Don’t waste your time, says Joe Mathews, author of Street Smart Franchising. `The reason why time management gadgets and systems don’t work is that these systems are designed to manage clock time. Clock time is irrelevant. You don’t live in or even have access to clock time. You live in real time, a world in which all time flies when you are having fun or drags when you are doing your taxes’

What we have to do, he says, is manage ourselves. Here are five ways to do it;

1. Spend the first 30 minutes of your day planning your day.
That is the only way you will proritise tasks. Create a schedule list and put it where you can easily see it- on your desk, on your phone. To get a sense of accomplishment, cross off any tasks you have tackled and watch yourself work to cross every task off.

2. Learn to delegate
Accepting that you are not a one-person show will go a long way towards getting more done. The reason why many influential people have personal assistants is because they realise that they cannot reply to every e-mail or handle all requests. So yes, you really need that extra hand and you do not need to feel guilty about it. Take one on.

3. Ignorance is bliss…sometimes
Do you check your personal email, read the news online or log on to Facebook and Twitter every morning? You could be wasting an hour or more of your time every day. Personal development trainer, Sid Savara, says checking your email first thing in the morning is a productivity killer. Get to your tasks first and only check your email when you have completed at least two of your tasks. As for Facebook and Twitter, unless you are a social site manager, they can wait until tea time. As economist Richard Whatley puts it `Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.’

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4. Continually strive to free up your time.
Is there anything you can get done in half the time? Or you can multitask?

You can check emails and grab a bite to eat at the same time or as you sit in traffic in the matatu. Freeing up time means you can indulge in something that relaxes you later.

5. You snooze, you lose.
Many powerful people attest to waking up early to get things done. The early morning hours are said to be the most productive hours of the day, when you can get a head start on your activities.

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