Effective Time Management Methods To Help You Squeeze Extra Hours Into Your Day
Time management methods vary in nature and scope, but many are really effective and will gain you extra hours, beat frustration and remove stress. These 4 simple methods will get you started along the rewarding path to better time management.
Keep Time Logs
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. So all time management methods begin with taking stock of how your day is being spent right now.
A time log can help you assess your current style of managing time, and give you precious insights into what activities and distractions take up most of your working day.
There are several ways to keep a time log. You could use software or time management tools, or rely on making a simple list on a sheet of paper. Just remember to jot down all your daily activities and the time you started and finished each.
At the end of the day, you’ll know how long each task took to complete.
Classify Your Activities
Now that you know where your time was spent, evaluate the relative importance of each task.
Are you engaged in fire-fighting? Do you handling urgent tasks regardless of whether or not they matter to your long-term goals?
Or are you more centered and oriented to your priorities? Do you devote most of your time to the important tasks that take you closer to your targets?
Most activities can be grouped under one of these 4 heads:
- urgent, but not important
- urgent and important
- important, but not urgent
- neither important nor urgent
If you’re spending too much of your time on the last option, clearly something must change.
Draw Up Your Schedule
Knowing where you are spending most of your time, and how effective that allocation is in the bigger scheme of things, you have the substrate of effective time management methods. All that remains is to draw up a schedule to follow.
Make your schedule on a daily or weekly basis. What goes on your schedule is the important work that is aligned with your biggest goals. The various tasks are assigned a priority depending on how important they are, and then given a specific time slot by which each should be finished.
Reviewing and revising your schedule on a periodic basis through the day can help keep you on track and get things done.
Simple Time Management Methods
There are several easy to follow methods that will help you towards better time management.
1. You have 168 hours in a week. You can use them wisely and well – or not.
2. Scheduling and sticking to your routine is a matter of discipline and focus.
3. There will be exceptions and distractions. Factor them into your schedule.
4. Keep your schedule handy for reference. Try to adhere strictly to it.
5. Take time to relax and refresh yourself, for higher efficiency.
6. Delegate tasks and activities to others, and free your own time for other things.
7. Stay motivated by keeping your mind fixed on long term goals and targets.
8. Break bigger projects into multiple small tasks – and complete each one.
9. Be conservative in estimating time assigned to each project, to avoid stress and frustration when you run short.
10. Minimize distractions. Beat procrastination. Stay focused.
How Time Management Studies Ensure Higher Productivity
Time management studies are used by big businesses and companies, as well as non profit organizations and other large groups who value productivity and efficiency highly.
Remember how we were often told, as kids, about how important it is to use time wisely and well? That’s what time management studies can help achieve in large groups or organizations.
Why Time Management Studies?
The essential basis of a time management study is simple. A tracking sheet helps keep a record of how employees spend time.
Duties of a person are listed, with blanks into which they will enter the start and end time of activities. The time consumption is tabulated, analyzed, and patterns are traced for specific kinds of activities.
Patterns are the key to studies of effective time management. That’s why most tracking is done for common every day activities, rather than the rarely performed ones.
Well maintained records help individuals examine what they are spending time on, and can aid in evolving strategies to deal with interruptions and breaks in concentration.
Time Studies At the Office
Unscheduled appointments are an element that often comes to the fore during studies of time management. Some businesses will refuse to see unscheduled clients. Others would take a message, and promise that someone will call back with more information.
Each of these approaches save the organization immense amount of focused time to devote to the entity’s primary goals and objectives.
Another factor to keep in mind with these studies is the tendency to make data collection more efficient by rounding up time.
Discrepancies creep into the measurement because staff collecting the data don’t count coffee or cigarette breaks, gossip time around the water cooler, or personal calls and tasks.
These variables could skew the overall numbers and even lead to wrong conclusions in strategies adopted for better time management.
Time Management for Family
Studies of time management are also important in the private lives of people who work in larger organizations.
The tendency to over-schedule children to participate in too many activities can lead to stress. Parents are now moving towards giving kids more spare time so that the family unit does not disintegrate owing to the pressure-cooker environment of overly busy parents and children.
An analysis of how you spend your time can offer a better picture about how to balance the time schedules of all family members, including children.
There should be room in your daily routine for all important components of life, such as spiritual activities, relaxation and leisure, and self development.
There is little argument about the fact that time is very precious. Time management studies give us the opportunity to quantify our activities, examine our routines, and schedule things that are most important to fit comfortably into the overall fabric of our daily lives.
Without such introspection and analysis, we risk falling into a rut, and gradually getting into a vicious spiral of lower efficiency. With well designed studies to guide you, it is easier to align your work and life with the tested principles of Time Management Tao.
Time Management Study Tips
For many college students, the hardest part of adjusting to classroom challenges is to manage time effectively. Time management study tips for students can help meet this and achieve success against the odds.
Community college students who spend long hours in study, and adult students who take classes part-time after full working schedules, will benefit even more from time management ideas. Especially ones that allow them to fit a hectic routine into their daily schedules.
Evaluate Your Time Expenditure
Time management study begins with an evaluation of how you spend your time now.
- What is the focus of much of your day?
- What goals are most important to you?
- Does what you focus on match your goals – family, school, other activities?
Students must spend a lot of time on study. Your priorities are attending class and finishing assignments.
You’ll generally spend 2 hours for every hour in class to study your subject and complete homework. This means for 10 credits, you’ll spend 20 hours per week.
Finding the time to devote to studies can be difficult without excellent time management skills.
If there are conflicts among other areas of your life, you should spend some time re-evaluating your priorities and deciding if continuing in the same way is really right for you.
Using Time Management Study Tips
Even if you’re a full time student without too many constraints, if you waste the time available to you, it will lead to problems down the road.
Time management study tips are useful only if you put them to work in your life. Procrastination is a challenge that many students face, and overcoming it can be your biggest hurdle.
1. Don’t clutter up your schedule. Monitor your obligations. Practice saying ‘No’. Set limits around your precious time and don’t let anything interrupt it. By concentrating fully on your study time, you’ll accomplish more without stressing out.
2. Find motivation. Keep your mind firmly on your goals. Remind yourself that you’re getting closer to them, whatever you’re doing.
3. Set correct priorities. You do not need to forsake all enjoyment in the name of time management. But decide what is most important, what you should do first, and then follow those priorities. If you take breaks at whim and fancy, you won’t ever finish anything meaningful.
4. Understand your responsibilities. Know what it takes to reach your goals. Ask for help. Get advice from peers and superiors to move ahead confidently.
And there’s more…
5. Don’t get overwhelmed. If a project appears too big, break it down into smaller chunks and deal with one at a time. A textbook might seem too large to study – until you tackle one chapter at a time. Before you know it, you’ve worked your way through the entire book.
6. Perfection is your enemy. Don’t obsess over trying to make everything absolutely perfect. Put in your best effort, and accept a reasonably good result.
7. Reward yourself for progress. Celebrating smaller achievements will ensure motivation and help you enjoy the journey towards your goals.
There are many other time management study tips that deal with your environment, friends, the time of day when you can concentrate best, and general factors like exercise, sleeping well, eating healthy food and more.
These simple time management methods can free up many hours in your hectic, over-crowded day.
For more tips on how to focus, be sure to read the Ming Vase Time Management guides, and sign up to the “Time Taozine” email newsletter.