Have you ever thought to yourself that there aren’t enough hours in the day, or felt overwhelmed at the tasks facing you? If you have, then effective time management skills may be the impetus you need to help you overcome the daily clutter and achieve your goals.
Time management is the meticulous way of performing the tasks in the available number of hours. It has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced life, as most persons find themselves performing many roles. One has to be committed to fulfill all the responsibilities with 100% perfection. While doing so, people find themselves perplexed as to how to approach and manage all the things they have to do and still enjoy ample leisure hours.
Time management is a grave necessity for anyone working towards accomplishing various goals in life. We all get seven days a week and 168 hours within those seven days. This cannot be increased or changed in any way. However, what we can change, improve, and manage is ourselves. In essence then, true time management now becomes management of ourselves – “self-management!”
So being aware of this, we now know that it’s not the amount of time we have that’s important; it’s how effectively we use that time that makes the difference. Successful people have exactly the same amount of time in the day as each of us. The only difference is they use their time differently – more effectively.
Time management principles and techniques are usually quite simple to learn. They do not require deep thinking, a high I.Q or lots of preparation. In fact, if you were to put the search term “Time Management Resources” into a search engine you will get dozens of websites offering help, advice, tips, and suggestions on how to manage and prioritize your time.
When analyzing how you make use of your time, you need to ask yourself two questions:
1. Do I physically have enough time to do the tasks that are required of me? We only have so much time. Sometimes it’s not always physically possible to fit everything in. If this is the case, then you need to prioritize and drop some of the low priority task/activities to re-claim some time.
2. Do I fully optimize and use my time effectively? If the answer is NO then you might want to learn and implement some time management principles and techniques.
Below is a list of some time management (self-management) techniques and tips that I use to help me remain focused on tasks I need to complete. You may find a couple of them helpful yourself. They are in no particular order.
• Figure out when (what time of the day?) you work most efficiently.
• Establish your priorities for what you want to get done. Identify the tasks and activities that are the highest priority and eliminate those of low priority.
• Allow more time than you think you will need. This makes your schedule flexible and allows for the unexpected.
• Get into the habit of using your odd five minutes here and there more productively. Don’t just dismiss it as only five minutes – they add up throughout the week!
• Accomplish one or two important tasks rather than lots of unimportant ones.
• Keep a calendar/diary. Mark all your important dates/tasks.
• Keep a list of “Things to Do” and mark them off as completed.
• Every day make a list of what you have to do tomorrow.
• When possible do the unpleasant tasks first.
• Allow time to relax, recharge and do nothing.
• Leave time in your schedule for un-planned activities.
• Know your strengths, skills, and weakness.
• Ask yourself, “What am I doing that someone else could do for me?” Delegate!
• Don’t be scared to ask for help
• Bin things straight away to reduce the clutter (junk mail, newspapers and spam email etc).
• Divide large overwhelming tasks into smaller chunks and attack them one at a time.
• Complete at least one task each day that you don’t like to do but know you should.
• Realize that all your email checking, surfing the internet and other procrastinations add up to hours of lost time each week (sometime even each day!)
• Watch less T.V. If you watch T.V for three hours a day from the age of five years old, by the time you are fifty five the amount of T.V you will have watched will be the equivalent to watching non-stop 24 hours a day for six years and three months. If you cut this down by just one hour a day, so then only watch two hours of T.V, you will have gained back over two years’ worth of time.
Adopting the Skills Mentioned Above to Your Life
Time management involves a lot of planning and organizing. One has to sit down and chalk out the plan. The most vital factor is bridging the gap between expected and achieved. There are certain steps that help us to manage time perfectly:
– Target: The first and the foremost step is to fix a target in terms of what has to be achieved and in how much time. This could provide an outline, on the basis of which further planning would be undertaken.
– Planning: After ascertaining the needs and the hours, it is the time to attain a perfect balance between the two. Time is allocated to each task to be performed so that the goal is achieved. However, flexibility has to be exercised, as the actual time taken could be different from planned.
– Setting Priorities: Another important aspect is arranging the tasks to be performed in the descending order of priority. When one understands the significance of each event, managing the time becomes easy.
– Time Schedule: Preparing a timetable helps to complete the work on time and meet the goal effectively.
Time management as a whole aims at avoiding wastage of time and proper utilization of allotted time. The business community also adheres to techniques like resource planning for managing resources. A number of software are used for time management.
In a nutshell, the time normally wasted can be put to effective use by making the most of time management.
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