Time! Time!! Time!!! Most people seem never to get enough of it. And you may be wondering why it is so. Well, it’s simply because not everyone knows how to manage their time. You always hear some people make statement like: “yesterday was so fast.” The fact is, we all have 24 hours a day everywhere around the world, so the question of time being faster in one part and slower in the other shouldn’t come in. Until we learn how to manage our time, time will always be fast.
The thing is, when you lack some essential time management skills, you’ll mostly be stressed out by all your daily activities, consumed by too much work load, and as time passes by you’ll find out that you still have more tasks to complete. To put it simply: ‘you’ll always be ‘busy doing nothing’. You’ll be less productive.
So what’s the trick to achieving so much with your time? It is simply being able to organize your tasks and using your time effectively to get more jobs done each day. And to do this, you need to possess and keep improving your time management skills. Let’s take a look at some time management skills you can use to stay organized and increase productivity.
- Prioritizing: Sometimes, you may not be able to meet up with every single task and activities on your schedule. This is where your ability to prioritize would come handy. You need to know what tasks and activities are very important and tackle those ones first. Going deep a little, in prioritizing, you need to understand the difference between urgent and important. Urgent tasks may or may not be important but they always demand immediate attention. Important tasks need to be done. It may not be urgent but it surely needs to be done. Your decision on whether to prioritize an urgent tasks over an important one, or vies-versa, would depend on the nature of the tasks itself.
- Keeping a To-do list: To-Do lists are great tools to help you manage your time. Some important things you need to get done may skip your mind, especially if you have a lot to do. So you can actually cut the time you would be spending to think about everything you have to do by simply having a To-Do list which you can always refer to. Your To-Do list should be properly prioritized and integrated with the day’s schedule. You can create it on your note pad or phone, but let it be somewhere you can easily access. It’s a beautiful thing that you can even create your to do list on your gadget which would do as much as reminding you of every task at appropriate time.
- Scheduling: Scheduling is important, not only because some tasks have to be done at specific times, but because it helps you stay organized. When you schedule your daily activities, you know what needs to be done at a particular time. Schedule can also help you avoid procrastination. But it is one thing to have a schedule, and another to follow it. You need to be mature and disciplined enough to stick to your schedule. Having a schedule gives you the ability to control your day and be more productive. There will surely be other things coming up which you didn’t plan for, but which needs to be done. That shouldn’t stop you from having and sticking schedule anyways. You can set out some time to fix unforeseen tasks or activity that may come up.
- Dealing with distractions: Yeah, distractions are surely going to come up. It may be so hard to ignore social media and other notifications from your phone even when you’re busy; a call for an important family member might come in while you’re trying to get a job done; you may crave for a cup of coffee or some snacks. Distractions are bound to happen no matter what. Knowing how to handle with these distractions is very vital in your time management skills. You can create some time on your schedule for some good distractions such as; a coffee break, a walk for some fresh air etc. But you should always try to block out bad distractions: like social media and emails until you are ready to visit them; maybe after work.
- Dealing with procrastination: Do it when it should be done. Never procrastinate. Procrastination is a number one time killer. When you procrastinate, you keep piling up tasks for yourself and at the end of the day you get chocked by them all. So do it now.
- Scheduling time for breaks and rest: Saying overworking is harmful, is an understatement. It’s deadly. Do not work yourself to breaking point. Despite your busy schedule, you should always set out break time. Take out time to rest and sleep well if you want to stay active and keep being productive.
Time management requires discipline, planning and strong will. When you are able to manage your time, you’ll see that you’ll always stay organized and your level of stress will reduce. There are time management applications for android and iOS devices which can help you manage your time effectively and be more productive. I will talk about them in my next article.