Introduction to ‘Time Management
If you want to be a world-class leader, have a good work-life balance, and generally want to be successful in your career and your life, this is the module that you need to pay a lot of attention to.
Everyone gets 24 hours in a day, nobody gets more and nobody gets less. Some people struggle to manage their time and are always running pillar to post. They always trying to squeeze in so much in their 24 hours. At the end of the day, they have a lot of time for themselves and are always productive. The Urgent and Important matrix was coined by Mr. Steven Covey and he has made us understand the importance of urgent and important tasks.
Effective Time management
The difference between these two sets of people in the latter set of people are always kind of people who have learned the technique of Time Management, and that is the reason why we having this module on Time Management, to help us become productive and we could at our work. There are a lot of benefits associated with being able to manage your time properly and once we know what these benefits are, then we are going to strive to be better with our time management, so let’s understand what-
Benefits of Time Management
- The most important benefit is time management helps you to save time, well time is money in today’s date, time lost will never come back again, will it? So, time saved is equal to money earned.
- Time management helps you to reduce stress, we are so stressed out in today’s life, why because we squeezed too much into our day without realizing whether we can manage our time to all these different tasks that we have squeezed in, so it helps you to stress-free yourself.
- Time management helps us to function effectively, be constructive and productive workers at a workplace, it helps to increase our work output, it helps us have more control over our job responsibilities, so we can function well, be a productive team members with our employees. It helps you to prioritize, it helps us to plan our tasks better know what to do first, and know what to do last. So, scheduling our priorities is something that will be a great benefit of time management.
- It helps us to get more done in less time and isn’t that what we all strive for, we all have so much to do and so little time. It helps you to do less in the amount of time.
- It helps us to give good quality of work and we all should strive for quality work rather than just finishing off our tasks and doing more multiple tasks, quantity is not so good but the quality is always better, helps us to discipline ourselves.
- Last, it helps you to make sure that you deliver what is promised.
These are some of the benefits of time management and you would want to learn how to save time, how to manage your time.
Being Busy vs being Productive
A lot of people feel that they are busy and they are also producing well. Busy does not mean being productive, busy and productive are two different things, you might say I am very busy doing something but when someone asks you what are you busy doing, that is a question mark on your face and you are not sure what are you busy doing but you tend to want to be busy. So, let’s understand-
The difference between being busy and being productive
- Being Busy, some people have multiple priorities they will have numerous priorities for themselves whereas Productive people, on the other hand, only focus on few priorities, they would rather focus on a lesser number of things rather than filling that is with too many things.
- Busy people always respond with a yes, they will never say no to a task or an activity whereas productive people on the other hand always think twice before they say a yes to somebody.
- Busy people, when they are working will keep all the doors opened, so anybody can disturb them interrupt them which is not a good thing. On the other hand, Productive people, when they are at work, will close all the doors, they will never let you interrupt them or make them you know understand what that is.
- Keeping talk about how busy they are, busy people always keep on hoping I am very busy doing this and that. Well, on the other hand, Productive people don’t go on harping about how busy they are they let the results speak for themselves, and isn’t that always a better option.
- Busy people are multitaskers, they will do numerous amounts of things a lot things at one point in time, they will multitask whereas productive people will only concentrate on one important task or one important goal.
According to research, a mind if is focused on too many things at the same time will not deliver quality work in any of those tasks because your mind is indifferent. If you focus on one particular task or goal unable to finish that that’s always a much better option. Busy people always ask for advice on the other hand Productive people take real actions and get the job done.
Importance of Time-Log
A productivity journal is a time log of your day-to-day activities, what you do in your entire day. It’s important to plan your tasks the night before rather than doing it after getting up in the morning. Prioritize your first three tasks, it’s very important to write down what you want to accomplish. Don’t just use it once and then let go of it for the next 15 days and then open your journal again.
Now to-do list is a concept which most of us know about but have you practiced it is a question. To-Do lists are very important to make sure that all your tasks get captured completed within a specific point of time in your day. The reason why we say a to-do list is important, it’s because you can write down everything and know what all other things you need to do in a day.
There is a step-by-step approach and you need to follow this whenever you are making a to-do list, so let’s understand what are these four steps will help us make a to-do list:
Step 1– Capture everything you need to do, however small or big the task is don’t matter you capture everything on a piece of paper writing down everything that needs to be done, small or big doesn’t matter.
Step 2– Follow the ABC method of priority, which means all those tasks which you feel are most important just write A in front of them, which you feel are less important write B in front of them and whatever you feel is the least important write C in front of them. In this way, you have to Prioritize the tasks which you have written down for yourself.
Step 3– You need to write down how long every step takes, now it means to try to understand that each task needs some time that you need to give to that particular task. So, what is the time you want to give to that you need to write in front of that if it’s going to take an hour, half an hour, two hours you need to write that down?
Step 4- Tick the action when done as when the task is done it is very motivating to know that you have accomplished so much in a day it’s motivating, isn’t it?
Prioritize your tasks when we talk about prioritizing, it means to understand what task needs to be done first and what time needs to be done second, third, and so on. Prioritizing your task is very important and we will throw a lot of light on it later on.
Cross off a completed task, there is nothing more accomplishing or motivating than putting a tick mark in your productive journal saying that you have finished this task, it gives you mental satisfaction and yes there is a hormone that gets released whenever you feel motivated and proud and that’s important.
Carry over unfinished tasks, if for some reason you have not been able to complete a particular task in a day, it’s okay does not matter you can carry it over the next day.
Chunk Block & Tackle
Now when we are faced with a very huge project that we need to do, it is very overwhelming for us. It is something that we get scared of or half afraid of fear and apprehensions such a big task, how am I going to do it. Well, you have something which is known as Chunk Block and Tackle, this will help you manage your overwhelming task and get it done. How do we need to do? We need to
- Break down the project, if it’s a big project, break it down into smaller manageable tasks that will help you get started.
- Set time for a specific task, those small tasks that you have you know kind of motivated down for yourself, try to have a set amount of time that you will take to complete each task.
- Avoid interruption, when you have blocked or rather chunked small pieces of tasks, always have a small set of time that you will aside to each task and also try not to get interrupted during that when you are focused on something please give your 100%, avoid phone calls, avoid emails, avoid technology, try to just be focused on that one task and tackle one task at a time.
As mentioned above don’t multitask, if you are focused on one task it gets completed much better.
04 Tips to Prioritize your time
Time management is not only about learning how to manage time, it’s also about managing yourself about time. Mr. Eisenhower has told us that it is important to understand how to prioritize your time with something which is known as an urgent important matrix. If you don’t do the important tasks, they become urgent and that’s something that we want to avoid.
Quadrant1– Urgent and important, means you are always running to manage your pressing problems it’s a crisis, you are running for projects, meetings, trying to accomplish everything in a day and that is when you are in quadrant1.
Quadrant2– Important but not very Urgent, these are certain tasks which you need to make sure you do in the time before they become urgent. So, some things like preparation, prevention, value clarification, planning- your life, your goals, your vision, relationship building, spending quality time with your family members, going out for vacations recreations, etc. These are not very important things but yes, they are important if you give yourself the time to be in this zone. Quadrant2 is essential to be in.
Quadrant3- Not Urgent and Not Important, it is not important but is urgent for some people. While you are at your desk working you might get some interruptions, some important emails to send, some important phone call which comes in your way.
These are things that we want to avoid, why? because they are urgent for some other people but you start wasting your time in this quadrant because you give a lot of attention to these pressing problems, meetings, some of the other report which needs to be sent, etc. so try to avoid being in this quadrant.
Quadrant4- Urgent but not Important, it is one of the most important activities in today’s time, social media. We are so busy with our WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., we spend so much time in these activities, that half of our day is filled with these and then we don’t have time for our urgent and important tasks.
So, any junk mails, some phone calls, our time-wasters, and “Escape” activities are not helping us much to manage our time, when we are in this particular zone we are only and only wasting our important time of the day, by filling it with these activities.
Now out of all these four quadrants, if you want to manage your time, be in quadrant 2, which is important but not urgent. Once we start being in quadrant2, we will learn how to manage our life and our time much better.
Pareto’s principle- The 80/20 Rule
Mr. Pareto came up with this particular concept which is known as the Pareto principle way back in the 1900s. Well, what he’s trying to do is focused on 20% of your actions which will reap 80% of the results.
The Pareto principle says put your efforts where they will make the most difference, most of us try to accomplish too much in a day rather than accomplish the important things in a day which only call for 20% of those activities, which will help you to reap a lot of benefits which is 80%. well even if you look back into times back, people who owned 20% of the land make 80 percent of the money so try and understand the focus on only those tasks which are only 20% important but will give you 80% of the result.
Benefits of 80/20
- It helps you to identify the most important problems of the task, which you need to take care of.
- It helps you to Concentrate on your Strengths, now we all know what our strengths and weaknesses are so it helps you to concentrate on those activities which you enjoy doing and which you love to do so concentrate on your strengths.
- It helps you in Undivided focus now when you know what you have to do you try to focus your attention, your 100% attention on that activity.
- It helps in the Use of Tools that are most needed. Resources like time, energy, money, everything is needed for this particular 20% of your actions, so it helps you in that.
These are certain benefits of the 80 by 20 tool, start using the Pareto principle as well as the Urgent Important matrix, if you want to manage your time a little better. What we are going to cover now is one of the most fundamentals of time management which is-
Procrastination is when you don’t want to complete a task at the right time. There are 9 ways in Which you can overcome this habit of procrastination. These 9 ways include setting it off for another time, date, month, or year. You can also do things that will help you manage your time and life better.
It can be as simple as getting yourself out of bed every morning and having a cup of tea with a friend. If you have a problem with procrastinating, you can get rid of it by doing something else.
- Deleted, if you feel a task is just getting carried over, again and again, another day, another time, another week, it’s better to delete that task because it is not meant to be you are not meant to do that and rather better delete it from your list.
- Delegate, now delegation is a very important way of managing your time, delegate that particular task to somebody who has the time and resources and the intelligence to do that particular task. Delegation works very well if you want to be a successful leader.
- Do it, just do the task, finish it off rather than thinking, planning, finish it and just do it.
- 15-minute rule, now this means when you have a task in hand, think it over in your mind if you can complete it within 15 minutes, just complete it that very time. Do not delay it or do not procrastinate it, just within 15 minutes finish it off.
- Chop it up, as we mentioned before if there is an overwhelming big project which you need to do and you’re wondering where do I start from, well chop it up into smaller bits and pieces and that’s where you will be able to manage to do this particular task.
- Asking for advice, a lot of times we procrastinate a particular task or work because we don’t have the expert knowledge of how do we go about doing it, so ask for advice, do research, ask seniors or ask your leaders who will help you, give you that recommended advice which will help you do that task rather than procrastinate it.
- Clear Deadlines, most of our task gets procrastinated because we have not assigned a clear deadline, so a sign or deadline to your task because that will help you overcome this procrastination.
- Rewarding Yourself, nothing is more motivating than rewarding yourself, give yourself a nice pat on your back saying that devel, you have accomplished this particular thing. It’s motivating and it’s really good for your self-esteem and self-confidence, so next time you finish off a task reward yourself.
- Remove Distractions, when you are focusing on a very important and urgent task for yourself, there might be a lot of interruptions, distractions, please it’s a request to avoid these distractions just focus on your work.
By following these 9ways of overcoming Procrastination, you are one step closer to managing your time much better.
Obstacles to Effective Time Management
There are some barriers, some obstacles which will not let you manage your time, what are these obstacles and barriers? Let’s understand.
1.Unclear objectives, so unclear objectives lead to lack or less of time management because you don’t know where to get started, you don’t know what to do or what not to do, so have clear directions, have clear objectives why you want to do that particular task.
2.Being Disorganized, nothing can be more irritating than being disorganized, wherever you are, whether at work or your home, always have your table and your area organized well. If you are organized, you can get more done in a lesser number of times.
3.Lack of Planning, if you do not plan you will never be able to schedule your task probably, so always have good planning and prioritization.
4.Interruptions, avoid interruptions is one of the major ways of effective time management, when you can avoid any kind of interruption in your day focus on your task, that’s essential.
What are our Time Wasters/ Time Robbers?
We waste 80% of our day on activities that are not productive and taking us towards where we want to be. Time management is something that we are going to cover in this week’s episode. Avoid interruptions and planning, time-wasters, and delegating your time. Being able to delegate the task or take on yourself. Not valuing your own time if you don’t value your time properly. Perfectionism is expecting too much to perfect. Taking on too many responsibilities, taking on too much on yourself is not a great thing to do. Crisis management, crisis management, too much socializing- we tend to socialize too much during our day.
We would like to only conclude by saying that time is equal to money time spent or time lost will never come back again. Learn how to prioritize and how to schedule your priorities. Learn how to manage your time better if you want to be a world-class leader, successful in your life, manage your time well.