Time is the most invaluable resource available with everyone for his/her progress. This is one thing that has been equally distributed to everyone, rich or poor. It is necessary, therefore, to use one’s time with discretion and to draw the maximum advantage.
First step: the first step for effective time management is that you must understand how you use your time habitually. How much time you spend in each of your activities at home or at workplace. For this you must make your time log for three or four days. This means that right from the time you get up in the morning till you sleep at night whatever activity you do, you must note down in the slots of 15 minutes. Now you broadly understand distribution of your time in daily routine activities. You must then find out which are the areas where you can save time. For example if you take bath in 20 minutes, can you reduce it to 15 minutes etc.
Second step: Next you must analyze your routine activities as per the following classifications:
i)Tasks which are both urgent and important. In this category you will include all crisis situations like need to go to the hospital for sudden illness, the deadline projects or attend to some pressing projects which cannot wait.
ii) Activities which are important but not urgent. This will include your exercise or daily walk, eating food at proper time, building good relations with people who are important to you, exploring new opportunities, leaving new things etc.
iii) In next category we have activities which cannot wait, but these are also the ones which are not really important. This will include: making some calls, attending to some mail, meetings pressing matters without any real impact.
iv) The fourth category includes- trivia, time wasters, unimportant calls, needless surfing, watching any programme on the television. Besides, there could the many such activities which appear pleasant to you but which do not add value or do not have any significance to your goals.
Third step: The third step is to prioritize. Having understood the various classes of activities that occupy your time and their importance, it would the easy for you to set your priorities. It is important for everyone to identify which are important tasks and when these must be done. Form your experience and understanding of the time, you would be able to set necessary priorities everyday.
Fourth step: This comprises your ability to be assertive. Never say ‘yes’ if you want to say ‘no’. It is your time and you must use it. Don’t allow other to misuse your time depriving you of its just and proper use. When you use all of the your time judiciously, you will find yourself becoming more productive. Apart from achieving more each day, it will also help you to enhance your self-esteem.
Fifth step: This refers to your habit of expecting too much from yourself. You can do only as much as can be done by an individual in the time available and no more. You can of course stretch yourself which will enable you to do some more but only to a certain extent. Never stretch more. That will make you stressed. Your efficiency will go down and the quality of work will suffer. You must do only one thing at a time. Multitasking, in fact, reduces your ability and performance. You must be in a position to perform different tasks, but only one at a time.
Sixth step: The next step again represents your habit of being self-aware at all the time. You must never loose track of what you need to do at any given time vis-a- vis what you are doing. Being busy in unimportant tasks is no business at all. If you are not always self ware your many led to be engaged in unimportant activities. This is sheer waste. Self-awareness will always keep you focused and direct your efforts towards achieving your goals.
Seventh steps. Last but not the least, you must write a ‘to do’ list in the morning, every morning. By practice you will immediately be able to set priorities of your tasks, and also allot adequate time for finishing these tasks satisfactorily. There, you need to provide some buffer because inspite of your best efforts, there would be unexpected disruptions. The additional time provision will avoid frustration as the end of the day. At night, you will need to write your journal. This will describe all your activities and the outcome. The journal will show you that there is some lesson that you learn each day. The lessons learnt will enable you not to repeat mistakes that you might make.
Thanks for reading.