Taking control of time management can feel very empowering and give your world a new lease of life. You will often have to juggle busy social and leisure time with work and domestic life. It doesn’t take long to discover there is little slack and you might find that you get bogged down from time to time. If you need to overhaul how you manage your time, this blog post is for you.
It’s demotivating to find yourself falling behind. By managing your time well, you give yourself the best chance of keeping up and planning some well-deserved time off. Time management can help you to:
These skills are also often a prerequisite for doing well at work.
Time management skills can be as simple as being aware of what you have to do and which tasks are the most urgent. You need to spend time each week on planning what to do next and gathering together any resources you’ll need.
Follow a four-step process to manage your time
Step 1:Analyse Analyse how you use your time in a typical week. Keep a log of all your activities.
Step 2: Evaluate Once you have logged your activities, you should then try to evaluate each activity using clear criteria. This should enable you to see whether you are using your time appropriately and to identify more clearly some of the sources of potential overload, inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
Step 3:Change Spend some time considering your options and decide how you will proceed with any changes needed. Construct a log on a weekly basis. Construct daily to-do lists, identify any resources needed.
Step 4: Review To begin with, review your time every 3 or 4 weeks to review how things are going. Build on what went well and reflect on what didn’t go so well and why.
Do you know how you spend your time each day? Write down a list of each hour of the day and jot down the hours you have available and how you use them.
A time log is simply a record of what you do during the day and when you do it. Keeping a log of your activities for a week or so can give you insight into how you are using your time and where to make adjustments with how you spend your time. Try to identify where you lose time.
Sometimes remembering what is inspiring you to complete a task in the first place can help your get some perspective when you feel that you time management is out of control. What is your end goal? What is your reward?
Finding fragments of time in your busy days can be an excellent way to fitting some extra into your life. You can use short chunks of time to think about your time (for example, waiting for the microwave to finish). You could even decide to get up an hour earlier and exercise while everyone else is asleep or catch up on household chores.
Write down your tasks within this grid.
First do the things that are both urgent AND important!
If you have fallen behind, or you know there are particular difficulties coming up, here are some strategies that can help you survive.
If you need more time, getting up 1 hour earlier and cutting down on 1 hour of TV in the evening each day, can gain an additional 14 hours in your week. If you work best in the mornings, do extra then, and in the evenings do whatever takes less concentration. If you have children, perhaps you can take turns to take them for a half day at the weekend, so you get a 4-hour block for doing whatever you like. You might prefer to work late in the evening – some people are happy to finish after midnight.
Your best friend is your time log.
Spend Sunday evenings planning your next week. Gather together all you will need and decide when you will work on each task. Record deadlines and set yourself reminders.
Make active choices about how much time you choose to spend on various activities, rather than letting something take over your life. Once you develop time management skills you will feel more in control.
If you tend to get stuck and are falling behind, highlight any tasks you’ve got problems with, then break them down into bite-sized chunks.
Focus your effort
The 80/20 rule (Pareto’s principle) states that you can get 80% of the result you want by concentrating on the most important 20% of your tasks. If you’re short of time then following this rule helps you concentrate on what is important.
If you can’t decide how to use your time, use the foursquare grid (shown above) for setting priorities. You classify everything you have to do according to its importance and its urgency, then do the tasks that are important AND urgent first.
Do some planning so that you always have a list of things that you
You won’t necessarily deal with the ‘must do’ stuff first, if you don’t have the right opportunity or there’s too much distraction. But do make sure you’re doing something useful from the list.
There are no posts matching your criteria.