Time Management: How you Can Manage your Time Effectively

Time Management

Definition of Time Management

Time can be defined as a period or duration within which something or an event happens in life, usually measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Time is a very important resource that cannot be recovered once it has been lost. Accordingly, it is important for people to organize activities in such a way that they fit within a given period and utilize their time effectively.

Time management is therefore the process or planning and organizing activities to fit within a desired timeframe and to ensure that required tasks are completed on time. The ability to manage time effectively is a desirable skill at work, school and home.

Work Schedule

Planning is an important part of time management, and it starts with a work schedule. It means identifying the current position and what is desired for the future. It also entails identifying what someone wants to achieve and how they are going to achieve it.

The first step in time management is to draw a work schedule that highlights all the activities that one has to do. Each task is assigned a specific time in a sequence starting with the most important activities. In this planning stage, a person evaluates the work they have to determine whether it is achievable within a given period of time.

A work schedule is also known as a timetable, and it is advisable to be written on a daily basis to show what one needs to achieve within the day. It is often written in the form of a diary so that it captures all the required tasks for the day.

Here are some tips on how to write a good work schedule:

  • The work schedule should be flexible – it should give a chance to be changed according to evolving needs of the user. Does not need to be too rigid.
  • A daily work schedule may be different among people even if it involves similar activities because each person has unique personalities, interests, and attitudes.
  • The user should stick to the time stipulated for each task in the time schedule.
  • Prioritize your tasks – from the most important to the least important.
  • Find a time of the day that most works for you to work on important tasks such as writing or reading
  • Make the time schedule well organized so that you can follow your tasks easily.

Time Management Chart

A time management chart is an important tool used to plan one’s time and review how well someone has spent their time, preferably within a week. Using this tool will help you focus on the most important tasks to you and spend your time more efficiently.

Using a time management chart, you can subtract the time you on regular activities from the total number of hours you have within the week. What you are left with is your free time and you will choose how to spend it.

At the end of the week, you can look back at your chart and review how you spent your time. That will help you make positive changes in the coming week.

Benefits of a Time Management Chart

There are several great benefits that one gets from using a time management chart:

  • Visibility: the tool helps someone to see a big picture from the visual representation their time. This makes planning of time more accurate.
  • Efficiency: A time management chart helps the user to dissect their activities and allocate time to each task more efficiently.
  • Effectiveness: this tool ensures that work is done on time, making task performance more effective.

Things that should be included in a time management chart:

  • Leisure time
  • Working time
  • Exercise and games
  • Helping the needy
  • Meals time
  • Cleaning time
  • Rest

Importance of Managing Time

Time management is important in every aspect of life. Everyone benefits from managing time effectively in whatever they do, be it in school, home or work. Here is a brief list of the reasons why managing time is important to you and everyone else:

  • Focusing on priorities: managing time helps you to focus on priority activities in whichever environment you work from. For instance, time management can help you focus on important business activities such as purchasing stock.
  • Sense of direction: managing time can also help you develop a sense of direction – you will know what you have achieved and what you still need to achieve, and how you are going to achieve it.
  • Attain goals and minimize stress: managing time also ensures that you organize activities to achieve your goals.
  • Satisfy others/clients – managing time effectively helps you focus on key activities that will promote the needs of important people in your life, e.g. customers.
  • Create time for everything: managing time is important because it enables you to fix all activities within your work schedule so that every activity is allocated some time. In this regard, you can perform all tasks if you plan your time well.

Time Wasters

Time wasters are the things that hinder you from managing your time effectively. They include:

  • Procrastination – pushing what you can do now to another time in the future.
  • Interruptions from other people – If someone interferes with your schedule without appointment.
  • Poor or lack of delegation: delegation entails assigning some tasks to other people. Without delegation, you may not do everything by yourself.
  • Talking too long on the phone.
  • Lack of priorities. You should prioritize the most important issues or activities to perform.
  • Day dreaming: don’t just sit down and think about the things you wish to achieve. Take action to achieve those dreams.
  • Excessive playing: Too much work without play makes Jack a dull boy, but too much of something is poisonous. If you spend most of your time playing you will lose important time that you could have used to perform important tasks.
  • Indecisiveness: being unable to make decisions in particular situations can make you stuck and unable to continue with anything.
  • Disorganization: inability to plan and organize yourself well will lead to time wasting.
  • Uncontrolled media influence – e.g. spending too much time on TV.
  • Reading junk literature: reading can be a good way of spending your leisure time, but too much of it will waste your time.
  • Quarreling and fighting will also waste your time which you could have used to perform productive activities.

Effective Management of Time

In order to manage time effectively, there are certain factors you should consider. For example, you should look at the environment where you work from. It should be free of distractors which can affect your time management skills and abilities. Here are a few ways of managing time effectively:

  • Don’t work on several projects at the same time. Complete one project before going to the next.
  • Prioritize your activities and focus on the most important ones first.
  • Have a deadline for each project and work towards meeting that deadline to achieve specific milestones or results.
  • Always plan your activities ahead of time to ensure that you have the resources you need for the task.
  • Be disciplined and committed to your work.

Values associated with Time Management

  • Honesty
  • Simplicity
  • Responsibility

Life skills associated with time management

  • Assertiveness
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem
  • Communication
  • Decision making

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