To continue this month's focus on time, I've decided to place emphasis on time management in this blog post. Time is quite possibly the most valuable resource known to man. After all, it’s something you can never get back. This makes mastering time management incredibly important because by doing so not only are you mastering managing work, you’re also mastering managing life.
If you often find yourself exhausted by your daily load or dazed by the difficulty of assignments and duties in your life, it is likely you have not mastered efficient time management skills. This is most often noted as time passes, and you come to the realization that you’re either behind schedule or only staying on track due to half-hearted work that doesn’t demonstrate your best effort. Nothing good ever comes from hastily put together projects, and cutting corners will most certainly eventually catch up to you.
Create proper foundation for effective time management
While many people only contemplate time management in a work setting it’s important to manage time throughout the entire day. In order to create this foundation, one must allocate proper time for adequate sleep, healthy eating, and exercising. By doing so this foundation you’re creating will help maintain your focus and improve your efficiency, allowing you to accomplish more throughout your day.
Identify and evaluate how you currently allocate your time
Do you utilize the time spent on your commute to work by train, car, bike etc.? Are there tasks you could be doing during this time that could benefit your career or your personal life such as listening to language tapes in the car or writing emails on the train? These commutes are often the best times to incorporate the things you “wish” you had time for, or time to create time to do those things you wish you could fit in.
Saying no is okay
Look at your schedule before deciding to take on other tasks. If the task is non-essential or there simply isn’t space in your day to complete the possible task, you can say no. Oftentimes, people would rather have you be honest about what you can and can’t accomplish than empty promises of completed work. Accomplishing everything asked of you makes you seem more professional and builds more trust between you and a client or you and your boss.
Work in dedicated time blocks and try to eliminate distractions
Find the spaces in which you accomplish the most work and your ideal work environment. It might be in a noisy coffee shop or in a library, either way, it’s important to determine where you work the most efficiently. Additionally, pick set times during which you plan to work and eliminate all distractions during that time. By placing your phone on airplane mode and closing all non-pertinent computer tabs you’ll maximize your efficiency, manage your time effectively, and create more time to accomplish more tasks.
It’s been proven that occasional short breaks often improve focus and concentration, thus improving efficiency. By scheduling some of these breaks into your daily plan, you increase the chances of accomplishing all tasks and creating spaces for more work to happen. Additionally, taking the occasional sick day is not bad either. These days for yourself can be used to meditate on what’s working and what’s not. They’re also good for recharging a tired mind.