability for the achievement of the target from the below graph that I created.

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Improvement Hours per Weekday

I don’t follow up this graph on which I see the distribution of development activities by the days of the week, but I included it in my list since it is useful for me in seeing the tendency.

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Hour Band Overall

On this graph, I see the distribution of topic headings by hour intervals of a day. Although I don’t follow up this graph, I included it in my list since it is useful for me in seeing the tendency.

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In ending …

Figures, Graphs, Reports…All of these should be a reflection of the strategy on the way to the target in a harmony. Every graph should serve for the target and we shouldn’t be able to see the target without them. As well as imperfect knowledge can lead to making a wrong decision, useless information cause confusion and makes focusing difficult.

I wish you all a peaceful, healthy and productive day

Thank you for spending your precious time…