The Art of Time Management
What is Time Management?
What is Time Management? According to Wiki "Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity." [source:Wikipedia]
We've all heard the expression "time is money" and rather or not you believe that the fact remains that we only have so much time in a day. Out of that time roughly 8 hours, give or take, are spent sleeping, so that leaves 16 hours to make the most of. How you make the most of it is up to you, depending on your occupation and your priorities, but one of the best ways we can manage our time is by the elimination of "time wasters".
The list of biggest time wasters:
- Facebook and other social media
- Checking email
- Mindless surfing the web
- Computer Games
These things have a proper time and place, don't get me wrong. But when you are trying to get your work done, taking time out to do these things even a few minutes here and there, all adds up fast until before you know it you have lost 20 minutes, 30 minutes or more. Just think of how much more you could accomplish if you had that time back each day. How to avoid them? It's easy, log off of Facebook, turn off your phone or at least have the screen off so you are not tempted to keep checking it. Leave only the application or website open that you need to do your work. The old "out of sight, out of mind" adage.
Other tips for managing your time:
- Keep a to do list. You can keep this on your pc, your cell phone or use old fashioned pen and paper, but the visual aid of having a list and being able to check things off can be very motivating and satisfying.
- Prioritize: If you are working on an important project and your boss comes by and hands you yet another task, do you drop the project you are on? Or depending on the urgency of the new task and the health of your relationship with your boss, you may be able to negotiate delaying the new task until you have completed your current task. Or better yet, you may be able to delegate one task to a co-worker and concentrate on the other one until completion.
- Avoid multi-tasking: Studies show that multi-tasking is usually extremely ineffective, resulting in poor performance of each task rather than the extra productivity that you desire. The best way is to devote complete concentration to one task or project at a time.
- Set some goals and decide what you would really like to accomplish. That way you can focus on what really matters and scrap those projects that do not align with the goals you have set. The idea is you don't want some vague goal such as "be successful". That could mean anything and is not specific enough to form a plan to reach it. The better goal would be "in 6 months I would like to "name your goal" and here are the steps I have laid out to get there.
Managing your time is more like managing your choices and decisions. When you look at your prioritized list and check it against your goals, you will be more motivated to make the right decisions and stay focused as you work towards achieving those goals. Time, like money should be budgeted. And just think, the more you stick to your time budget, the more left over time you will have for things that really matter like spending time with the ones you love. And that flavor of "spending" is never a waste.