“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Wikipedia defines Time management as, “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? ”.
We define time by its short stature. We are always short of time. We mostly end up reaching late to our places of academics, work, meetings, workouts, lunch and stuff like. We fall short of time in case of the completion of the presentation materials and projects.
The short stature of time is easily a curable one. You see, the time is a flexible tool and is easily stretchable, if we can only analyze our own shortfalls and heal our own issues. If we can plan forward and stick to our schedule, time would be an excellent tool in our hands. Easy, isn’t it? It is!!
1.Primary Task : The primary task in the time management is to find out the avenues in which you fritter away your time the most. It could be your sitting in front of the television set for hours, while there are important tasks pending to be tackled by you. There could be a hundred other channels through which you might be wasting your time, while there are projects pending to be completed or tasks waiting to be finalized with. You need to find out your weakness which consumes your important time and should put a cork on it firmly.
2. To Do List : We all have our endless work schedule, home schedule, family schedule and then some more! Note down, “Things to do” and list out all the tasks to be completed that day.
3. Prioritise: “The most important tasks” should conquer the first few places, followed by non-important tasks, followed by the tasks that can be delegated to the others.
4. Take Charge: Focus on completing such tasks yourselves that involves family, tasks that would push your career graph up and tasks that are imperative for your health and well being. The rest shall become easier to handle then.
5. Forbid the distractions: The ringing of your phone(s), a quick tempting glance at the emails, notification from one of your social networking forums, background noise from your television, the chat window which suddenly pops open with a nice “hello”, dragging you into its net… Well, close the doors on the face of all these distractions while you are attending to your most important tasks, period.
6. Procrastination: It is to put off doing a task habitually due to laziness or even carelessness. Of all the enemies of your time management, here is the five star rated villain. So, no procrastination!
7. Get Organised: Clutter, clutter and well, more clutter: Whether it is your actual desktop or your virtual desktop, keep your files, folders and other things in an orderly fashion. Whether it is your home or office, learn to be organized. This shall make it easier for you to locate a tool or an instrument that may be needed at the time of the execution of your tasks.
8. Take a Short Break: As you are not a robot, you should take a break for ten minutes in between your ‘accomplished’ tasks. Stretch your legs and go for a small walk, have some more coffee and be back at the desk exactly in ten minutes or whatever the short break time that would be suitable for you.
9. Completing is Important: Its fine even if you work on a slow pace and as long as you work according to your prioritized list, being slow should not be an issue.
10. Incentive: Have you completed your scheduled tasks well on time? Patter on your back and give a small incentive to yourself. It’s always good to feel good!
While you are working on a project or trying to complete a task, if you are going to search for an email out of hundreds in your inbox, search for gem clips, paper clips or a punching machine when you need one in a hurry, you will be wasting tens and tons of minutes every single time. Keeping things organized shall help you in reaching out to the right thing having kept at the right place in a jiffy, thereby saving your precious time.
2. I need a break in between work and hence, I need the distractions. Is there any harm in listening to music or glancing at the mails or saying hi! to the chat window?
There is no harm in listening to music or glancing mail. But, saying Hi! over chat will be distraction, because it won’t stop there and will take your lot of time Your work shall get delayed. You shall take a break “after completing” the task and not while you are on your task.
3. I spend lot of time in commuting. Can you suggest how can I use that time productively? I commute by bus.
You don’t need to waste time and twiddle your thumbs. Always take something to do with you, book to read or just a blank pad of paper that you can use to plan your meeting or write your next days To Do list . Technology has made things easier, your cell phone have lot of features which you can use to make your commute productive.
Time Management shall be easier if you plan well, execute well and shall reap the benefits accordingly.
Just look at what Earl of Chesterfield had said:
“I recommend you take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves”.
You do and it does!