What is time?

We all experience time, but what exactly is time, is it money? For sure, time is limited and valuable, but it cannot be stored on a savings account. Time is our lives as measured out in years, months, weeks and more. Obviously time cannot be managed in the sense of stopping it, slowing it down or speeding it up. Time waits for no-one and therefore what can be more important than using time management?

How to manage time?

Time management does not focus on changing time itself, but the behaviour related to it by applying time more economically to the tasks (goals) which need to be accomplished. Eliminating personal time-wasters like spending too much time online, frequently checking email, or social media posting is a good way to start. A recent survey shows that daily about 89 per cent of people employed waste time at work: 62% up to one hour, 27% two to five hours. Tracking their daily activities helps them to form an accurate picture of how much time they spend on various activities.

Develop a personal sense of time

Only a few of us are aware that time is limited. The first step to develop a personal sense of time, to effective time management, is to keep a time log. Record of how much time you have spent over a period. So it is not only about setting specific goals, but they also need to be tracked over time.

In general, you should start each day prioritising your tasks and setting your milestones. The principle of a time log is to divide the hours into fifteen-minute intervals, at the end of each hour record how it was spent. Get in the habit of setting time limits for tasks. Be honest, if your ten-minute coffee break turns into thirty minutes, log it. You need to know where your time is going.

There are scheduling tools for project managers to help them plan their projects. Gantt and PERT charts, which can be easily created with the help of scheduling such as MS Project, are some of these tools. However, note that these tools are only a reference, along with them project managers need to consider time management in order to execute their planning.

Developing a personal sense of time includes valuing of other people’s time. To discover your attitude toward this, do answer the following questions: true or false?

1. In the last month, I can think of at least one occasion when I have kept someone waiting.

2. I may interrupt meetings. Meanwhile, at meetings, I enjoy the sound of my own voice and I can be rather long-winded.

3. I regard job descriptions – that each position has its own duties and responsibilities – as nonsense.

4. I am aware of the quantity of time that colleagues put into their work but not the quality of the time they give.

5. I do not value prospects or customers’ time. It is their money, I’m after.

Plan the day

The longest journey begins with a single step; you will be more able to achieve a goal if you do break it down into measurable steps. Set time limits for all the tasks then establish your priorities (urgency and importance). A letter system might include:

A: Do it now, do it well.

B: Plan it in, spend quality time.

C: Do it quickly, it does not require quality time.

D: Do it later or in some cases delegate.

Goal-setting is a direct way to achievement. However, many of us find setting goals and achieving them difficult.

Plan your day outline a week ahead and in detail on the eve of it – the daily plan is likely to take fifteen minutes or so. In return, you gain a sense of control which is otherwise impossible. For instance, reading and answering email can consume your whole day if you let it. Instead, set a limit of one hour a day for this task and stick to it rather than answering email on demand.

Takeaways

– Be sure your systems are organised. Are you wasting a lot of time looking for files on your computer? Organize your files to the point that you can quickly lay your hands on what you need.

– Avoid taking stress at your workplace. Stress eventually reduces your productivity and substantially affects your health; take a short break of 5 – 10 minutes, whenever you are at a task for a longer duration.

– Don’t make false commitments, instead: have the courage to say “no” politely, when you are already overloaded with work.

– Avoid wasting time waiting, from client meetingsto dentist appointments. Technology makes it easy to be productive, your tablet or smartphone will help you stay connected.

– Delegation is one of the hardest things to learn, but you need to let other people carry some of the workloads. You should share the tasks you be better off leaving to someone else, so you can make the most of the time that you have.

These are the first things which you have to comprehend about time management, still, no matter how organised we are, there are always 24 hours a day. We can only manage ourselves and what we do with the time that we have. Appreciate this and internalize it.