Time Management at Work
The famous proverb ‘Time and tide wait for none’, illustrates the importance of time and also says that there is nothing which is more precious than time.
It is like money. Every moment of the day is precious for us. As we spend money wisely, in the same way, our time should be spent very cautiously. If we remain idle, we waste our time and postpone things. Sometimes this procrastination is critical. Many people lose their work productivity on account of postponing their duties. We need to organise our tasks and manage time effectively. Spending your day in a heap of activity often achieves less, because you’re dividing your attention between so many different tasks. For this, time management is very essential.
“Time management” is the process of organising and planning how long you spend on specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you achieve more in less time, even when time is tight and work pressures are high. Failing to manage your time damages your effectiveness and causes stress. It is a skill that takes time to develop and is different for each person. You just need to find what works best for you.
Here are a few techniques to help you become the master of your own time:
- Spend the right time on the right activity and develop the habit of doing the right thing at the right time. Don’t waste a complete day on something which can be done in an hour or so.
- Always complete the most important tasks first. This is an essential rule of time management. Each day, identify the tasks that are the most crucial to complete and wrap up those first. Once you’re done, the day has already been a success and you will be relieved. You can then move on to other things.
- Grab at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not a good practice and can be harmful to your Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. After all, a human being is not a machine. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep.
- Devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Close all other browser windows. Keep your phone out of sight and on silent. Find a quiet place to work, or listen to some music if that helps you (I enjoy listening to music while working sometimes). Concentrate on this one task and nothing else should exist.
- Get an early start to your tasks. Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. It seems so easy, and you always manage to get it done eventually. It’s so much nicer and less stressful to get an earlier start on something. It isn’t that difficult either if you just firmly decide to do it and keep the laziness at bay.
- Set forth a time constraint in which to complete a particular task. Instead of just sitting down to work on a project and thinking, “I’m going to be here until this is done,” try the other way round – “I’m going to set a time limit of two hours”. The time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient.
- Leave a buffer time between tasks. When we rush from task to task, it’s difficult to get a grip on what we’re doing and to stay focused and motivated. Allowing ourselves to slow down between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for our brains. Take a break, go for a short walk, meditate, or perform some other mind-clearing exercise.
- Exercise and eat healthy. This is important to have a healthy lifestyle and better work productivity. Similar to getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthy boosts energy levels, clears your mind, and allows you to pay attention more easily.
- There’s one final tip I want to mention which is the most important and the best one. Enjoyment should always be the goal. Work can be play.We get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Instead of simplifying our work, we tend to make it more complicated and end up getting stressed. This should never be the point. The goal should be to organise your commitments in a way that you’re happy living out the details of your daily life, even while you’re working.
So, be curious, be open to opportunity, know yourself, embrace your passions and wonderful things will follow.
— Alisa DaCosta