Many times it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. No matter how productive we are and no matter how much free time we wish we had, the clock is always ticking. Think back to what you were doing a year ago. It seems like yesterday doesn’t it? Now think about what you’re going to be doing a year from now. A year seems like a lifetime from now, but it’s not. Time is funny like that. This year will pass by as quickly as last year did. It won’t be long before you’re old, decrepit, and staring death in the face. Yes it’s depressing, but it’s inevitable. You’re time is limited. So, what can you do? It’s simple, make the most of the time you have.

Whether or not you enjoy your job, there’s one reason you trot off to work every morning: money. Money is stability. Money is freedom. Money is the goal. For many of us, making money means doing things we wouldn’t otherwise choose to do. We trade some of our time for money, so that we can enjoy the rest of the time we have. Wouldn’t it be nice to sacrifice less time to make more money? Well, that’s the idea of time management.

There are many steps you can take to better manage your time and be more productive. The most important thing you can do is plan. Plan as far into the future as possible. The most successful people are thinking about where they want to be in the long run. They know where they want to be not just this weekend, but also ten or twenty years from now. To get where you want to be you need to set goals. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish in life, narrow that list down to 10 items, and find out what you need to do to realize those goals. In order to achieve your goals you may have to invest time in learning new skills. Talent is innate, but skills can be learned. For some, certain skills may take longer to master. But, all skills can be learned. Just find out how much of your time you will need to learn a new skill and decide whether or not that skill will help you to realize your goals.

New skills can also help increase your productivity. Increasing your productivity at work is the best way to spend less time working and more time doing things you’d rather be doing. One way to increase your productivity is to constantly ask yourself “is this helping me achieve my goals?” If the answer is no, find a way to get back on track. This advice is useful not just in your professional life, but in your personal life as well. Often times we get too bogged down with unhealthy relationships, obligations, and activities that rarely bring us utility or help us get to where we want to be. Don’t be selfish. Just get used to asking yourself “is this worth my time.”

Don’t be afraid to stand up for you want. More importantly, don’t hesitate to invest in yourself. Everyone has the same 24 hours per day. It’s all about what you make of them.