Time is what we need most, but what we use worst – William Penn
One of the biggest reasons for stress, frustration and irritation is poor time management. We often feel that we never have enough time to do anything. This is a flawed assumption to begin with. Each and every one of us has twenty-fours in a day, no more and no less.
Why is it then that some people are able to accomplish many activities while others struggle on? Time management does not mean squeezing in many jobs in a short time-frame! Time management means managing your hours in a way that maximizes productivity while allowing free time for leisure, relaxation and fun.
Effective time management strategies can help you in several important ways and minimize stress. Are you managing your time effectively?
Signs of Poor and Ineffective Time Management
‘Short as time is, we make it shorter by wasting time’ Victor Hugo
Rushing around with a full diary of appointments, tasks and meetings does not imply good time management. If you notice any of the following signs in your life, you’re probably wasting precious time:
· Poor punctuality: You are always late for appointments
· Negative feelings dominate: You are always feeling stressed, anxious and impatient
· Poor work productivity: Are you always asking for extra time to complete projects and submit reports?
· Lack of leisure and relaxation: You find yourself always working with no time for family and friends
· Chronic Procrastination: Do you constantly find yourself postponing tasks?
If you constantly find yourself chasing your tail, unable to make decisions and falling through the cracks, you may need to understand why you are unable to manage your time.
10 Reasons why Time Management is Important
1. You can improve productivity and quality of output without burning out
2. Time management leads to more leisure and relaxation time and better work-life balance
3. We are able to accomplish much more while doing less instead of running around in circles
4. You no longer feel overwhelmed, rushed and stressed.
5. Managing our time effectively helps us make better decisions and make empowering choices as we no longer jump to erroneous conclusions in a rush
6. Effective time management is the key to professional and academic success
7. You will feel relaxed and will experience improved levels of mental and physical wellbeing
8. Time management is one of the most effective techniques to beat procrastination
9. You begin to value your time as a precious asset and learn to use it wisely instead of squandering it frivolously
10. Time management helps create a positive flow of energy in your life and is a key factor in goal achievement
Effective Time Management Techniques and Strategies
‘The bad news is that time flies; the good news is that you are the pilot’ Michael Altshuler
You can read through the following list of carefully chosen time-management tips and select the ones that resonate with you.
20 Effective Time Management Tips and Strategies
1. Stop wasting your energy complaining lack of time; start planning your day instead.
2. Slot your tasks and activities into defined time frames. Give 10 minutes to X activity, 30 minutes to Y activity and so on.
3. Show respect and value for your time and others will also follow suit.
4. Use effective time management tools like a calendar and an organizer. There are free online organizers include tools such as Google Calendar and Backpack. A good old diary is just as effective!
5. Create your priority list and time allotments according to your preferences. Don’t pressurize yourself because your friend wants to borrow your car during evening rush hour.
6. Set a definite time after which you won’t work; otherwise work will creep into your evening.
7. Do regular time audits for the week and examine how your time was spent. You may want to redistribute your time for better utilization.
8. Highlight deadlines clearly and legibly in your calendar so that you can plan before project end dates.
9. Pinpoint activities and people who waste your time and drain your energy.
10. Schedule time for relaxation with family, children, friends and pets. A good work-life balance is very important for a stress-free life.
11. Place your clock where you can see it clearly at all times. Many times, we tend to have to look for our mobile phones in order to see the time!
12. Open a minimum number of online tabs. This wastes time as the eyes are continually darting towards other tabs. Close down everything except what you need.
13. Delegate tasks for improved time management. Most people feel obliged to do everything on their own.
14. Whenever you make a time estimate, always add on extra time to be on the safe side. We have a tendency to underestimate time required for tasks.
15. Plan your time but don’t force an unnatural pace. See if the time management plan is aligned with your preferences and expectations. Each person is different and there is no single plan that fits all.
16. Batch similar tasks together for improved efficacy and minimization of time wastage.
17. Avoid fussing about unimportant and trivial details. Keep the larger picture in mind.
18. Don’t stick up tasks one after another; keep a 10-minute buffer zone to take a breath between tasks.
19. Schedule time to reflect on thoughts, conversations and ideas that may help improve your life.
20. Close your eyes for two minutes and breathe gently. Focus on your breathing. This will help clear the mind before any important meeting and reduce stress instantly.
You can start implementing the above listed tips at any time. As you use them consistently, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover that you are able to do much more in less time without salving yourself into the ground.
Time is a more valuable resource than money: Lost money can be recovered but lost time is lost forever! We are likely to experience improved levels of motivation and satisfaction. Time management strategies will help you lead a meaningful and purposeful life with an ideal work-life balance.