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A Brief Guide to Time Management
Time management is the process of planning and controlling how much time to spend on specific activities. Good time management allows an individual to complete more in a shorter period of time, lowers the amount of stress, and leads to career success.
Benefits of Time Management
The ability to manage your time effectively is important. Good time management leads to better efficiency and productivity, less stress, less wasted time, and a more successful life. Here are some benefits of managing time effectively:
Stress relief Making and following a task schedule makes a person feel less stressed and reduces anxiety.
More time Good time management gives you extra time to spend in your daily life. People who can time manage effectively enjoy more time to spend on hobbies or other personal pursuits.
More opportunities Managing time well leads to more opportunities and less time wasted on trivial activities. Time management is a key quality that employers look for. The ability to prioritize and schedule work is extremely desirable to any organization.
Ability to realize goals Individuals who practice good time management are able to better achieve their goals and objectives, and do so in a shorter length of time.
List of Tips for Effective Time Management
After considering the benefits of time management, let us look at some ways to manage time effectively:
Set goals correctly Set goals that are achievable and measurable to improve time management. Use the SMART method when setting goals. In essence, make sure the goals you set are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
Prioritize wisely Separate your tasks on how important and urgent they are in order to achieve good time management. For example, look at your daily tasks and determine which are:
Important and urgent: Do these tasks right away. Important but not urgent: Decide when to do these tasks. Urgent but not important: Delegate these tasks if possible. Not urgent and not important: Do these tasks later.
Set a time limit to complete a task Setting a time constraint will cause you to be more focused and efficient. For example, instead of working on a project and thinking of doing it until it’s done, set a limit of, say, three hours.
Take a break between tasks When doing a lot of tasks without a break, it is harder to stay focused and motivated. Allow some downtime between tasks by performing some mind-clearing exercises like taking a quick nap, going for a short walk, or meditating.
Organize yourself Utilize your calendar by writing down the deadline for projects or tasks on them. Determine which days should be dedicated to which tasks.
Remove non-essential tasks/activities It is important to remove excess activities or tasks that add no value to your life. Determine what is significant and what deserves your time. Removing non-essential tasks/activities frees up more time.
Plan ahead Make sure you start every day with a clear idea of what you need to do. For example, the night before, you can write down a list of to-dos for the next day.
Implications of Poor Time Management
Now that the benefits of time management with some tips for effectively managing your time are discussed, let’s consider the effects of poor time management skills.
Poor workflow The inability to plan ahead and stick to goals means poor efficiency. For example, if there are several important tasks to complete, an effective plan would be to complete similar tasks first. If you do not plan ahead, instead jumping from one task to another, it can lead to low productivity and workflow.
Wasted time Poor time management results in wasted time. For example, by talking to friends on social media while doing an assignment, you are distracting yourself and wasting time.
Loss of control By not knowing what the next task is, or not formulating a plan on how to achieve your goals, you suffer from loss of control of your life. That can contribute to higher stress levels and anxiety.
Poor quality of work Poor time management will make the quality of your work suffer. Trying to complete tasks at the last minute compromises quality.
Poor reputation If clients or your employer cannot rely on you to manage your time to complete tasks, their expectation and perception of you is adversely affected. If a client cannot rely on you to get something done on time, they will take their business elsewhere.
Importance of Time Management
Time management allows you to reduce stress and anxiety, free up more time in your daily life, pursue more opportunities, achieve your goals, and so much more. Managing time well is not only important for your personal life – but also for career success.