“Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable
of all our possessions.”
Each of us has only 24 hours in a day to work with. Time management strategies will help you accomplish more in less time, rather than having to extend your work. Here are a few simple strategies that you can apply to achieve that.
1. List your activities.
It can not be over emphasized that you have to learn how to prioritize your work. This means that you must set aside the less important task so that you can focus on the more urgent ones. When you learn how to do this effectively you can easily accomplish whatever it is you need to do within a shorter period of time. Make it a habit to always write down a list of things to do. If you want to really be specific, break down each of the tasks that you have to do within a day and list them in the order that you want to get them done.
As you make your list, you must identify which items, goals or projects are long term, and which ones are short term projects. Then you’ll be able to determine how much time you can allot to each of them within a given day. A short term task might be something you can accomplish within a couple of hours. For a long term task you may need to allot one or two hours each day until the project is finished. Breaking tasks down in this manner helps you use your time much more efficiently.
2. Allocating time
Once you have your list, you now must decide how much time to allocate to each task or project that you want to accomplish over the course of the day. Some tasks will eat up a lot of time, so you must be acutely aware of which tasks those are. You don’t want to end up wasting so much time on one task that you can not complete the others. You must provide yourself with time limits so that you can move easily to the next.
When you do tasks in smaller chunks it becomes much easier for you. And you feel less pressured. Instead of trying to focus on everything at once, you can focus on what you need to finish until that task is completed.
3. Know what you want to accomplish
Your “to do list” serves as a source of information for what your daily goals are. You can consult it to know what you need to do, next, once you have completed a particular task.
If you still find that time is too tight, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself.
- How much time are you leaving for your leisure activities?
- Is this time negotiable? Are you willing to sacrifice some of the time from your leisure and give more of it to your work to be more productive? I am not suggestiong that you do, but it is a consideration.
Once you know what your goals, are you can use that knowledge as motivation order to finish the list that you have made.
4. Don’t make your list of actions too long
When making your list, productivity should be the uppermost thought in your mind. You should not try to make your list too long. Most people have this tendency, but it is because they have bought into a common misconception that, across the board, multitasking will get more work done in less time. Doing more work at one time is not always equal to being productive. Never mistake activity for productivity!
Start off with a short list of the most important tasks you have to accomplish. That way you can easily prioritize them. When you have completed those tasks that are at the top of your list, you can always add a new set of activities.
When you try to put too many activities on your list it becomes overwhelming. You can easily end up having to do several unfinished tasks at once, but this is not advisable. If you can or if it is within the time limits you have indicated for a certain task, try to complete it first before moving on to the next task.
By making a list, and sorting out what your goals are and what your priorities are, you should be able to use your time more effectively and more efficiently. This will improve your productivity, which is your goal.