Time management is the practice or act of being conscious and exercising control in controlling the amount of time spent on activities with the goal of increasing productivity and efficiency. These tasks or activities may be achieved by the use of a range of tools, skills and techniques so that time can be used wisely. The scopes of activities that need to be used to manage time are: setting goals, allocating, planning, analysis of the time spent, delegation, organizing, monitoring, prioritizing and scheduling. These activities are not only i9in work or business activities but also in personal activities.
Time management is of essence mostly in project management so that it can be completed within the right time and in the required scope. Personal time management basically entails a person setting personal goals which can be broken down into a simple task list, an action plan or a project. This can also be achieved by assigning priorities to different activities and setting deadlines as to when some activity has to be through or delivered. This results in a calendar of activities or a task list.
There are various sources that contain information on the tips that will help me manage my time effectively. Some of these include journals and magazines, newspapers, books and above all, internet. Due to the wide variety and large scope of information, surfing the internet will help get information and tips on how to manage time effectively. Some applications that may be used include the personal digital assistant or the personal information management application. Most of theses applications are actually free so there are no costs involved. Information that is needed includes information on how to set and achieve goals, effectively organize daily actions, set priorities and manage time to meet deadlines, making smart and fast decisions, and better ways to uncover better options. (Mancini, 2007)
A task list contains a description of the steps that one is to take to achieve a desired project or task. It is a self management tool that serves as an alternative memory that oversees the completion of projects or assignments in time. These tasks can be written on a clip-board or a piece of paper or a piece of paper and once the task has already been completed it should be crossed off. This list also helps to map out everything that is important and discard the other things that are not necessary. A general to do list contains the tasks to be accomplished at a later date then a daily to do list is created from this list that contains activities of the day or those that will happen in the near future.
The ABC format may be used to create the task list. A may be for the most priority or one that needs to be done within that day, B represents the tasks that are next most important or those that are to be done within a week, C represents the task that is least important or one happening in a months time. To make this list one should have a clear mind in terms of the short term and long term goals and activities. Time slots are also very crucial to help plan activities in terms of what needs to be done at what time. (Cook, 1998)
There are several things that should be considered when managing time. One should manage time based on their life goals and aspirations. Focus and concentration on tasks should be enforced to ensure that tasks are accomplished within the right time allocated. To be able to achieve all this and manage time well to the maximum, self motivation or self drive is of dire importance. Self drive is important because it not only makes tasks get done within the right time but also prevents a person from drifting concentration to other irrelevant activities. One ought to be organized and keep to what they do at the right time, following the to-do list to the latter, that serves as a guide to the tasks. The schedule or the to-do-list that one creates should have room for flexibility. This is due to the constantly changing priorities in the personal lives of individuals.
Something urgent may come up, that is not in the schedule, which may lead to one straining too much to accomplish the task in the to-do- list. One should also not dedicate all the time to the tasks of the highest priority since all the tasks have to be completed although at different times. To avoid this, little attention should be put to all tasks so that they are accomplished in time and in the correct format. Consequences and problems of poor time management should be considered. Bad time habits and other minor psychological problems such as procrastination should be avoided for one to be able to manage time wisely. The skills of time management should be at the finger tips for someone who wants to manage time. Time is of essence and should always be protected through delegation, isolation and insulation of activities.
Once time has been managed well, one gets a feeling of satisfaction, there is reduced stress, the health of the person significantly improves, relationships with people around him improve since time is allocated to each person and most of all, there is improved productivity and efficiency of tasks. Having enough time, one can cook himself good food and since there is no stress, the health is improved. One actually saves time by managing time effectively and can do what they enjoy in their free time hence having peace of mind. By getting work done on time one prevents the last minute rush which is very tiring.