Imagine it’s 6 a.m., and you have to wake up from the spell of sweet slumber you’re under. Drifting through a dream, you refuse to open your eyes to wake to reality. Suddenly, there’s a boom! You hear an unfamiliar sound. It’s the sound of your parents, hovering over your head to wake you up. They yell your name and begin to lecture on the value of time and how you are late for school yet again! You have no choice but to wake up and get going, probably grabbing breakfast running on your way out the door instead of enjoying it in peace.
This was a quick glimpse of a rushed life because of poor time management. Managing your time is a skill developed with practice. How to achieve your daily goals? Are you able to balance work, study, and personal life? If you find it difficult to handle multiple things because you often run short of time, it’s time to sort it out.
Where are you lagging in managing time?
“Life and time are the world’s best teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of time, and time teaches us the value of life”
– Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Time is like a scale that determines the results of your efforts. Managing time can be difficult for those who juggle too many things at a time. Here are some of the common things that can often lead to poor time management:
- You procrastinate or push things to the last minute, often without paying heed to the negative consequences or last-minute panic. This is a common issue for many students who let assignments and projects pile up for later.
- Distractions get the best of you. Be it your phone, social media, Netflix, a hangout plan, or a party, any of these things can become a major distraction for your work when you are unable to prioritize things.
- You have a tendency to overthink or mull over even the smallest of tasks, changes, or minor inconveniences, often leading to wasting a considerable amount of time. Spending time brooding over ‘what happened’ rather than rationally thinking about ‘what can be done now’ can take away a lot of time before you even realize it.
In the race against time, do you find yourself to be a loser or a winner? As difficult as it may seem right now, time management is not really a Gordian knot to untie. Only small changes can prove to be highly effective. Let’s learn some easy-peasy time management tips that can level-up your time management game:
The 2-minute rule: No, we are not talking about Maggi noodles. This rule applies to not leaving things for the last minute. It’s a very simple plan of action. If a task takes two minutes or even less, get it done immediately. This can alleviate stress and reduces the chances of important stuff slipping your mind later on.
Start prioritizing: ALWAYS make a to-do list to go about your day with high productivity. You don’t need to buy a big whiteboard, a simple journal or notes on your phone would serve the purpose. Jotting things down allows you to be more focused and saves you from facing piles of undone work later. For instance, if you have a lengthy assignment to submit by tomorrow, make that your top priority. Similarly, mark your work as per urgency or date of completion. Doing this will make you more efficient as well.
Pick up difficult tasks in peak productive hours: While prioritizing your work is a must, you also need to divide work as per difficulty levels. Observe at what time of the day you feel the most refreshed and productive. Take up relatively difficult work during that time. When you are the freshest, you will be able to work the most efficiently and accomplish tasks faster. This practice will help you think from a new perspective about how to proceed with your work and get things done more quickly.
One step at a time: What makes you a time management expert is how you divide a goal into different steps. Suppose, you plan to build a great physique. The first step is to find the best gym around you, the second is to be a regular at the gym, and the third step is to work out properly. You won’t achieve your desired fitness level in one day or a week. You keep going to the gym daily and build a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. Gradually, your body will start showing results. The approach of taking one step at a time helps accomplish objectives smoothly without rushing the process or feeling overwhelmed.
Change the way you talk: Words have the power of manifestation in life. For instance, if you often catch yourself saying that you’re not feeling well, your brain will start acting upon this feedback and you may eventually fall sick. Change the way you talk, your life will change too! Instead of saying things like “I have to do this” or “I am forced to do that”, try saying “I choose to do this, as it is important for me.” Once you start to positively rephrase your sentences you realize it is a great trick that you missed out on for a long time.
Some interesting and less talked about time management skills
This time management system emphasizes breaking your time into 30-minutes chunks and working in intervals. Within the 30-minute chunks, work with high concentration for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes. After repeating this technique 4-5 times, take a longer break for 30 minutes. This will help you to focus on your work better and keep you fresh and relaxed, even on the dreaded Mondays.
This is a task management tool that helps you remain organized. Unlike its name, the technique is quite simple to implement. Make four boxes, categorize them as urgent vs. non-urgent, and important vs. unimportant. Make a to-do list and categorize the tasks into those four boxes. If you believe that a certain task needs to be done urgently, write it down under the urgent section. Similarly, non-urgent tasks can be put in the non-urgent boxes. The Eisenhower Matrix of categorizing tasks will help you to tackle your to-do list and tick off major tasks in time.
Rapid Planning Method (RPM)
Jot down all the things that you are supposed to do throughout the day. Group all the tasks based on similarities, such as personal, school/college-related, and career-focused. Furthermore, on top of a fresh sheet of paper, make three columns: task, results, and purpose. After creating this list, figure out a way to accomplish your goals. Listing out tasks under different headers helps you choose those which are high on priority, and get them done in time.
Time management can be a cakewalk when you keep your priorities in focus, control distractions, and show consistency. No one can master time in one day. It takes effort and patience, but it’s worth it. You can win the race against time! Time management is a skill required at every stage of life.
If you learn how to ace the time management game at an early age, it becomes easier to navigate in your future career. Connect with the career advisors of LaunchMyCareer to get complete guidance about how to steer your career in the right direction. LMC provides age-appropriate guidance for children as young as grade 5, to enable them to prepare for a bright future. Get in touch today!