“Look at the time! I have no time!” Sounds familiar? Time is referred to as a man-made construct that has somehow found a way to control everything we do in life, even to our detriment. Although made by us, we’ve come to a point where we now let it rule us. Let’s delve into the ways in which we can benefit from the value we’ve since put on time instead of being run by it.
So what is time management anyway? The result of time management is to be effective and efficient in terms of our productivity. Being able to manage time refers to the process of planning what we do when and how we control the time we take to do it. We take time management for granted by not realising we’ve been doing it in some aspects of our lives all along. For instance, many of us went to school where subjects were each given an allotted time. We left school and journeyed to extracurricular activities, again for an allotted time. After, we got home to complete studies before it was time for bed to do it all over the next day.
The first prong of effective time management is prioritisation/organisation. When tasks are done in order of priority, it simply means starting with the most important. Nowadays, there are many planning tools in the form of electronic apps or personalised prompting journals to help us out. So whether you’re into typing or writing, there’s an assistant for you. Sitting to complete these tasks however, is solely dependent on self.
It’s Saturday and my article is due on Tuesday, but I need to set work for my dance class on Monday in addition to the regular weekend errands and chores. I must organise my thoughts before setting times for these tasks. Although choreography is due before the article, my creativity may not be flowing just yet and instead, my mind is flooded with talking points to write. This goes to show that nothing is wrong with changing priorities either.
Communication is the second prong in time management. Although some may think it strange to talk to yourself, you must first be able to communicate well within so when others are invited, it is done so effectively. If help is needed with certain tasks this must be communicated to others as humans have come a long way, but we still can’t read minds.
This has been said before and I continue to draw on it from time to time. You can do all things, but not at the same time. Stress management is the last prong we’d tackle as it is so pertinent to being effective with time. Stress can lead to illness, which delays getting your to-do list completed. It also makes things appear more complicated than they are…which also delays getting your list completed. Lastly, it limits the quality of the finished products on your to-do list which can lead to more stress and so, the cycle continues. Always focus on bringing yourself back to the present if worry creeps up on you to steal your time.
You are in control and how you use your time impacts your very existence. Focusing on the three aforementioned points guarantees that you make the most of the time you have left.
“…master your time, and master your life.”- Alan Lakein