Time or the hours in a day don’t change. How we manage it, either use it productively or fritter it away is what makes focusing on Time Management a goal. Often we find that the day has gone past in a frenzy with not much accomplished. The objective is to remain even keel, while optimizing our achievements in a day. More than merely managing time, it is how we direct ourselves that is the key. Knowing this, can we move on to being more prolific and Zen about our ability to function ?
It is so easy to fall prey to time wasting habits. My time bandits are, any and all social media scrolling’s. Minutes are lost as easily as hours to mindless internet surfing and all I have accomplished is a jumbled array of images and unnecessary information. While it is hard to keep track of these activities it is worthwhile setting aside regular slots of time reserved for these tasks. First baby steps taken in the right direction. Following closely on the heels of this is the decision to prioritize tasks. Having the ability to say No is important in order to ensure that we achieve our performance benchmarks.
Routines & Habits
Following a routine can be rewarding in this instance, resulting in getting through the tasks in a smooth and precise manner. For many like me, making a list the previous day, following them in the order of importance and crossing them off, is fulfilling. Setting blocks of time for tasks is another helpful tip that management gurus remind us frequently. Each of these reflects one truth- Time is fulfilled not frittered.
Smart technology can be also be our friend. When we have “empty” pockets of time, they come to our rescue. Waiting during appointments or when out escorting family members we can stay connected and catch up on reading, news or other stuff that needs our attention. The calendar is our friend when it comes to time management. Jotting down everything with reminders on the virtual calendar is a life saver. Some visual folks do better with a paper calendar, both can accomplish the same thing. Setting up deadlines help us figures out when tasks need to be completed and how much time we need to allocate to them, giving ourselves enough lead time to complete the job at hand.
A multitude of free apps are also readily available and can be downloaded and used. Here are some well known and useful apps: for instance Cozi: lets you manage a shared family calendar, shopping lists, to do lists, and family journal while you're on the go. Drop Box: A great app for sharing files with friends, family, colleagues across platforms. Milebug: lets you track your mileage, tolls and parking, to name just a few.
Recent studies have indicated that multi taskers are not necessarily being more productive. Even though multi taskers feel a heady sense of accomplishment, many question the quality of the work. Today's advocate aspire for the caliber of work that comes from single minded focus. Current thinking is, it is far more favorable to be good at prioritizing which in turns leads to productivity. Many also point out that multi-tasking can take you down the rabbit hole of burnout. While trying to manage time, one must always be cautious not wear ourselves out or spread oneself too thin.
Batching similar tasks together, allows oneself to stay in a similar zone. This way synergy flow is established and productivity can really ramp up. Striving for perfection is another time hog. Doing more harm than good, it is important to recognize that excellence eats away at productivity and setting realistic goals is important. This goes hand in hand with not fussing over unimportant details. Another ineffective trait that wastes time. This brings us to delegation - dreaded advice that not many take to kindly. When appropriated well, it can sustain our focus on the things that matter while taking the load off the stuff that is not so relevant. Yet many struggle with this, be it moms or managers.
Ultimately, the major tip of all is that we have to come to grips with time management rather than become a slave of it. Join me in my quest and share any tips and tricks you have. Time is of essence.
We are stronger together