The Effective Strategies for Managing your Time Efficiently
We all have grown up hearing our elders say, ‘value your time’, ‘time is the only thing that will matter in the last’, ‘plan your activities well in time so as to save yourself from trouble’, but we do realize the importance of time once the ship has sailed and there is nothing left for us to do. So, we again come back to the primary question, ‘how to effectively manage your time?’ Well, the answer to this very basic question is also basic – plan ahead in time. This is the mantra that all the successful people go by. And as Winston Churchill rightly said, ‘Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.’
What is Time Management and how to successfully implement it in one’s life?
Many students turn up to us with concerns like – how to devise an effective time management strategy? Well, before answering that question, we would like to throw some light on the very basic concept of ‘what actually is time management?’ We often hear this term but rarely do we try to understand its inference. So, time management is nothing but planning well before in advance so as to avoid last minute hassle and confusion. The proper and efficient planning helps the person to accomplish all the tasks perfectly and well within the time limit.
And to answer the second part of the question, ‘how to implement it effectively’, we bring to you the list of some crucial strategies that will help you in devising your time management routine and thus would result in better efficiency and performance.
Crucial Tips for Effective Time Management:
- Begin by Laying out a Plan for your Day: The most important step to begin a journey towards time management is to acknowledge its importance and take small yet significant measures at one time. Thus, before planning on an extensive level, begin by planning from the basic level of sorting out the activities and tasks for the upcoming day. First of all, draw a chart starting from the very moment you leave your bed up to the end of the day. List all the essential tasks you need to accomplish throughout the day and assign an approximate time window to each and every task. Now, your goal must be to accomplish the set task within the designated time frame. Remember, keep the goals realistic and well within the approachable limit. The sorting of daily activities will help you gaining efficiency gradually and thus would help you to accomplish the required tasks and chores within the expected time.
- Analyze your Time Spending Pattern: The main aim of resorting to a time management schedule is not only to devise out the plan for accomplishing the required tasks but the primary objective remains to analyze and understand the pattern of one’s daily schedule. Thus critically analyze your plan and how you progressed in following it. Identify and highlight the areas where you failed to accomplish the given task in time and analyze the factors that restricted you from sticking to your plan. Critical and comprehensive analysis of one’s schedule gives one an idea about where the person is going wrong and thus provides the person with the opportunity to work on the shortcomings and thus improve on the time management.
- Set Realistic Goals and Assess your Performance: The main purpose of scheduling your day according to the prospective tasks is to set short term goals for assessing your performance in successfully managing your time. Thus the pre requisite to maintain your time efficiently is to set relative goals and then assess your progress towards accomplishing them. The important point to remember here is that you have to start with setting the goals which are well within your limit. Do not overburden yourself with setting unachievable or high goals as they will lead in to demotivation and thus will hamper your journey towards successful time management. Also, keep a track of your performance. When you achieve a goal well in the time limit, analyze the factors and your approach towards accomplishing the goal. And more importantly, note down the goals that did not end up with successful accomplishment and look out for the probable reasons behind the fall out and work on them accordingly.
- Deal with a Bigger Task with Taking Smaller Steps: Now, once you have started managing your day to day schedule according to your pre planned chart, start devising the appropriate strategy for accomplishing bigger challenges. The mantra behind managing complex tasks within the given time is to divide the task in to smaller challenges which are easy to accomplish. Dividing any complicated or tricky task in to easy sub parts help you in devoting quality time and thus improves the outcome. For instance, if you have to produce a thesis report in certain number of days, start your action from day one. Divide the entire thesis in to several parts and assign every part the required quality time. This way you will be able to give ample time to each and every essential aspect of the thesis and thus would achieve an excellent document with in the given time. Therefore, always go for dividing the bigger challenge in to its smaller sub parts and thus work on them according to your schedule for achieving the desired results.
- Assign Sufficient Time for every Task: Many students consider that time management implies getting the work done as quickly as possible. However, holding on to this notion will do you no good. As time management implies achieving and accomplishing all your required tasks brilliantly in the given time. Most students while laying out the planning chart, assign less time to a particular task and thus end up failing in accomplishing it with the expected results or within the time limit. Thus do not set unrealistic and hard to achieve targets. Analyze each task comprehensively and thus assign the required amount of time to it. Remember that time management does not require you to accomplish the tasks as quickly as possible instead it ensures that you accomplish all the set tasks with expected outcome and in the given time limit.
- Set the Schedule Considering your Convenience: Another important aspect to consider while devising a time management plan is to analyze your positives and negatives. Plan your schedule according to your feasibility. For instance, keep the complicated tasks for the time when you are completely energised and can concentrate for longer duration and similarly, keep the easy tasks for the time when you are low on energy or could not concentrate for long. Devising the plan as per your feasibility gives you a sense of confidence and ownership over the schedule and thus you feel responsible and try and follow the schedule with zeal.
- Plan your Breaks Well: Another important aspect of managing your schedule is to incorporate the required breaks in to your schedule. Remember, the schedule that you prepare for yourself must consider all your requirements and one critical requirement that we all need is appropriate breaks. Do not consider taking breaks as wastage of time. Plan your breaks strategically and stick to the allotted time for the break. Taking frequent and short breaks help you in refreshing your mental span and thus improve your concentration. Breaks must be a significant aspect of your schedule as they provide the much needed window for some space that our body and mind require.
- Keep Procrastination at Bay: Let us face it that the biggest hindrance to efficient time management is procrastination and it affects all of us. All of us have the tendency to leave the tasks to their very last minute and this results in panic and chaos. Therefore we require an effective time management plan to avoid procrastination and accomplish all the tasks well within the given time. Remember that once you plan a schedule, your main job becomes to follow that schedule ardently. Following the carefully designed schedule will help you in tackling procrastination better and thus would help you in achieving all your tasks within the given time.
- Limit your Phone Usage: With the fast evolution of technology, our lives have been taken over by smartphones, internet, social media, etc. We understand that all of us are addicted to our phones at some level or other and this has emerged as a bigger problem than procrastination. And the best way to deal with it is to plan your schedule by allotting time for your phone activity. Include some time for your indulgence as well but remember to keep it well within the limit. Thus tackle your smartphone addiction by gradually restricting its usage.
- Rewarding yourself is important: Now this is the most important step of your time management process. Time management is a self-supervised activity and thus the onus of rewarding yourself lies on you. Therefore, when you achieve a target as expected, always reward yourself with small treats. Rewarding yourself helps in maintain the constant motivation and thus keeps you going for the set schedule. Therefore, make rewarding an important step in your schedule as it will help you in keep yourself motivated.