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Managing time is crucial if you want to achieve all that you wish to accomplish in the time available. Time is an irreplaceable resource. If you waste it, you cannot recover it.
You, therefore, need to be a good time manager. Being a good time manager involves understanding "where the time goes and how time can be" "planned and saved" in this section below, we will discuss some of these fundamental aspects of good time management.
How Can One Spend Time?
It is essential to know the time available to you can be spent on USEFUL WORK and UNNECESSARY ACTIVITIES.
The majority of our time should spend doing valuable activities. For example: if you are a college student, you should spend time attending classes, doing or completing assignments, or taking part in group work. When working as an employee, your day is to complete routine activities such as answering mail, sorting and filing, undertaking special assignments, and solving problems.
Irrespective of whether you are at college or in employment, you need to understand fully which component of your daily activities is essential and valuable. Most of your time should be used on beneficial activities and diverted from unnecessary movements.
We all find ourselves distracted from the valuable work we have to do; being distracted means you waste time. Several factors may result in you wasting time.
Lack of Focus
When you are unsure about what you want to do, you will find that your mind wanders, and you cannot focus on your activities. In addition, you can waste time if you are not sure of the objective of the task at hand. If you find yourself in this position, promptly clarify the mission's goals and focus your energy on achieving this objective.
If you do not plan your daily activity, you will waste time not knowing the work you have to accomplish. As a result, it will be difficult for you to achieve the set objectives and deadlines. However, it would be best to plan your daily activities to know what you will perform in the end.
Interruption is an unnecessary waste of time. Your friends and business associates might not appreciate that you concentrate on your work and might disturb you for a social chat. Telephone callers might try to prolong the telephone conversation by talking about unimportant issues when they finish discussing business. Interruption can reduce the amount of time you can devote to complete a task.
Poor Anticipation can waste your time and not identify problems that might arise, preventing you from achieving your objectives. For example, unexpected situations might occur when undertaking work, which means you do not complete the job expected by the set deadline.
Therefore, you need to anticipate the problem that could develop and produce a contingency plan for coping with such issues.
Consequently, to be an adequate time manager, you must clearly understand where your time goes. Once you have identified what constitutes your valuable work and unnecessary activities, then you can try to think about mechanisms that will help you save time.
Setting priorities, planning the number of hours you should give to the activities you have to accomplish, and then considering which order you want to finish the job are the first steps in planning and controlling your time or how you utilize your time.
Five Ways to Plan Your Time
Priorities can influence your purpose in life. It helps keep things organized and gives our daily activities a bit of flow.
When managing the time, you should start by taking a long-term perspective - What do you have to achieve over the next three months. What goals or deadlines need to meet? Next, determine what you need to accomplish those goals, and then you should start planning your time on a daily, weekly basis. For example, how many days will you spend researching your assignment? Then how many days will it take to develop the first draft?
Priorities also help determine the urgency of completing a task: which jobs need to be undertaken immediately and what activity will be completed next week.
Plan Your Work
Planning your work is vital for the success of any task. Planning can help alleviate stress and increase productivity. Rather than planning your position too far in advance, do it daily. When planning your work every day, you will start by understanding what has to achieve each day. It would help if you endeavored to do the following:
- The free flow of organizing your tasks will help you remember lessons you might forget. Please list all you want to accomplish and break them down into days. You don't need to write it systematically; note that all are relevant as they come to you.
- Some tasks will require you to concentrate more heavily on them than others. However, it would help if you planned to undertake tasks that demanded concentration. In addition, you should try and reduce potential interruptions to devote your time and energy to the task at hand.
- As the new day brings new challenges, write down anything that you didn't accomplish during the day and make it a priority for your next day's list of tasks. Prioritizing undone activities from the previous day will keep them from being forgotten.
- Plan to complete unpleasant tasks and unenjoyable activities at the outset rather than defer them to others. When you have started to tackle this unpleasant task, don't be distracted from completing them.
- Prioritize the list you want to do for the day, and break large tasks into small ones. Start with what needs to be done now. Schedule your day according to your priorities. Set aside enough time to do this work at the start of each day. Schedule lower-priority work after lunch or after the day.
Keep a Note Book and Pen Handy
Try to keep a notebook with yourself at all times. As long as you are not driving or doing something dangerous, it is best to write down your random thoughts in a notebook. This way, you can decide what to do with the task when you are ready to review new information. In addition, it is an excellent way to determine whether an idea is good enough to pursue. More importantly, you can prioritize the idea.
Writing down your ideas and forgotten tasks in a notebook can be a powerful tool in dealing with distractions. A notepad and pen are essential to time management if you are like me (with a mind going a mile a minute).
A very detailed diary will have one page divided into individual time slots for each day. This format for the diary is helpful because it enables you to plan each day quite precisely. For example, the hours of the day against each of the time slots, you can write what you will be doing. Also, diaries are helpful tools for planning your work in the short term.
There are several ways you can make effective use of your time
Interruption can affect your ability to meet the deadlines that have been set for the completion of your work. One way of reducing interruptions is to avoid them.
Be assertive and politely inform the person disturbing you that you are busy and cannot speak with them. Then, use your diary to make an appointment to meet them at a later date and time. Alternatively, you can work in a location where you will not be disturbed, but make sure you inform a friend where you are in case you have to be contacted in an emergency.
If you cannot avoid interruption, it might be possible to minimize their effect. For example, if you are working on a specific activity, do not stop immediately to handle the disruption but continue working until you have come to a natural break in the action and then respond to the interruption.
Delegation is asking a fellow team member to complete specific tasks. When working in a group, delegation is essential since it allows you to share the burden of completion with other team members. When you delegate work, you save yourself time. Work to be charged should be capable of being handled by your team members, and they should have the confidence and authority to carry out the responsibility involved.
You must communicate the instructions for the job. Review the progress achieved as the project develops; you may offer further direction and assistance if the project lags behind schedule.
Being decisive can waste a considerable amount of time through indecision. Therefore, to save time, you need to be prepared to:
- Take a decision and put them into action.
- Be precise in your dealing with others.
- Set times and dates for meetings
- Have clear agenda and specify the duration of sessions.
Communicating with others clearly and effectively does not prolong unnecessary decisions. On the contrary, you can delegate the time to other essential decisions by being decisive.
Using time effectively is essential; however, time management has been outlined. You'll always discover that you have more demands on your time than you can handle.
Therefore, you need to develop practical time management skills; managing your time involves identifying your work priorities and then planning your workload to meet the objectives and deadlines that have been set.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Ephraim Ejimofor