Every human being has exactly 24 hours in every day, but how we spend those hours is our choice. Our responsibilities can range from work to family to everything in between, and without time management, it can seem as if we all have too much demand and not enough supply.
What is Time Management?
Time management is how you prioritize your waking hours to increase efficiency and productivity. At some point or another, every individual has to consider how he or she can best manage the minutes in his or her day. Countless books, websites, seminars, classes, and day-planners exist to squeeze the maximum value from each moment. Despite all the knowledge and devices we might own, sometimes it still feels like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish the demands. This often produces stress, leading to additional strains.
Time management is possible because time is relative. While clock time is exact, depending on what we are doing, time seems to move quickly or very slowly. Time is also relative when age is considered. A busy parent packing for tomorrow’s vacation might feel as if they blinked and the day was over. However, a child could feel ready to explode in anticipation and the waiting is nearly too much to bear. Time, therefore, is relative to our perceptions. Since it’s relative, time is manageable.
Time Management Tips
There is no shortage of material when searching for time management tools. Here are a few practical and proven strategies for timely success:
Time Management Principles
Organization- Despite the volume of time management information available, one component upon which most agree is organization. Though organization might seem like a costly time investment on the front-end, the benefits will far outweigh the overall costs.
It is nearly impossible to maximize your time effectively in a cluttered and disorderly workspace. Even with a well-ordered schedule, time will be lost searching for important documents or items, and tasks cannot be completed in a streamlined fashion.
Prioritizing- As long as there is time, there will always be a “tyranny of the urgent.” Some things may feel immediately pressing when ultimately, they might not be all that important. There is a key difference between being efficient and being effective. You may complete a multitude of tasks or answer many emails, but if they lack in priority, it’s somewhat for naught. Consider the motivation behind efficiency over effectiveness. Are you possibly procrastinating on important tasks simply to shorten a to-do list?
Goal setting- One can never underestimate the power of goal setting. Without a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish you can’t possibly know whether or not you have achieved success. Establishing a plan with clearly defined goals is critical for effective time management. When goal setting, remember these key elements: goals should be specific, attainable, and measurable. As you plan, you should be able to break your end-goal into steps and review your progress.
Positivity- One should never forget the power of a positive attitude. If you approach your goal thinking, “Why bother? I always fail,” you will probably never succeed. Staying positive and celebrating small goals will likely ensure greater victory in the long term. When you make mistakes or are not able to complete your goal, forgive yourself and start fresh.
Ultimately, time management is an art form and the quality of end-results outweighs the quantity. Budgeting time seems more important than ever before with the pace of most people’s lives. In addition to the satisfaction of time used wisely, you will also improve your goal setting, prioritizing, and organizing skills. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so how will you spend yours?