How are your time management skills? Do you always feel like time is slipping out of your hand and nothing has been achieved? All of you must have heard a famous line “ Time and tide wait for none.” Exactly! Time doesn’t wait for no one and that is the reason why we should learn “How to manage time efficiently and effectively” else you will push everything, your goals and aspirations in the garbage. Time is the one thing in life that you can never get back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. A very beautiful time management quote that comes to my mind is:
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still.
What do you understand by time management? Is it only about managing time or does it require some special skills? Let us first see what the definition of time management is.
What is Time Management?
Great thinkers define time management as- a is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more work done in less time, even when time is less and pressure is high. Failing to manage time damages your effectiveness, work done quality, and causes stress. Some mental health issues like stress, anxiousness, tension, are the cause of poor time management skills.
Most of us often wonder why it seems that there is never enough time in the day. But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in good time management and the effectiveness of their time management skills.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.
It’s important that you develop effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands of time for study, leisure, earning money, and job hunting. Time management skills are valuable in job opportunities, but also in many other aspects of life: from revising for examinations to working for a deadline job.
That’s how time management comes into the picture. The trick is to organize your tasks and use your time effectively to get more things done each day with full effectiveness.
Benefits and Importance of effective Time Management
The ability to manage your time effectively is important. Good time management skills lead to improved efficiency and productivity, less stress, and more success in life. Here are some benefits of managing time effectively.
1. Stress relief
Making and following a task schedule reduces anxiety. As you check off items on your “to-do” list, you can see that you are making productive progress. This helps you avoid feeling stressed out with worry about whether you’re getting things done.
2. More time
Good time management gives you extra time to spend in your daily life. People who can time-manage effectively enjoy having more time to spend on hobbies or other personal pursuits.
3. More opportunities
Managing time well leads to more opportunities and less time wasted on trivial activities. Good time management skills are key qualities that employers look for. The ability to prioritize and schedule work is extremely desirable for any organization or in a student’s life.
4. Ability to realize goals
Individuals who practice good time management are able to better achieve goals and objectives, and do so in a shorter period of time.
How to manage time?
After considering the benefits of time management, let’s look at some ways to manage time effectively. I am sure this Time management plan will be very helpful for you to manage time effectively.
1. Create a time audit.
First things first: start by finding out where your time goes throughout the day. There is often a big discrepancy between your subjective time and reality.
Get a time management app and track everything you do for a week. Then sit down, download the reports and evaluate them.
With this data, you can easily find areas to improve. For example, you may spend too much time sitting in unproductive meetings or attending to low-priority tasks.
2. Set goals correctly
Set goals that are achievable and measurable. Use the SMART method when setting goals. In essence, make sure the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
3. Prioritize wisely
Prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency. For example, look at your daily tasks and determine which are:
Important and urgent: Do these tasks right away.
Important but not urgent: Decide when to do these tasks.
Urgent but not important: Delegate these tasks if possible.
Not urgent and not important: Set these aside to do later.
4. Set a time limit to complete a task
Setting time constraints for completing tasks helps you be more focused and efficient and helps in better time management. Making the small extra effort to decide on how much time you need to allot for each task can also help you recognize potential problems before they arise. That way you can make plans for dealing with them. Take another look at your time audit and identify tasks that take longer than you expect.
By setting time constraints for these items, you will focus more and work more efficiently.
5. Plan your week on Sunday.
Walking into work with a plan for the week will help you focus on priorities. You can easily transition from your carefree weekend mindset to a productive Monday morning “work brain.”
Take a few minutes on Sunday to create a time management plan for your whole week. Cure procrastination by breaking down your weekly goals into daily tasks, so you only need a glance at this list while working.
Remember – your energy and creativity levels fluctuate throughout the week.
Bonus Tip for time management: Schedule your low-priority tasks for Mondays and other low-energy times. Complete your creative and energy-demanding tasks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Schedule professional work for Thursday, when your energy starts to decline.
6. Take a break between tasks
When doing a lot of tasks without a break, it is harder to stay focused and motivated. Allow some downtime between tasks to clear your head and refresh yourself. Consider grabbing a brief nap, going for a short walk, or meditating. This will boost your time management plan.
7. Organize yourself
Utilize your calendar for more long-term time management. Write down the deadlines for projects, or for tasks that are part of completing the overall project. Think about which days might be best to dedicate to specific tasks. This trick has helped me manage my time effectively for a long time now.
8. Remove non-essential tasks/activities
It is important to remove excess activities or tasks. Determine what is significant and what deserves your time. Removing non-essential tasks/activities frees up more of your time to be spent on genuinely important things and brush your time management skills.
9. Plan ahead
Make sure you start every day with a clear idea of what you need to do – what needs to get done THAT DAY. Consider making it a habit to, at the end of each workday, go ahead and write out your “to-do” list for the next workday. That way you can hit the ground running the next morning.
These are the some ways to improve time management skills.
Consequences of Poor Time Management
Let’s also consider the consequences of poor time management and look at the problems we face if we do no manage time effectively.
1. Poor workflow
The inability to plan ahead and stick to goals means poor efficiency. For example, if there are several important tasks to complete, an effective time management plan would be to complete related tasks together or sequentially. However, if you don’t plan ahead, you could end up having to jump back and forth, or backtrack, in doing your work. That translates to reduced efficiency and lower productivity.
2. Wasted time
Poor time management results in wasted time. You will be very less focused if you will not divide time according to the importance and priority of work. The time you waste today, you will have to pay it back in the future.
3. Loss of control
By not knowing what the next task is, you suffer from loss of control of your life. That can contribute to higher stress levels and anxiety.
4. Poor quality of work
Poor time management typically makes the quality of your work suffer. For example, having to rush to complete tasks at the last minute usually compromises quality.
Effective Time Management to-do List
1. Do your most important and time-demanding tasks first thing in the morning.
Most of us find our first hour of the work the most productive – make sure to use yours wisely! Oddly enough, you can focus more easily when your brain isn’t fully awake. Booting-up brains have less excess energy for daydreaming and worrying about other tasks. This is the best time management hack you can use to get your heavy task done with good quality.
2. Do it now- Don’t wait for inspiration
Don’t wait for inspiration to complete your task. Perform it now! Procrastinating your work will eventually lead to a decline in your carrier. With mindfulness, you don’t have to feel like getting something done to do it. Notice the thoughts and feelings that arise while you work from an outside perspective. Don’t let them govern your actions. Think you have to do it today only. Temptations will arise but you have to be stay focused.
Know how to focus and avoid distractions.
3. Do make a daily plan Time Table
Use the first 30 minutes of your day to create a daily time table that suits your daily plan. Write down the things you have to do that day. Mention those in time table.
Word your list items as if you’ve already completed them.
This little trick will give you an extra boost of motivation.
4. Do make a “done list” Checklist.
Sometimes, unexpected tasks just pop up during the day. Jot them down in a separate list next to your to-dos for some extra satisfaction at the end of the day.
On Sunday, revisit your accomplishments from the previous week and congratulate yourself on your successes. This review period will increase your confidence and help you create the next week’s time-management plan more effectively.
5. Do one thing at a time- do not multitask.
Researchers have disproven the multitasking myth. If you believe you can do many things at once and maintain your quality standards than you are absolutely wrong. It’s scientifically proven!
Acknowledge your emotions and daydreams and let them go. Start tasks, even when you feel unsure, and trust your motivation to follow. Don’t let your myths effect your almost perfect time management plan.
6. Do work easily-don’t strive for perfection.
When everything must be perfect, can anything ever be good enough? Probably not.
To become exceptional, you must fail repeatedly and learn from your mistakes. Look at every effort as an experiment – a valuable step on your journey, no matter what the outcome.
7. Do Block out your distractions.
Use your computer’s and mobile’s “do not disturb” function when working on focused tasks. Channel your attention by working at only one monitor and opening only one window. Going offline might also be an option, but let’s not go that far! We need to start small and be practical to master the time management skills.
Bonus trick: Effective time management Technique or Trick
Here is a simple tool, that if you follow for three consecutive weeks, I promise you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your ability to get things done. I read it somewhere some time ago and it has been working wonders for me.
We call it “3-2-1”.
Many of us struggle with Time management in our daily work routine. We experience an endless stream of responsibilities, which makes it tough to decide how to allocate time. Here is a simple technique or a trick to manage time effectively and efficiently.
Every morning, create a list of 6 goals that follows this pattern:
- the 3 things I must accomplish today.
- the 2 things I would like to accomplish today.
- the 1 thing that would be nice to get to today.
The list that you made does not have to be interpretable by anyone other than yourself. But once you’ve written your list, send it to a trusted friend or a family member. This act of accountability is important; it enters you into an implicit contract to accomplish (at the very least) the top item on the list. And now just start working. The sense of answering to the person will help you master your time management plan.
After completing the task strike off the elements in your to-do list. The peace and satisfaction cannot be compared to anything in the world.
With 3-2-1, you need to be flexible as well. And at the end of the day, knocking out your priorities is what matters. So why let a difficult-to-follow pre-planned schedule stress you out?
The most important thing that I found in this time management technique is that it sticks as a habit after 3 weeks and you will find that you no longer need to write down the list and send it to a friend. These time management skills get built-in you.
You can win back money but you can’t win back time.Neil Patel
You are never too late to begin. Start working now and build those time management skills slowly. You will struggle in the beginning but once it turns to a habit you will laugh at yourself turning back to this day when you had to search for a plan to work on your time management skills.
Just begin now and have faith in yourself and see what you can do.
What do you do to manage your time?