Have you ever wondered at how fast the clock is ticking? Have you ever felt that time was going? Is timing really going? If yes, where is it’s destination? It seems like there is never enough time in the day. But, since we all have the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in good time management.
What is time management?
This is the process of organizing and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities. Time management allows individuals to assign specific time slots to activities as per their importance, which helps to increase effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. In order to manage your time effectively, ask yourself ‘is this task (activity) really important? Is it worth the time? If yes, then give it an aspect of your time but if no, don’t think twice about it. We all have 24 hours in a day and we become products of how we put our time to work. The difference between the rich and the poor, is largely dependent on how well they utilize this precious gift of time.
In effective time management, we must understand the nature of time, which are:
- Time is indispensable: Every action requires time.
- Time is perishable: It cannot be saved
- Time is consumable: You can only spend/ invest it.
- Time is irreplaceable: You can never bring back time
- Time is sufficient: You have all the time you need in this world.
Having established these facts, how then can you properly manage your time?
- Effective Planning:
This is the bedrock of time management. ‘Planning’ refers to the process of making plans for something. Plan your day well in advance by preparing a ‘To Do’ List or a ‘TASK PLAN’. Jot down the important activities that need to be done in a single day against the time that should be allocated to each activity. Complete pending tasks one by one. Do not begin fresh work unless you have finished your previous task. Tick the ones you have already completed. Ensure you finish the tasks within the stipulated time frame. Do not live your life to chance, plan ahead!
- Set Goals and Objectives:
As an individual, it is important you have a clearly defined goal/objective. Always ask yourself, ‘will this task help me in achieving my objective(s) for the day (week, month, year)? One without goals is obviously lost. In goal setting, ensure it is ‘SMART’, which means:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (can be measured).
- Achievable (attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time-sensitive).
- Set Deadlines:
‘When do you want to achieve your set goal(s)?’. Don’t just plan for planning sake. Part of planning is setting deadlines and ensuring that tasks are completed before these deadlines. Learn to take ownership of your task(s).
- Prioritize Tasks:
Prioritize the tasks as per their importance and urgency. Urgent and important tasks should be done first. Identify which tasks should be done within a day, which should be done within a month and so on.
- Spend the Right time on the Right Activity:
Develop the habit of doing the right thing at the right time. Work done at the wrong time is not of much use. Don’t waste a complete day on something which can be done in an hour or so.
“Time management is life management” … Robin Sharma
“The surest way to be late, is to have plenty of time” …. Leo Kennedy.
“The greatest enemy of time management is PROCRASTINATION!” … Mercy Ijiogbor