If there is anything that always seems insufficient it is time, most people can’t seem to manage time effectively especially when they have to juggle a lot of responsibilities. In my earlier post on time management (Are you running out of Time?) I talked about the importance of time management and major things that distract us from doing what is most important to us, some of which are watching too much television, the social media, tech world (Gadgets) etc. In this post I describe five ways to manage your time effectively despite these distractions.
Define what is most important to you
From your personal life to your professional life some things matter more than others, being aware of this helps you decide what needs attention the most. we live different lives, do different kinds of job and also have different capacities,as such every individual is not the same.
So your approach to time management might be different from the next individual, if you are a social media influencer or advertiser naturally you would need to spend a lot of time on social networks. The distractions I mentioned in my previous post on time management are not to criticize any group of people but to point out common distractions that are popular with this era. If spending time with your family is more important to you, you would have to create more time for your family. Deciding what is most important at a particular time helps you focus on more important activities while still having time to enjoy less important things.
Line up your activities whether personal or professional according to their priority. This helps you to organize what needs to be done at a particular time and the time frame you have to achieve your goal. If you have an upcoming project with a deadline or you have an exam coming up and have to study for it, prioritizing these activities keeps your mind focused on them and helps you allocate more time to doing them. For some people it could be learning a new sport or spending more time with family and friends.
The early bird gets the worm, if you have trouble managing time and you have a deadline for let’s say a contract, start your work as soon as you get it, this would prevent you from being under pressure when the deadline comes, remember in school when you were given an assignment with let’s say a one month submission time and everyone would just postpone doing the assignment to a week or a few days to submission date, and on the day of submission some people will just be doing the assignment despite the one month duration. Notice something that most time you end up doing a less productive work than you would have done had you take your time. Or you might just copy from a friend and end up not doing the work by yourself.
Break down your activities into pockets of Time
So as not to overwhelm yourself it is better to break down your work into smaller achievable pieces or fragments. Not everyone can juggle so many projects or activities at once this could lead to confusion and leave you frustrated, you might end up not paying attention to anything you were supposed to do.
Any time I have a lot of work to do with very little time frame I become overwhelmed and just decide to ignore my assignments till the deadline is close by. But I noticed if I just take the assignments and break them into fragments I am more likely to finish on time. For example I have an assignment to write on a disease condition, I could start by just defining the disease condition and take a break then I would pick another time to write on signs and symptoms and as I make progress I am more confident and would finish before the day of submission.
Create time for things you like to do aside work.
We are supposed to enjoy life and use the things around us especially entertainment whether its watching TV and movies, sports, going out with friends or surfing the internet. Create specific time you can enjoy this activities without them interfering with work, school or spending quality time with you family. Time management is not an obsessive behavior it’s just choosing to do the right things at the right time.
If you want to learn more about time management and procrastination, I recommend Time management by Marc Macini, it’s a practical guide to managing time both in your personal life and profession. I hope this post was enlightening for you please feel free to leave a comment.
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