For young adults and professionals, work take so much of our time. Those working in offices typically clock on to work for a minimum of 8 hours a day. On some occasions, stretched virtual meetings and overflowing tasks can even force you to stay over time. When this happens, you’ll go home way past office hours and have little to no time for yourself.
Frustrating, right? If you’re tired of wasting your time, it’s probably the best time for you to learn more about time management and its benefits.
What Is Time Management?
Time management refers to the strategic planning and application of different techniques in order to become more efficient with your time. The first step to this is knowing your available time, planning tasks and activities, and controlling the amount of time you use to work or spend on each specific task.
Benefits of Managing Your Time Well
Poor time management can be detrimental to your work and your overall well-being. Not knowing how to properly manage your time can lead you to miss deadlines and demonstrate poor quality work and outputs that may harm your reputation at work. And when you’re struggling to deal with important tasks in the office, you’re at risk of losing proper work-life balance. Taking this into consideration, time management is a skill that everyone needs to learn and develop. Here is a closer look at the benefits good time management can bring you:
Get more things done
One of the goals of proper time management is to avoid wasting precious time on non-productive activities. Time management teaches you to solely focus on the task at hand. When you do this, you are able to offer your undivided attention and accomplish tasks faster than before, thus, boosting your productivity.
Produce better quality work and performance
Time management allows you to stay focused on a task for a certain period of time. Whether you dedicate an hour to answering phone calls or a 30-minute interval to work on customer service.
Time management strategies push you to develop the discipline to focus on important tasks to meet a set of goals. When you’re completely focused on what you are doing, your mind also becomes quicker in processing information and creating decisions. A fully focused individual is also capable to work at the best possible level since their mindset is set on accomplishing the task at hand. Not only will time management increase your productivity but it will push you to be efficient as well.
Finish tasks on time
Time management is more than just scheduling your tasks. It also emphasized the need to accomplish these tasks and activities within the time frame you gave yourself. Discipline is critical in mastering time management. When you set a timer, it is essential that you give your full focus and undivided attention in order to finish whatever it is that needs to be done within time.
Improve work-life balance
Work is at the top of most people’s priorities. Taking this into consideration, it is often so easy for someone to push aside their needs just to finish a task or meet an urgent deadline. When you know how to manage your time, you are able to develop the discipline to stick to your day-to-day schedule. So when your shift ends at 5 pm, you are mentally prepared to accomplish everything work-related before 5 pm so that you can focus on your life and your needs onwards.
Effective Time Management Strategies
Now that you have a better understanding of how proper management of time can help you, here are some amazing techniques to start developing your time management skills. This can help you not only with work but also with every other aspect of your life.
Time Blocking Method
The time blocking strategy is considered one of the simplest time management frameworks. The idea is pretty simple. All you need to do is to list and schedule your tasks beforehand.
Let’s say that it’s a Sunday and you have work to do tomorrow. Before going to bed, list every activity that you plan on doing the next day. Not everything has to be work-related. The beauty of the time-blocking method is that urges you to develop awareness and discipline on how you spend your time, even with the most mundane things.
When planning and listing your activities, don’t forget about the essentials. Include day-to-day activities such as eating, cooking, washing dishes, and exercising. This method allows you to be aware and prevent spending too much time on non-productive activities that may affect how the rest of your day goes.
Pickle Jar Theory
One of the things that time management aims to develop is the ability to distinguish tasks and activities that needs to be prioritized. When there is an important task, it is only rational for us to put more time and effort into it. On the other hand, if something is not as important or urgent, you can put this aside or even forget about it completely.
The Pickle Jar Theory works around the same concept. It starts with classifying tasks into different categories. The sand represents the things and activities that tend to disrupt your focus and are not urgent or necessary. This may include excessive social media browsing, uncontrolled online window shopping, and the likes. On the other hand, the pebbles are the things that are considered important or necessary. However, they are not particularly urgent and can be done another day or even by someone else. Lastly, the rocks are those categorized as both important and urgent and thus need to be accomplished within the day.
The first step is to list and categorize your tasks according to the different classifications. Start with tasks that are considered rocks and allot an estimated time to accomplish them. Ideally, it is best not to plan important activities that would take more than six to eight hours to finish. When you’re able to place the rocks according to their importance and urgency within the 6 to 8-hour time frame, the rest of the day can be used to deal with the pebbles and sand left in the pickle jar.
The Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro is undoubtedly one of the most popular time management strategies. Adopting the Pomodoro is pretty easy and it works best for those who struggle with focusing for long periods of time. The Pomodoro method involves a combination of deep focus and short breaks in between tasks.
When you find it difficult to completely focus on an activity for an hour or more, the Pomodoro technique allows you to break down this period into segments. Instead of working on a task continuously for one hour, you can set a timer for 25 minutes and a short 5-minute break before going back to work for another 25 minutes.
To best utilize this strategy, it also encourages you to break down major goals into smaller more manageable tasks that can be accomplished within the designated short duration of deep focus. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment, even with relatively minute tasks. Also, it will prevent you from losing your momentum when you all of a sudden need to take a break in a middle of a long task.
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