Time management refers to the art of arranging, scheduling, organizing and budgeting one’s time for the aim of getting more effective and productive work. It also refers to practices, tools, and systems all combined wit the aim of getting the most out of your time. Time management is not about getting everything done but doing the right things that necessarily need to be undertaken.
According to Rodger Constandse (2007) Smart time managers know that there is much more to do than anyone could possibly accomplish. So instead of trying to do it all, smart time managers are very picky about how they spend their time. They choose to focus and spend their time doing a few vital projects that will really make a difference, rather than spending all their time doing many trivial things that don’t really matter all that much.
One of the greatest mistakes of time management is choosing to undertake whatever catches your attention. Urgent things are not always important and important things are not always urgent. That is, one may decide to focus on urgent things every day leaving little or no time for more important things which are not urgent.
According to Paulla Estes (2010), Planning is an important aspect of time management. Doing things right is not as important as doing the right things. Instead of jumping on what catches you attention next, why not have a plan with activities arranged in order of priority which assist you in undertaking all important activities whether urgent or not.
It is important for one to put aside some time at the beginning of each day or week to plan your schedule. Taking this extra time to do this will assist to increase your productivity and balance your important projects with more urgent tasks. All you need is fifteen to thirty minutes each day or week for your planning session. Remember failing to plan is planning to fail.
Another aspect of time management is avoiding procrastination. The essence of procrastination is very well reflected in this quote by Bernard Meltzer: “Hard work is often the easy work you did not do at the proper time.” Have you ever seen your most important tasks being put off until later and then later and later, while you are getting busy with many not so important activities? Did you hope that you may have more time and better mood in the future to start the task and do it properly? Does an approaching deadline mean a crisis for you? Do you keep hesitating every time you make a decision?
If you often see yourself in such low productivity situations, then there is a big chance that your life got under control of the procrastination habit. And those situations are only the most explicit symptoms. Procrastination is the thief of time and should be avoided if time is to be managed well.
It is also important to identify time wasters that
are stealing your time, sabotaging
your goals, and blocking your success. After you do this, work on them one at a time and systematically eliminate them from your life. Remember that the easiest way to eliminate a bad habit, it to replace it with a better habit.
Lastly, it is important to use time management system can help you keep
everything that you need to do, organize and prioritize your work, and develop sound plans to complete it. This will involve keeping a schedule of activities that have been found to be important. Keeping a calendar or daily planner is helpful to stay on task, but self-discipline is also required. An integrated system is like glue that holds all the best time management practices together. The most efficient to-do list in the world will not help someone who does not look at or follow his own daily planner