Double your Productivity and Efficiency with Effective Time Management Skills.
The value of time is life. And so, time is life; time wasted is life wasted. Money lost can be remade but time lost cannot be recovered; it is not redeemable. Time cannot be held static or put to a stop; it keeps going and never returns.
Time management involves having absolute control over how we use time, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. It’s appalling how some persons have lost total control of their time. They do well in every other area but their time management skills are very poor.
Managing time has been one of the most challenging things to do and imbibe. So many people have poor time management skills with just a few who are effective in managing their time. It is ascertained that anyone who has mastery over his time can have mastery over anything.
Effective time management is a powerful personal leadership skill that can be learned. In this article, you are going to be exposed to strategic secrets to effective time management.
Planning is deciding ahead of time what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Your planning should be based on later not now; plan ahead. You can make your plans to be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Do not just let any day meet you without you having plans for the activities of that day.
You can also do well to write them down in your journals for easy reminder and reference. While planning, also make room for exigencies, the unknown, the unexpected. In this case, if anything beyond your control comes up, it’ll have little or no negative impact on the rest of your activities.
For instance, you have a meeting at 12 pm, and the venue is a two-hour journey from your house. You can decide to leave your house by 9 am, three hours to the time of your meeting. The one hour extra is for exigencies like congestion, accident, breakdown of the car, and so on.
Or even if anything doesn’t happen on the way and you there one hour before the time, it’ll still speak volume of your personality and time management skills. Planning has a way of making you manage your time well.
Write down and follow your activities according to your scale of preference. Those with more priority should be considered and done first before those with the least priority. Separate major tasks from minor tasks.
In addition, here is another way of prioritizing your activities, classify your activities with this method:
> Activities that are important but not urgent: The activities that are in this category should be considered but can be done later. Do not give it immediate attention when there still some other things of greater priority to be done.
> Activities that are urgent but not important: This set of activities require immediate attention but then you can designate someone else to do that for you since it’s not important.
> Activities that are urgent and important: This category requires urgency and your attention. Any activity under here should be considered and done first before others.
> Activities that are neither urgent nor important: Do not even think of wasting your time here. They’re not worth your time.
Set out goals and targets:
Set attainable and feasible goals for your life. It can be daily, weekly, monthly or yearly goals with actionable strategic steps or plans to achieve them. Without goals, you’ll be living your life aimlessly and be forced into other people’s goals and plans.
You can break down your goals into different sections like:> Spiritual goals> Physical fitness goals> Academic goals> Financial goals> Health goals> Psychological goals> Emotional goals> Intellectual goals> Social life goals> Personal development goals and so on
Setting time limits:
To avoid wasting time unnecessarily, another thing that will be of help is setting a time block for each of the activities. Set a specific time-bound for each of them, this will help you to be focused knowing that you have limited time.
Also, endeavor to be strict with the time limit. Once the time for an activity expires and it’s time for another, stick to it, leave the other activity and go for the next. Let no activity suffer for the other; the only exemption is if the activity is urgent and important.
As much as possible, do not let any activity take the time of the other except in cases beyond your control.
Set time reminders:
In severe cases where it seems you may forget, it is advisable you set reminders. There are different time management tools that can help track your time and help you focus on productivity eg. Asana, Pomodoro, etc. Even your clock and phone alarm can be of help.
Effective time management is a skill that requires strict self-discipline for an optimal result. You must develop the self-discipline to keep to your time and its activities, avoid wasting time, avoid procrastination, and laziness.
This is necessary in order to be able to achieve your goals at the specified time.
Put maximum concentration into any task you’re carrying out. This ensures optimal results and efficiency. Shun distractions and interruptions from yourself and your environment. Ensure your environment is serene if it’s a task that needs mental involvement. Avoid checking your messages on email and other social media platforms.
Limit multitasking; combining activities is not a good way of time management. You may even end up spending more time doing two activities simultaneously than you would have done if they were done separately.
Learn to say no:
Not all tasks must be carried out immediately and not all tasks must be carried out by you. Knowing when and how to say no to unplanned and unimportant tasks makes you a good leader.
This is the more reason you should have your goals and plans because if you do not have, you’ll be forced to help others achieve theirs. Do not let anyone force you into his or her plans!
Procrastination is a killer of time and destiny. Knowing when to procrastination is very good, especially when the task does not require urgency. Though, it is still better for you to perform any task earlier so that you can avoid struggling to beat the deadline.
Do not overwork yourself, take a break after carrying out a tedious or strenuous work, relax and rejuvenate. Burnout is a killer and reduces effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. Create time for breaks in-between each activity.
Taking enough rest has a way of keeping the body refreshed, protecting us from stress and breakdown. It can also help boost our brain and mental alertness.
Cultivate a habit of routine check and review of your goals and plans. Create your progress report, rate yourself, restrategize, readjust, and reprioritize if necessary. The review can be done daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
Getting an accountability partner:
Deliberately get someone you will be accountable to and give reports when necessary. It helps to keep you in check and make you responsible. Above all, be your first accountability partner. Be accountable to yourself, account for each second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and a year spent.
If you can effectively manage your time, you can also manage yourself and your life. A good time manager is a good self-manager and life manager!