Time management is the process of planning and controlling how much time to spend on specific activities. Good time management enables an individual to complete more in a shorter period of time, lowers stress, and leads to career success.
The ability to manage your time effectively is important. Good time management leads to improved efficiency and productivity, less stress, and more success in life.
Let’s look at some ways to manage time effectively:
1. Set goals correctly
Set goals that are achievable and measurable. Use the SMART method when setting goals. In essence, make sure the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
2. Prioritize wisely
Prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency. 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: Set these aside to do later.
3. Set a time limit to complete a task
Setting time constraints for completing tasks helps you be more focused and efficient. Making the small extra effort to decide on how much time you need to allow for each task can also help you recognize potential problems before they arise. That way you can make plans for dealing with them.
For example, assume you need to write up five reviews in time for a meeting. However, you realize that you’ll only be able to get four of them done in the time remaining before the meeting. If you become aware of this fact well in advance, you may be able to easily delegate writing up one of the reviews to someone else. However, if you hadn’t bothered to do a time check on your tasks beforehand, you might have ended up not realizing your time problem until just an hour before the meeting. At that point, it might be considerably more difficult to find someone to delegate one of the reviews too, and more difficult for them to fit the task into their day, too.
4. 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 to clear your head and refresh yourself. Consider grabbing a brief nap, going for a short walk, or meditating.
5. Organize yourself
Utilize your calendar for more long-term time management. Write down the deadlines for projects, or for tasks that are part of completing the overall project. Think about which days might be best to dedicate to specific tasks. For example, you might need to plan a meeting to discuss cash flow on a day when you know the company CFO is available.
6. Remove non-essential tasks/activities
It is important to remove excess activities or tasks. Determine what is significant and what deserves your time. Removing non-essential tasks/activities frees up more of your time to be spent on genuinely important things.
7. Plan ahead
Make sure you start every day with a clear idea of what you need to do – what needs to get done THAT DAY. Consider making it a habit to, at the end of each workday, go ahead and write out your “to-do” list for the next workday. That way you can hit the ground running the next morning.
Take Sankalp today to manage your time efficiently and encourage others to take this Sankalp as well.