We all have twenty four hours in a day but some of us seem to be ahead of others. So what could be the problem? The issue is most people do not how to manage the time that they have.
What is “Time Management?”
“Time management” refers to the way that you organize and plan how long you spend on specific activities.
It may seem counter-intuitive to dedicate precious time to learning about time management, instead of using it to get on with your work, but the benefits are enormous:
- Greater productivity and efficiency.
- A better professional reputation.
- Less stress.
- Increased opportunities for advancement.
- Greater opportunities to achieve important life and career goals.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. You should plan your day by keeping a to do list. Write down all the things you are supposed to do.
Keeping a to-do List
You should have a reminder system to tell you of when you need to do what: don’t try to remember everything in your head as this is a recipe for disaster! Carry a pen and paper or organiser wherever you go. At the simplest level your reminder system could simply be to use your diary to write down the things you need to do, including appointments and deadlines. Before interviews, it’s fine to write down the questions you wish to ask on a small piece of card or notepad
“To stay on schedule I devised a timetable which I had to stick to. I used an electronic calendar which I programmed to send out emails as reminders to myself and my team. This was a very useful tool and it is one that I have used continuously to manage my time effectively.” Kent student.
You should not be a person who is afraid to turn others down. Always purpose in your mind to do things early for instance wake up early. Also ensure that you time the activities that you do.
Learn to say “No”. Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.
Target to be early. When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. 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.
Time box your activities. This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Read more about time boxing: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.
If you want to save time then you should work smart and not hard. Do not squeeze things into your time but you can do work in bits and complete it all in a week.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
The old adage, “work smarter, not harder” has become a staple in the way I go about work of any kind.
Instead of being robotic in how I approach tasks, I try to be thoughtful and always ask myself if something can be done more efficiently or eliminated altogether.
Managing my time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into my day as possible. It’s about simplifying how I work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.
It’s about clearing away space in my life to make time for people, play, and rest.
I promise you — there really are enough hours in a day for everything you’d like to do, but it may take a bit of rearranging and re-imagining to find them.