A day offers twenty-four hours to everybody, yet some fall short to meet their deadlines while a few others happily manage to fulfill all their obligations within a solar day. Wonder how? The key lies in one’s time management skills. The quantity and the complexities of tasks flounder and overwhelm some while others with their astute time management skills overcome all the difficulties and thrive. Charles Caleb Colton said, “Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.” Time is abstract, yet its grip can persistently be felt around your neck and there is no escape. We must excogitate a way so that it doesn’t strangle us. In today’s world, time is money and it’s no metaphor. More and more work has to be done in less and less time. You have to provide yourself as much time as possible to take up more projects and hence earn more money. Only an efficient time management skill can offer you such opportunities. Therefore, it is only for your good to adopt an effective time management technique and derive as much as possible from a given amount of time.
Time Management Techniques
Make a routine for your daily activities and set yourself in accordance to it. Fix a time when you will go to bed, when you will wake up or take rest. People who are not organized or disciplined are the ones to take least advantage of their useful time, frittering all of it away unproductively and finding themselves in dire states. Respect time. It won’t wait for you and can never be retrieved, if once lost. It is fleeting and agile. Time avenges. Spend it frugally and wisely.
Make A To Do List
Take a pen and a paper and jot down a “to-do-list”. Paste it on the wall. That too a catchy one to make sure it grabs your attention every time you walk past. It will act also as a reminder, keep you focused and help you stick to your life’s priorities.
Set Yourself A Deadline
“Without deadlines and restrictions I just tend to become preoccupied with other things”,
Val Kilmer. Deadlines act as fetter, which curb the swaying of a human mind. Hence, bind yourself with rigid deadlines. Keep a track of your progress. Make up your mind not to be reluctant and ignorant towards your deadlines even if it is a self-devised one. Work according to the schedule to avoid last minute panics. Set short deadlines, preferably a daily one and commit yourself to it.
Procrastination is perhaps the most ruinous of all vices. Lord Chesterfield said, “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, and no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Procrastination is the biggest saboteur of time. Get rid of it as soon as possible. Be ruthless in overcoming it. If one has nurtured the habit of procrastination for too long, he or she might find it too difficult to get rid of. However, it is for certain that procrastination is the biggest hurdle in managing one’s time efficiently and productively.
Take One Project At A Time
“Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself”, said Marilyn vos Savant. Avoid multitasking. It will lead you nowhere. Keeping your legs stretched across two boats will hardly lead you to the shore. Choose one task at a time. Put your entire effort singularly, finish it and then move to the next. It will merely foment distraction and lack of concentration.
Prioritize Your Works
Set your tasks in order in accordance to their priorities. Enlist all your tasks and put them in three different groups on the basis of their priorities and name them accordingly. For instance red the highest priority, blue the second highest and green the third.
Learn To Say No
There are bound to be instances when you will be invited to watch movies, hang out with friends, go for a ride or a drive when you have important assignments and you can’t afford to comply. But the thought of disappointing your loved ones by turning their offers down makes you yield and at the cost of your precious time, which should have been spent on something else much more important than such trivial engagements. There is no way you can get out of this plight of having to conform to others whims or desire. It may seem difficult at first but you have to learn to say ‘no’.
Adopt An Effective Approach
Keep a diary to take a log of how you are spending your time and what amendments are to be made to use your time even more fruitfully. Figure out where you are spoiling your time unproductively and what steps will be the best suited to curb. For example, if you are losing too much of your useful time in buses or any other mode of communication, try other alternatives.
Time management techniques must be such that it covers and balances every aspect of a human life. Someone with a good time management technique can set himself in harmony with both his professional and personal life without overemphasizing or overlooking any one of them. However, there are some vices like procrastination and indiscipline, which must be eliminated at all costs to achieve proficient time management skills. High time management skills can be attained overnight. It certainly requires a good degree of dedication and unflinching attitude. However, it is also true that one who can manage his time efficiently and productively will never have to look back.