It is with the time that we learn how to manage time; sounds confusing? Well, read on, by the end of this blog, not it is not just your confusion that will be cleared but you will have got some tips to master the art of time management yourself. Time is one of those things which once lost cannot be got back; you could consider it to be a non-renewable resource. Making it thus, an asset that ought to be used wisely. Not only is this a quintessential element of your personal life, but also an indispensable tool for your professional life.
Yes, you read it right. You will be considered an efficient employee if you own the skill of managing time effectively. Irrespective of which industry your professional inclination might be in, there is no denying the importance of time in each of it. Meeting targets is one of the foundation stones that every industry of work is thriving on; be it the number of customers you have you handle or the number of items you have to deliver. There is a set goal in every form of employment. Therefore, making it obligatory that you know how to use time intelligently and consequently learn how to do so.
Experts in time management have shortlisted a few benefits one can derive out of timing themselves correctly. They are:
A minimum knowledge of how time can be managed is present in every individual; however, sometimes that does not suffice, especially in the workplace. You then, do not have a choice but to try and improve this skill, to make sure that you can juggle all the tasks assigned to you, proficiently. Improving your time management skills helps you keep away a lot of stress and unnecessary pressure that may affect your functioning adversely. Additionally, you will notice that when the time on your hand has been optimally utilized, there will be scope for relaxation for you as well.
So, when you want to start improving your time management abilities, you have to begin with identifying, where exactly your time goes. In short, I mean, track your time! There are several apps available on your phones that can help you do that easily. Alternatively, you can always keep a notebook handy, and scribble in every detail of time being used for each task that you perform throughout the day. And by each task, I mean ‘each and every task.’ It could be as important as a meeting or as mundane as having your lunch. The basic idea is to be able to know how much time you dedicate to every single activity; so that you can analyze whether any adjustments can be made in them to increase the availability of time elsewhere.
Next up, you need to define your priorities. Prioritization plays a key role in your entire life; it helps you decide what you need to work on with urgency and what is it that you can afford to delay a bit. Some studies on effective management of time reveal that there are a few methods that can aid you in prioritizing.
When you are settled on the crucial things that need immediate attention, then you can put together a to-do list. This will be your call to action. For this again there are several apps available; however, if you are more comfortable writing it down, you can do so. But make sure you stick to this list and follow it religiously. To be able to be dedicated to this schedule, you need to keep it realistic. Do not put in anything that may not be possible to achieve quickly; it can lead to an aversion. Keep it brief and attainable; a list that will give you a boost to carry on with this list-making habit in the future.
Giving yourself challenges is the best way to improve, in every sector of life; hence, set goals for yourself. You may have been given targets at your workplace, but even then you have to set some for yourself so that you can attain those targets. Assigning deadlines helps you stay focused, so don’t shy away from fixing on dates by which you should get the work done.
One of my favourite proverbs is “Procrastination breeds corruption”; you will realize how true this is when it comes to time management. It is a common practice to keep pushing tasks for later, but that is what leads to all the confusions and anxieties. So, the best way to stay composed and relaxed is to do the task at the time fixed for it. Keeping things for later will only increase your burden and take away from you, your efficiency.
Though you may be extremely adept in your work; yet for want of delivery of work at a fixed time, you may need to delegate some work to others. Of course, you should follow up with how they are carrying out the job, but you have to stay away from physically performing it, just to save time. Taking on more than you can handle will only lead to reduced productivity. Sometimes it is the sheer want of credit that an individual pushes his/her limits to get some job done, and in the bid, they fail miserably. The wise thing, therefore, is to use the help of others in getting the job done on time.
Managing time effectively does not mean that you keep on working constantly; all humans need a time-out, and you are no exception. In fact, giving yourself a break in between tasks is a way to keep the fire of achieving the goal burning; else, you will tire yourself and end up not being able to fulfill the responsibility within the stipulated time. So, set some time in your schedule as a break and during this time, do not think about the work, for in doing so, you will actually not be taking a break. The bottom line is, shut yourself down from time to time in between tasks.
Each individual is differently made and thus, whether you are a morning lark or a night owl, you will have as specific timings during the entire day that you will be your optimal self. Also, there will be a particular time when you do not feel so energetic. When you know your functionality, it becomes easier for you to assign the tasks of the day for yourself. Schedule the most important works of your list when you are full of energy and the not so important at other times. It helps big time in your performance.
Downtime refers to the time that you have at hand when you are not doing any work. For example, if you are waiting for your turn outside the doctor’s clinic or are caught up in traffic. These are the best occasions when you can plan; but don’t make it a habit, as it will stress you out. Do it sparingly and productively.
Finally, if you think that you are not good at multi-tasking, avoid it. Instead, take up one task at a time and make sure you perform it diligently so that you do not have to invest time in it later on again. Time, my friend, is just like the sand, the more you try to clasp it in your palm, the more it slips out. Therefore, be smart and learn the art of time management so that you can tame time.
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