Ef­fec­tive time man­age­ment

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“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.

Weekly plan­ner

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.

Monthly cal­en­dar

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.

To-do list

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.

ABC anal­y­sis

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.

Pareto anal­y­sis

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 method

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.

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