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August 11, 2014 / manveetSingh

Time Management

Time Management is the art of managing time.

The above sentence contains 2 concepts, which are very hard to master.

Art is not for everyone, it’s not easy to comprehend; it never was for me. Though there was one year when I had a feeling of my art pieces being as good as one of Picasso’s or at least his lesser know contemporaries.

I never have known myself to manage my time well. Being probably one of the severest cases of a serial procrastinator, going somewhere was never achieved on time. So, I hardly reached anywhere on time. But then there was a time in my life, around 4.5 months to be exact, where I was never late. I like to believe that it was due to some motivation.

I like to believe that I have gotten better at managing time with time.

A man’s got to keep his belief!

Improvements: I have started to be on time for family functions. I have been able to get to places on time (read as: without a huge delay).

I frankly can’t pin point what I did that is making me better at it.

Clock for time management

I have realized that there are certain ways in which you can get better at managing your time.

Get a calendar. We have been using a paper calendar for like forever, but with Smartphone and different computing devices at hand, virtual calendars are now on everyone’s desk and hands. Use one. But make sure that you use a Goal oriented calendar. A calendar is not so much useful for being productive if it only contains your meeting schedule. It needs to be detailed, so that you can easily reach your targeted goal.
(Realization: Weekly OTD make you be goal-oriented for a weekly target. Was it an intention or unintentional to match a Goal-Oriented calendar? There’s only one person who can tell!)

Create a to-do list. Create lists of tasks that you need to do along with a calendar if it helps to remind you. Here’s a sample of what you should want to achieve at:

to do chart

Reduce meeting time. If you can’t, keep them focused, brief and well-timed. If you are leading a meeting, make sure you don’t let it stretch.

Delegate tasks. Not every task that comes to you needs to be done by you. Many times there would be someone equally skilled & efficient to perform that task well. Delegate it to them.

Plan time for self. Sometimes in our busy schedule we forget things that are important to us, like going to the gym, picking up grocery, reading a book etc. (everyone has a different list) and we end up putting it off for “when I get time”. That “time” wouldn’t come if we don’t make it come to us. Plan (after work) self-time like you would plan your work-time work hours.

scheduled self time

Plan time in blocks. If what you do can be planned in blocks, do them in blocks. For example, if you need to have phone conversations, keep a prescheduled block of time for that; if you need to go meet up with people, or they need to visit you, preplan a schedule block of time for that.

Overestimate. Sometimes it is imperative to overestimate the time it would take you to get a thing done. Some things have a tendency to get out of control, and some are never in our hands. Life happens! You simply cannot control everything around you, neither should you try to.

I started overestimating my travel time to reach office by a few minutes; now I surprise myself by being early to office, and in case there’s extra traffic on roads, I still reach in time because of the extra minutes I estimated.

Don’t work intermittently. You cannot do everything as it comes. I believe you especially shouldn’t when you’re working on something already because if you start on something else as soon as it comes, what you were working on earlier would require more effort, concentration & time to get back to. Finish one, and then start another.

work in continuation

I lose my train of thoughts, as soon as I am told to start on something new when I am working on something and it’s not complete. It takes me a long time to get back on track, so now I try my level best to pick up something only when the current

Schedule and prioritize. When a person has lot of things to tackle, things tend to get out of hands. It happens to the best of us. Just don’t lose sight of the goal, and do the most important thing first.

multi tasking octopusSome people suggest that multi tasking is a good time management technique, I believe it’s only good when you handle tasks of which only 1 required you to be involved intellectually in it. The other(s) if require the same amount of attention, you can’t really do justice to both.

Own your time.Time business concept.

Don’t let it own you!

 

References: medium, medium, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Quora.

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