Effective time management
“Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.” --John Randolph.
Time management is the proper planning of execution of tasks and activities by assigning appropriate time to a particular task that has to be completed at a specified time. Allocation of the right amount of time to a particular activity through various tools and techniques to increase effectiveness and productivity is termed as time management. Initially, time management was limited to professional or business activities for control over time spent on a task that requires completion at a targeted time. But now this concept is broadened to personal activities as well. It is also a part of project management or project planning in which a project’s completion depends heavily on time management.
If you have a full-time job and a busy personal life then keeping a balance between the two must be your top priority. The only people who complain about having less time are the ones who do not put their time to good use. A tough and demanding eight hours of work per day takes a lot out of you so it is important to know whether or not you spend your time productively. A lot of time spent doing one task is definitely not efficient. Here, the concept of time management is quite helpful.
The following are various techniques, methods and procedures that can be used to manage time efficiently and effectively.
This is used to fill in the schedule for the week. In a weekly planner, you can schedule weekly commitments, meetings and other social and personal activities. It is an easy method through which you can easily organise your work and leisure activities each week. A good weekly planner can be made manually in Microsoft Excel or a template can be obtained from the internet that can help you organise your tasks and save time.
This is similar to a weekly planner but contains commitments, duties, and meetings for the whole month. It is an effective way to manage and keep track of events, targets and deadlines for the month. Whenever a task is assigned or a meeting is set, this can be set in the monthly calendar as a reminder. This usually works best in the Microsoft Outlook program in which a monthly calendar is present where activities can be saved and a reminder is set.
This is a list containing tasks to be accomplished for a particular day. It can be a single list or a number of lists coupled together. A properly drafted todo list is important for business activities, project management and planning. Other personal chores, such as grocery and shopping lists, can also be listed using the same tool. After a particular task is accomplished, it is checked off to mark its completion.
This is an old technique and is used to prioritise the activities by categorising them in large groups. These groups are named A, B and C — hence the name. Group A contains activities that are important and urgent, group B includes activities that are important but not necessarily urgent and group C contains activities that are neither important nor urgent. This compilation of prioritised tasks is an organised way of keeping track of various chores and projects either personal or professional.
The Pareto analysis also known as the 80-20 rule uses a concept that states that 80 per cent of the tasks can be completed in 20 per cent of the time and the remaining 20 per cent of the tasks will take 80 per cent of the time. Keeping this in mind, tasks that are of high importance should be place in the first category. Each task takes a certain amount of time to be completed and there are multiple ways to carry out a particular task. That is why you should choose an efficient way that requires less time and gives more outcomes. When work is organised, it automatically produces better results in less time.
POSEC stands for Prioritising by Organising, Streamlining, Economising and Contributing. This means prioritising your time by various methods and setting goals for your work and personal life, organising tasks that bring you success in the business, streamlining possibly tedious tasks, and finally finding the time to indulge in recreation.
By prioritising tasks and implementing these methods, managing time is sure to become easier than ever.