How many of us have been in a situation where we didn’t finish an activity because we didn’t have enough time?
Time is so valuable and yet most of us either do not use it effectively or do not appreciate it. Time is an inevitable flow of minutes and seconds. A day has the same number of hours for everyone, but some people achieve more than others. This is because they know how to organise their time well.
Time Management refers to the way in which a person controls and plans their time for specific activities in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.
There are electronic applications (computer or mobile) or paper based methods that help us to organise our time (calendar, notes, etc.), but they do not help us with our perception of time. When you do something you like, time passes quickly, and when you do something you don’t like, the time passes slowly. So the perception of time passing is created in our mind.
It is known that everything created by us, can be organised by us. For this reason, it is our responsibility to organise our efficiently and effectively.
- The value of time is measured by the value of the work done in that time. It helps us prioritise activities.
- Time Management helps us be more effective by understanding amount of work we need to do in a specific period of time. Time management will also makes us be more focused and do quality work e.g. if we know we have a short period for an activity, then we need to focus doing it right the first time.
- Time cannot be saved for later. We must use it now!
- Time is limited and once it’s gone, we cannot recover it.
- Organising time makes us focus on what we do and how we do it.
- Time management makes us do things we don’t like but have to do regardless.
- Time management helps us to be disciplined and motivated.
Time management does not only refer to assigning enough time for certain activities, but also to choosing the activities that are most vital and valuable. In other words, time management means organising your life.
One day would not be not enough time to do absolutely everything we want or need to do, so it is up to us to choose the activities that are vital and assign them sufficient time in order to finish them, but also to be productive in the meantime (and not lose time).
At different stages of life, activities have different degrees of importance with different priorities e.g. when we are in school, we allocate a lot of time to learning, but we want a lot of time for socialising with friends and recreational activities.
When organising your time you should alternate activities with breaks avoiding procrastination and wasting time.
- To help you relax before starting another activity.
- To increase productivity, because when the brain is relaxed, your memory and thinking are more efficient.
- To increase the power of learning. Breaks increase your creativity and new ideas often come during these times.
- To increase concentration and motivation. Breaks help avoid boredom.
- To reduce one’s stress.
- To improve health and immune system.
- To increase energy levels, especially when your breaks include physical exercise.
- To improve self-esteem.
- To improve the sleep patterns.
[EXPAND Reasons for procrastination and wasting time:]
- Lack of resources.
- Lack of motivation.
- Lack of attention and focus that can lead you to be easily distracted.
- Low self-esteem.
- Being stressed e.g. relationships with colleagues or family members etc.
- Emotional state e.g. bored, agitated, anxious, worried or overwhelmed etc.
By identifying one or more of these reasons, you can help improve the effectiveness of your time management.
The activities should be coupled with general objectives or tasks to help you to be mobilised in their achievement.