3 essential time management tips for better productivity

Sunday, August 17, 2014 18:53

Effective time management is one of the most important life skills that one can master. It is no wonder that the most successful in any field seem to have the luxury of time with them. Obviously, the fact is that they do not have any more time than anyone of us- since time is perhaps the only resource that every human being is born equally with- but that they manage their time really well such that it gives the impression that they control time rather than the other way around. Can time management be learnt? Yes, of course it can because it is a skill. It is a habit that can be developed and programmed into your system with rigorous and determined practice. Giving yourself the gift of more time is perhaps the best gift that you can earn- so, don’t shy away from this challenge.

Here are the three essential requirements for you to be able to manage your daily time for greater control and improved productivity.

Plan your day: Before diving deep into a task, step back and plan for what you need to accomplish on that day. First off, list down everything that you need to get done as well as everything that you’d like to get done. Based on this, you can now chalk out what tasks can be chunked and how much time needs to be allocated for each task. Allocation of the scarce resource of time is something where most people go wrong as tasks get under-estimated or over-estimated significantly. Getting a clear idea of what needs to be accomplished and building a clear understanding of your own abilities as well as other resources required to accomplish a particular task will make you better at allocating the right amount of time per task.

Prioritize: What separates a lot of successful people from others is their ability to prioritize. They know the difference between what is important and what isn’t. The importance of this vital decision making skill cannot be over-emphasised. Remember, effective time management is NOT about getting everything done; it is about getting the right things done within a stipulated time frame. Prioritization involves understanding the dependencies of the choices you make and it often requires you to look beyond you, depending on where or what you are prioritizing. Another thing that you must remember while prioritizing is to not fall into the trap of prioritizing the easy things on the to-do-list ie. don’t make priorities on the basis of how easy or difficult a task is, but prioritize on the basis of the order in which something must get done. In fact, it often helps to get the harder or more challenging tasks out of the way first – after evaluating that they are indeed the most important things that must get done.

Persevere: To succeed in becoming a good time manager, which is often the pre-requisite for success in almost any field, it is critical to persist and persevere. It is easy to get distracted while in the middle of a task and do something else; or to give up trying to master time after a couple of failed attempts. Make a commitment to not get distracted while you are working on something important- unless it is some sort of an existential threat- and ensure it gets accomplished before you move on to something else. Not only will this heighten your productivity, but the benefits of the rise in self-esteem and the personal fulfilment you will enjoy are immeasurable. What’s more, your steadfastness in sticking to your guns will have a positive influence on people around you too.

Here’s to your time management efforts!

- Jeet Victor

Jeet Victor is an inspirational writer who writes on a range of topics related to winning, success, motivation and self-actualisation.

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