Time is one of the major stressors that many of us face these days. We all have deadlines and other time constraints that we deal with on a daily basis. More often than not there is not enough time to do all that is required of us.
With all the devices that keep us constantly connected with work, friends, and sometimes complete strangers it’s no wonder we are so easily distracted. Managing your time is a bigger challenge in today’s world where life seems to speed by and stops for no one. We are forced to keep up or get left behind. We rush through our day – scurrying from one task to another, always checking emails, running errands, making calls and by the end of the day we realize that the important task did not get done. The hours were wasted because of poor time management.
Time management is about taking control of one of the most valuable resources we have, our time. It is also the key to getting the most out of your day. With efficient time management you can take control of your life rather than following the flow of others and it can be summed up with 3 P’s prioritize, plan and protect. While it is important that you develop your own techniques these time management tips may be useful to you.
Prioritize. Most of us have 20 different things that need to get done in a day and we don’t know how we are going to fit it all into our busy schedule. That’s where prioritizing fits in. You should make a list of all the things that you need to get done and decide which ones are the most important and the ones that can wait. Be sure to include routine duties. Prioritizing is about making choices of what to do and what not to do. To prioritize effectively you need to be able to recognize what is important, what can wait, and what can be tossed.
Plan. Now that you have prioritized your to-do-list you should plan your day before it unfolds. Having a plan will give you a good overview of how your day will go. Although interruptions cannot be eliminated altogether you can determine how much time you will spend on them. Stick to your plan as much as possible but keep in mind that you might need to make minor adjustments as issues come up.
Protect. Time is a valuable resource that cannot be stored or saved to use at a later time. We all get the same amount of time each day, and it’s limited, so it’s important to make the most of your day. In the workplace, we put a huge premium on time – which is why we have phrases like €time is money€ or time is of the essence. Time is the only resource that we have that can never be replaced: once you’ve wasted it, it’s gone forever and your left scrambling to do more work in less time.
Most of us experience stress when we feel as though we have a perceived lack of control over the events in our lives. Being careful about how we use our time, how we portion our time – can enhance our sense of control. Good time management doesn’t mean you do more work. It means you focus on the tasks that matter and will make a difference. Whether it’s in your job or your lifestyle as a whole, learning how to manage your time effectively will help you feel more relaxed, focused and in control.