Tips For Effective Time Management Methods to Help You Achieve Your Goals
What is time management?
Why is it that some people manage to achieve more than others in a day? We all get the same number of hours in a day, so why is it that some are able to do more with their time than others? The simple answer to that is time management. Time management is the process of planning your daily activities and organizing your day in a way that increases productivity and helps you get more done in less time! Time management isn't an abstract concept. It is an extremely practical way of organizing your daily activities. The highest achievers in business, sports, and politics are known to manage their time efficiently. Learn the best way to manage time and make the most of your day with this article!
Introduction to time management
The word 'management' implies taking ownership of your time and how to use it. This contrasts sharply with letting external factors decide where your time goes. Implicit in the term 'management' is also a certain degree of decision-making. This includes deciding on goals, setting priorities and using available resources to increase productivity. It also implies taking responsibility for results and monitoring your own progress to ensure that you stay on track. In other words, time management essentially means self-management. That is to say, we manage ourselves to use our time effectively. It is, in many ways, the single most important skill required for success and can tremendously impact our levels of accomplishment and satisfaction.
While learning how to manage your time is not impossible, it can seem hard to implement. Problems associated with good time management are real. The biggest challenge for most people is understanding what time is and how it should be used. And in many cases, the ideas people have about time determine how they use it. So, if someone lives with the delusion that they have unlimited time to accomplish a goal, they often never end up getting very far.
There are several modern management theories that can help individuals hone their time management skills and get more things done. Three theories have stood the test of time in helping individuals develop stronger management skills and increase productivity. These are
Pickle Jar Theory- This theory illustrates how trivial or unimportant tasks often take up a lot of time and keep individuals from using that time to accomplish urgent tasks or bigger goals. The theory uses the pickle jar to represent an individual's time, and all the different tasks and commitments that they have to fulfill in a day are represented by the contents of the jar - rocks, pebbles, sand, and water. Rocks symbolize important tasks, while pebbles are significantly less important and lead to results that are not as beneficial as those produced by accomplishing tasks associated with rocks. Sand stands in for trivial tasks that are of little or no importance, while water signifies idle moments that fill the remaining space. The key to using the pickle jar theory effectively is to realize which tasks are rock tasks, which are pebbles, and so on. Once tasks associated with rocks are accomplished, individuals can turn their attention to pebbles and then to sand.
Pareto's Principle- This hugely popular 80/20 principle argues for working smart instead of working hard. This principle, propounded by economist Wilfredo Pareto, argues that a small number of causes can produce a very large effect. The management principle when applied to time implies that 20% of (most beneficial) activities should consume 80% of an individual's time. In other words, 20% of an individual's tasks have the potential to generate 80% of the desired results. Knowing what tasks to focus on can help individuals save time and energy, and produce quality work.
Parkinson's Law- This theory argues that allowing less time to accomplish something will lead to its faster completion. The trick is to give yourself less time to fulfill a task and with time, you will realize that you are able to do it much faster and with ease. This law aims to change people's approach to how they use their time, illustrating that most tasks can be accomplished in less time than we actually set out for them.
Managing time is difficult and can be overwhelming
Tips from ZipChecklist will help you manage your time so that you can achieve your goals
Advantages of time management
There are several advantages of good time management. Apart from increasing productivity and reducing stress levels, proper time management can help establish your reputation as a good worker and dependable teammate in your organization. A positive reputation in the workplace can translate to quicker promotions, career advancement, and better workplace relationships. Effective time management also helps establish a healthy work life balance. It allows you to accomplish tasks within a stipulated period, leaving you with enough time to focus on other areas of your life. Good time management also leads to improved focus and helps streamline decision-making. The process of decision making can also influence other aspects of your life and hones your ability to prioritize and take action. Needless to say, it also helps individuals achieve their goals faster while helping them improve the quality of their work. It leads to greater self-discipline and more confidence.
Tips for effective time management
The internet is filled with innumerable time management tips and tricks. A simple Google search is enough to overwhelm you. There are articles, apps, and programs that promise to help you make better decisions about how you manage your time! But what truly needs to be considered is how you make time management decisions and consider the changes that need to be made to increase productivity. Here are a few tips that could help you get started.
Break Big Goals Into Small Tasks- Dividing big tasks into smaller, manageable pieces is a great way to get things done. We often end up not accomplishing a task because the hill seems too high to climb in one go. Setting both procrastination and self-doubt into motion. Breaking a big task into smaller, more doable pieces increases the chances of us reaching the top of that hill.
Daily Review and Planning Ahead- The importance of planning cannot be stressed enough. Taking time each day to review what you have managed to accomplish and what is left is a crucial time management skill. This will not only help you plan your next steps, but it will also help you figure out how well your time management system is performing.
Periodic Reviews- In addition to daily reviews, it's also advisable to create a weekly or monthly plan for tasks that are bound to take longer to accomplish. This, too, is a good way to test your time management system. Weekly or monthly planning will surely throw up situations that would lead you to reconsider your time management strategies. It will help you realize how long it actually takes to complete a task so you can make informed decisions going forward.
Clear Your Mind- Put down important tasks on a task sheet so that the many things you need to achieve on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis are not swimming in your head. This is the first step of the process. Enlisting tasks will also help you prioritize and plan them most effectively. This document can also serve as a reminder of all that you need to accomplish.
Organizing Tasks- Once you know what you need to accomplish, you can organize them. This should depend upon their importance and how easily or quickly they can be completed. For example, if a task takes only a few minutes to accomplish then it should be done right away. Handling small tasks this way gets them out of the way and helps you get more done. It is also important to remember that many tasks can be delegated to colleagues. These tasks should go under a list that denotes that these need to be accomplished by someone else and you only need to oversee or supervise their completion. Then, there are tasks that can be deferred. These would include those that cannot be fulfilled in a matter of minutes and require a longer commitment. Organizing your tasks this way will help you track them more efficiently.
There are several time management software that can help you with effective time management. One such software is Zipchecklist. Zipchecklist Features include many time management techniques that can help increase productivity and establish a healthy work life balance.
Perils of poor time management
The perils of poor time management are many. Not only does it negatively impact individuals leaving them overworked, and low on morale and motivation, but can also cost organizations big money. It is noted that individuals with poor time management skills tend to work overtime and produce a lower quality of work. This eventually translates to reduced personal or family time and increased stress levels. Lack of time management leads to poor project management and can result in missed deadlines. This impacts their work performance negatively, but has a ripple effect on their colleagues and the organization as a whole. It may have financial implications, lead to a stressed workplace environment as well as damage customer relationships.
Time is a precious commodity that we never seem to have enough of
Tips for effective time management methods from ZipChecklist will help you achieve your goals and objectives
Learn better time management through activity logs
An activity log, also known as an activity diary or job activity log, is a written document that records how an individual spends his or her time. An activity log helps individuals figure out how they spend their day. This document also helps with figuring out if you are doing the right work at the right time of day. They also help with identifying non-core activities that keep you from meeting important goals. An activity log is not difficult to keep and a template can easily be downloaded from the internet. It looks like a simple spreadsheet and has columns for date and time of day, activity description, duration required to complete a task, and value of the task (based on the benefits an individual might draw upon its completion), among others.
Analyze this time management planner once you have logged how you spend your time for a few days. Most people discover that they spent way longer than necessary focussing on low-value tasks! Figuring out how and what you spend your time on is the starting point for making amends. This will help you figure out the jobs that can be delegated, schedule the most challenging tasks for a time of day when you have the most energy and are your productive best as well as help reduce the amount of time you spend switching between tasks.
How good is your time management?
It's easy to know if you are effectively managing your time. Do you meet deadlines? Do you work in a low-stress environment or do you often feel burnt out? Do you have enough time to devote to your family and hobbies? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you know you are managing your day well. But there are certain hacks, or tips as we have stated above, that can help you know if you are on the right track and differentiate you from time wasters! Writing a to-do list, an activity log, breaking up tasks into smaller chunks, focus and clarity are all signs that you are attempting to manage your time well. Fortunately, there are several time management apps and other management tools that can set you on this path! Go get yours today to save yourself from the perils of poor time management!
You know you need to manage your time better, but you don’t know where to start
ZipChecklist’s easy-to-follow guide will help you manage your time more efficiently