In the modern high paced era of today, time stressors happen to be the most encompassing sources of pressure in our lives. Our assignments, workloads, deadlines and personal agendas all pile up to create pressures, as a result of having too much to do with too little time to do it. We may often wonder how we can overcome the pressures on us and manage to do a good job to deliver the responsibilities assigned to us. Managing our time and learning to coordinate our activities helps to maximize our effectiveness. It also enables us to get more work done in less time.
By learning the art of managing our time we can make a positive impact on our professional life. Most of us are really bad at organizing our work and giving each task it required time. But by being aware of some of the benefits we can reap, it could help us manage better. Reduced stress, work-life balance, along with higher productivity and better performance levels all help to promote the benefits of managing our time.
Some people seem to have the time to do everything while we may feel that there is never any time to do the things we really want to do. How do others manage ? The answer is simple. They use time management skills to deal with their time more effectively and productively. Some of these skills may include having clear goals, organizing themselves well, prioritizing their needs and planning their day.
Some very simple tips to manage our time which we can apply to our lives to be more productive are given below
- STRETCH YOUR DAY – Wake up a little earlier after getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Use the time to exercise, meditate or just plan your day. Start the day energized for action.
- PRIORITIZE IMPORTANT TASKS – Plan to work on important, difficult and time consuming tasks, first thing. Focus on other activities later in the day.
- SET GOALS – Set very specific goals for what you need to achieve that day and increase your productivity. Do not just wish to do certain activities.
- CONTROL DISTRACTIONS – Allocate time slots for checking emails, messages and also social media so that you can focus on the work at hand. Interruptions cause mind flow to be disturbed so even putting the mobile on silent helps to block disruption.
- AVOID MULTITASKING – Try to avoid doing multiple tasks simultaneously. Research shows that few people can do so successfully. Instead define a time frame for each task and focus on completing it
- REFRESH AND ENERGIZE – Taking short breaks to every hour or so to refresh yourself and return energized to resume work. Your efficiency and productivity level will increase to a higher level.
Apart from the above tips there are many time management techniques available which we can apply to simplify our work and be more efficient.
A couple of methods which I found to be pretty effective in managing my time are described briefly below :
- The ABCDE method : This method helps to set priorities for our work life and also our personal efficiency. Make a list of your things-to-do and classify them according to their priority marking them as follows :
- A for MOST IMPORTANT things which have to be done
- B for LESSER IMPORTANT things should be done but of a lesser priority
- C for NICE TO DO things that may have no consequences but are what you may want.
- D for DELEGATE tasks which may be assigned to another person to carry out
- E for ELIMINATE tasks which are irrelevant and can be done away with as it provides no added value or benefit.
- The 4 D system : The 4 D system is very simple and clear-cut plus easy to implement. It can be defined and implemented very simply as follows
- D – DELETE or DROP = There are always things which do not require attention, so drop these from your list
- D – DELEGATE – Train your reportees to take over routine work and delegate such tasks.
- D – DEFER – Every task does not need to be done immediately. Identify such work and do it later.
- D – DO – Identify important and urgent activities and do them as soon as possible there and then.
Every minute of our day is precious and learning some basic time management skills will definitely help us to be more productive and also successful in completing all the various activities we need to do. So learn not to waste your time doing something which is not adding any value to your life
Remember – “Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” — Brian Tracy