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Time Management. Efficient use of Your Time.

Updated on October 22, 2015

Cuckoo Clock

Cuckoo
Cuckoo | Source

Time Management

Time management is all about trying to use your time in the most efficient way possible to achieve the goals that are important to you. You will never be able to do all the things you WANT to do in any given day. But if you manage your time efficiently you will be able to do all the things you NEED to do.

Different Time Management Systems

There are many different time management systems. Most notable are the ABC Analysis, The Eisenhower Method and the POSEC Method.

A Variation of the ABC Method of Time Management

( A ) Essential Needs

( B ) Important Goals

( C ) Non essential goals

( D ) Personal time

( E ) Evaluating how well you managed your time, and how many of your goals you have accomplished for that day. This takes about 10 minutes a day. And is essential, DO NOT skip this category.

Managing Time

The hand of time
The hand of time | Source

ABC Time Management System

Step one : Allocate a set amount of time for essential needs.

( A ) Example: Sleeping, Meals, Bathroom time.

Regarding bathroom time and meals ( you would be surprised how many people take long showers and slow breakfasts then speed to work, screaming they are going to be late )

Other essentials might include, getting your child ready for school, commute time, doctors appointments.

These are things that need to be done.

Step two : Prioritize your 3 remaining objectives,

( B ) Things that need to be done for your family, work assignments, house cleaning and cooking.

( C ) Cleaning out the garage, repainting your room, washing your car, are some of the examples of non essential tasks that need to be done. but are not as important as category A and B.

( D ) Although this is often viewed as the most unimportant of the 5 categories do not neglect it, if you manage your time carefully and do not have any down time for yourself, you might be able to accomplish your goals, but it will be at the cost of your happiness, everyone needs some time to unwind and relax, this category is all about you, do what ever you like, golf, watch TV, play with your x box, read a book, but make sure you do something you enjoy. I know this probably does not need to be said, but do Not allocate 8 hours a day for personal time. I have actually seen a person do that, and was left speechless when she claimed she did not have enough time in a day to get her work done.

( E ) Assess how efficiently you think you managed your time, and how you could have managed it better.

Often if you go to a time management seminar, they will ask you to write a list of all the things you need to do, while this does make you very efficient on paper, I find that most people spend an unnecessarily long amount of time micro managing their list, and a very long list is a daunting thing to look at.

Instead try to make your list short, break up your time into very general terms.

So instead of writing 15 minutes to use the bathroom, 20 minutes to prepare breakfast , 15 minutes to eat , 5 minutes to dress.

Write down ( 45 minutes to get ready to get ready for work ).

The Eisenhower Method

The Eisenhower Quadrant
The Eisenhower Quadrant | Source

The Eisenhower Method of Time Management

This method of time management is named after US President Dwight D Eisenhower, his famous quote

''What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important '' explains this method to perfection.

All tasks are ranked from 1 to 4, then assigned a position in a quadrant, each quadrant is like a mini to do list, ranked by urgent important,urgent not important, important but not urgent and not important not urgent.

Urgent and important = to be done personally in rank of importance

Urgent but not important = check if its possible to delegate these tasks,

Important but not urgent = assign time to handle these tasks, these are tasks that cannot be delegated, but must be done you personally.

Not important and not urgent = these are tasks that are usually time wasters, often little tasks that people ask you to do that they could have done themselves, the best way to handle these is to just decline these tasks.

The POSEC Method

Based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs | Source

The POSEC Method of Time Management

One of the most popular time management methods adopted by large corporations. This system is most effective in a business environment, if the employees adopt this method in their personal life as well as in their corporate life.

At the core of this system is Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of needs".

Prioritize = Put the most important things first.

Usually refers to urgent tasks that can only be done by you and need to be done A.S.A.P.

Organize = Organizing tasks to achieve your goals.

Usually refers to tasks that are important but not urgent, if done properly, none of these tasks will ever reach the urgent stage.

Streamline = Tasks that must be done regularly should be streamlined for maximum efficiency.

Usually refers to chores and daily tasks that one does not enjoy doing.

Economize = Non urgent tasks.

Usually refers to tasks that one enjoys hobbies, exercise, social gatherings.

Contribution = What you contribute back.

Usually refers to societies or workplace obligations. The higher you reach on the pyramid the more you will be able to contribute.

Time Management ( Learn how to Write Your 'To Do List' )

Often if you go to a time management seminar they will ask you to write a list of all the things you need to do, while this does make you very efficient on paper, I find that most people spend an unnecessarily long amount of micro managing their lists, and a very long list is a daunting thing to look at.

Try to make your list short, break up your time into very general terms.

So instead of writing 15 minutes to use the bathroom, 20 minutes to prepare breakfast , 15 minutes to eat , 5 minutes to dress.

Write down ( 45 minutes to get ready to go to work ).

Which ever method of time management you choose to implement, your 'to do list' is going to need to be organized in a logical and concise manner.

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Distractions at Work

Distractions account for most of our time wasted in a day, taking unnecessary phone calls, small talk in the office, little emergencies that always seem to pop up when you are in the middle of something.

Your ability to evaluate which is the more important objective, is essential to time management.

That call coming in, is it really that important, could you return that call later. You might think, well it would just take a minute to answer this call, or I do not want to be rude by ignoring this call. You need to change your mindset. The call might be short, but it has broken your focus, it has distracted you from what needs to be done.

Time Management

How efficiently do you manage your time?

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Fine Tune your Time Management

Focus on your task at hand and if at all possible do not deviate from it. Completing a task from start to finish without distractions, is much more time efficient then doing it halfway and completing it later.

While this is a basic guide to personal time management, you should of course fine tune it. Just following the basics will make your life easier.

Stress Due to Deadline Pressure

Many people do not realize that a significant portion of the stress in their lives is derived from Deadline Pressure. A time management system will help you be more efficient and relieve some of the stress in your life.

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Copyright © 2013 Ketage Veritas

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    • ketage profile image
      Author

      ketage 2 years ago from Croatia

      Thanks Cecilia, in the hustle and bustle world we live in, time management is becoming an essential part of our daily routine. I will check out the site you mentioned :)

    • Cecilia Jones profile image

      Cecilia Jones 2 years ago

      I really like your article. It is very elaborate and highlights the most important aspect on the way of improving one's time management skills. As for me, overcoming distractions and taking regular breaks have always been really hard to excell. And I am definitely trying an Eisenhower quadrant.

      I also believe in the great importance of finding and mastering a proper tool for planning and organizing your and your employees work.

      In my office KT (http://kanbantool.com) is the favorite, but I've only using it for a couple of months. Anyhow, great article, thanks to you I realized a lot of important things.