HOW TO MANAGE TIME
Right from the stage of adolescence to growing young, we all must have encountered terms time management stress management etc from our counterparts. But have we ever taken time to realize what time management is! According to Wikipedia “Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.”
In simple language, every person has 24 hours in a day. It depends from person to person how much efficiently and effectively a person can utilize those 24 hours. These days, time seems to be at a premium. We have devices that keep us constantly connected with work, with friends and family, and sometimes even with complete strangers. As a result, it’s easy to get distracted. To overcome these distractions, time management skills help a lot. So here are some tips that will surely help in managing time:
Setting Goals:Setting yourself specific and well defined goals can help to an extent. But mind you, These goals must be achievable and realistic. To do this, you first need to examine your present situation and assess what goals are important to you and what action you need to take to achieve your target.
Organizing the time: Every person wastes times somewhere or the other way. It is important to identify that areas and try to reduce these. A good way to do this is to log everything you do for a week in meticulous detail and then examine your record to see how you use (or misuse!) your time.
Plan Ahead (Schedule it and it will happen!): Determine how long your tasks will take and see if some similar tasks can be combined together. In most of the cases big tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks that may be easier to schedule.
Don’t be a perfectionist: Fix one thing in your head no one is and can be perfect. A scope of improvement is always there in every person.Trying to be a perfect person sets you up for defeat. Difficult tasks usually result in avoidance and procrastination. You need to set achievable goals, but they should also be challenging. There will always be people both weaker and stronger than you.
Target to be early: It is commonly observed that people targeting to complete their work in the last time are caught in trouble. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time. For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.
Prioritize: This is one of the easiest and the effective way to manage time. We all have many tasks in a day. Its sometimes practically impossible to do all the tasks at one time. At this time prioritizing our tasks helps to complete important tasks first.
Admit multitasking is bad: For people who didn’t grow up watching TV, typing out instant messages and doing homework all at the same time, multitasking is deadly.
Eliminate your time wasters: No task is as simple as it looks. Pot holes are always present to distract you. Referred to as time wasters in lay man language, These can speed down the work completion process. Eliminating and at least reduced use of such time wasters can help a person.
Be Flexible: Not everything in this world works according to our thoughts. Unexpected things can occur at any time. You should be able to fit it into your schedule. You should know how to rearrange your schedule when necessary.
Leave time for fun: No person can work efficiently for long duration. Everyone needs a break from the busy schedule. While there are times when we just need to power through a large project, it’s important to give yourself time to let loose. Not only will it refresh your mind, it’s good for your body, too. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time but make sure that you do!
Focus on your most productive time of day: It is not always necessary that a person is constantly productive throughout the day.Some people work better in the morning, and some are more focused in the evening. Set your work plan accordingly.
Have a Vision: Don’t forget the “big picture” – why are you doing the task – is it important to your long-term personal goals?Have and follow a personal mission statement. Know what is important to you. Have a positive attitude!
Allocate Your Time: Include an estimated time frame for each action point and the date by which the task must be completed. If the order in which you perform the tasks doesn’t matter, you might be able to accomplish something during unexpected pockets of free time. For instance, you could research information on the internet while waiting in your office for a conference call to begin.
Be realistic:Don’t under or over estimate time. Over estimating time makes it difficult to fit all your tasks into your daily schedule, while under estimating “cuts your day short” and makes it impossible to complete your schedule. However, do be generous with your time allotments. It’s much easier to fit a small task into “extra” time than it is to try to make up for “lost” time.
Start tomorrow tonight!: Get in the habit of preparing for the next day at the end of your day. Write out a “to do” list for tomorrow’s tasks. Leave keys, wallet (or purse), and your To Do List all in the same place. For optimum time management, you can even lay out tomorrow’s clothing before you go to bed.
Get set in your ways: Good time management is synonymous with good organization. Put your daily routines into detail. While you don’t need to schedule every move you make, listing routine tasks helps you to remember each step you need to take to meet your goal, whether it’s getting to work or school on time or doing Saturday morning chores.
Allow Enough Time for Sleep: Make no mistake about it, the quality of mental work depends on sufficient sleep. Without enough sleep, memory is one of the first things to go.
Don’t Spin Your Wheels:When your mind is wandering or daydreaming, get up and do something else-start or another assignment. Daydreaming is a clear sign from your brain that it is ready to move onto something new.
Remember the “Hour Rule” When Working: Studies have shown that your first hour of studying is the best hour, and your ability to retain material drops precipitously after that hour.
Concentrate on One Thing: The human mind works more efficiently when it is focused. As we’ve seen beforemultitasking is actually a disadvantage to productivity. Focus on one thing and get it done. Take care not to bleed tasks into each other. At times, multitasking may seem like a more efficient route, but it is probably not.
Make Use of Down Time: Using walking, driving, showering, or otherwise “dead” times to plan. Think about what your goals are for that day or the next. Which goals are most important?Prioritization is the key.
Be Careful to Avoid Burnout: Burnout occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them. Don’t try to force yourself to do the impossible. Delegate time for important tasks, but always be sure to leave time for relaxation and reflection.
Review your recent accomplishments and make sure you feel good. Review and reflection is one of the best ways to gain confidence and higher confidence means more productivity.
Slow down and breathe: Don’t forget to slow down and breathe deeply as often as possible. Lack of oxygen will make you slow and sluggish, which will affect your performance. The more you rush about from task to task the less you will achieve.
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