Time management tutorial
Time management - How much can you do in a day ?
We all want to achieve more in the little time we have. Everyday is a new start and we want to accomplish more today. Multi-tasking is no longer a speciality. It has become a basic requirement for everyone who wants to succeed in professional life without making the personal/family life suffer. A well managed, time-organized individual does stand out from the rest. This is the reason why there is so much emphasis on time management skills in any corporate learning/training event.
Importance of time management
We all live in a competitive world. Whether you are a student, worker, manager or a company CEO, you understand that your success depends on how much you are able to accomplish within a given time frame. "I am too busy to pay attention to this" - is a very regular statement we hear and say from time to time. The real reason behind "time troubles" is human nature and the difficulty of learning new habits. In this day and age, there are so many ways you can spend your time, that you need some sort of plan to make intelligent choices. Time management helps you make conscious choices so you can spend more of your time doing things that are important and valuable to you.
Time management techniques.
1. The 80:20 rule: As per the Pareto principal, 80% of the unfocussed effort generates only 20% of the results. Rest 80% of the result is generated by the 20% of the focused efforts. Not literally, but in big picture this is true. Staying focused on the task at hand is the first step to wasting less time and increasing performance.
2. Procrastination: We all try to delay the important activities/tasks. Some realize it only when they have no other options left. Procrastination is natural. We procrastinate when we put off things that we should be focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that we're more comfortable doing. Procrastinators work as many hours in the day as other people (and often work longer hours) but they invest their time in the wrong tasks - the ones which seem urgent but really are irrelevant to their overall performance. Another common cause of procrastination is feeling overwhelmed by the task. You may not know where to begin. So you seek comfort in doing tasks you know you're capable of completing.
How to overcome procrastination ?
Accept that you're Procrastinating. Only when you realize that you're spending time on un-important tasks, you'd be able to work on paying more attention to what's important.
Secondly, work out WHY You're Procrastinating. It's important to understand what the reasons for procrastination are for each situation, so that you can select the best approach for overcoming your reluctance to get going. Either the task is unpleasant or it is overwhelming.
Third step: Get over it. Find ways of motivating yourself to get moving. Reward yourself. Ask peers to keep an eye on you. Identify the consequences (bad ones) of not completing the task. Understand the cost of your time.
3. Activity logs: Find out where your time goes. By maintaining a log of what you spend time on, you can review where you wasted your time. It helps to recognize and analyze what activities can be avoided to have more time available to do important things.
4. To do list: Maintain a list of incomplete tasks. This will ensure you always know beforehand about what tasks must be finished before even thinking of indulging in time wasting activities.
5. Prioritize: You made a list of things to do. Not all can be done in one day. Therefore, you need to select the activities which help finish other activities faster.
Top time wasting activities: These are very common. You can stop doing these from day one: Watching TV, Checking and replying to personal emails, watching porn, drinking tea/coffee.. etc.
Watching TV: This is easily the top time wasting activity. We all enjoy watching serials, movies and cartoons. What do we gain out of watching ? Nada. Television programmers show what interests us so that in between the breaks, they can show us relevant advertisements. They program our interests and taste, so we deviate from our problems. Reading a book or article which helps you resolve an issue or develop a skill is certainly a better way to entertain.
E-mails: Emails are crazy. It is so easy to send emails that often individuals get too involved in check their emails online and sending that 'little' reply to an email. Restricting emails to just those which relate to tasks at hand goes a long way in saving precious work hours.
Porn: This is a tremendous diversion. It affects the performance of the individual hours after they have done it. It also spoils the professional atmosphere and well, can create behavioural problems in individuals.
Tea/Coffee break: Yes we all get bored of doing what we do. So getting up to have a nice cup of tea/coffee is the easiest way to take a break. The bad side, it leads to chatter with colleagues. Since it is so easy to get interested into a conversation, well managed corporations allow only set number of coffee/breaks that too at a set time. Try scheduling the coffee/tea of a caffeine/chat addict (are you the one ?), you'll be amazed at how this little step would make a positive different in their output.
Time management is a basic requirement for everyone looking to improve their work performance and overall lifestyle. Those who do not manage their time endup working long hours without giving any proper results. Don't be surprised how your manager is able to take time out to play golf while working on so many projects - they understand where and how to best utilize the available time. Procrastination is delaying of important but comparatively difficult or boring tasks. Understanding the cause of procrastination is the first step towards eliminating the cause and thus, curing one from this deadly time wasting habit. You can start improving performance by using activity logs, to do lists and prioritizing. Watching TV, replying to personal emails, Porn, too many coffee breaks - avoiding these common time wasting habits is another step forward towards performing more in less time. Time management is not just for improving work performance, it brings about a change in lifestyle. Helping people spend less time in work and more time doing things they enjoy.