"Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves." - Lord Chesterfield
Ever felt jealous of someone for he had a couple of extra hours every day when you only had just 24? What, do you think it to be impossible? Then how come you always have to rush for every deadline as it approaches, while he has spare time to indulge in even extra curricular activity? If you have difficulties matching up with the clock and your days are shrinking day, it is a signal that you seriously need to manage your time. Time management is nothing but being conscious of the pace of time and scheduling the tasks and activities accordingly, giving each activity appropriate amount of time. If one is aware that time is a dynamic entity, then it becomes easier to respect it. If you learn time management you will not only be able to accomplish tasks in time but you will also have some time with you to spare for the activities you always planned but never got the time for. If you are working then while preparing schedules for managing time keep in mind to manage a harmony between the times you specify for personal and professional activities.
Managing Your Time
Try to set a list of tasks which are random in nature. This is because one might get bored of the monotonous nature of the job and his concentration might divulge to some other thing, hence affecting the productivity and the schedule. Also doing tasks of diverse nature keeps one refreshed and mind agile.
Prioritize your tasks and set them according to the urgency. This would not only help you meet the deadlines, but also give you more time for the tasks which you need to complete later. Start planning for the tasks which need to be completed urgently. Next keep in line the tasks which need to be done in the near future. Chores that have no deadlines and urgency can be done later. However, it is advised to assign proper time for the daily as well as weekly, monthly and yearly task. Finishing even a small part of every task every day can lessen the burden greatly.
Managing The Day
Instead of contending with someone else, try competing with yourself. Divide the work into small tasks, then set a particular time frame for each small task and try to outperform yourself every time. And if you are able to finish beforetime, treat yourself. However, this does not mean your days are "all work and no play". Set the schedule in such a way that you have ample rest in between. Intervals rejuvenate you and also motivate you to achieve the set targets.
Try keeping a written record of the scheduled tasks and cross each task as you complete it. This will help you in keeping a track of your schedule. Also, the list of the task with crossed items on it will give you a sense of confidence and achievement. Furthermore, if at any point of time you feel like remodeling the list or shuffling a few items just go ahead with it.
Though work is important, proper rest is equally important and should never be avoided or compromised. Most of the times, people tax themselves way too much and still end up not being able to meet the deadlines. Ever wondered why? This is because they compromise on a very vital component of living—sleep. Unless the body gets proper rest and sleep, it would not act promptly. Lethargic body is equivalent to dullness which is bad for someone who is headstrong on meeting targets. Rest refreshes the body and the mind and acts as a fuel for completing the targets.
Always set up realistic goals for yourself. Don't spread yourself too thin by overwhelming your day with an unrealistic schedule that would be difficult to accomplish. Try setting appropriate number of jobs and allot proper time to each task. Also, make sure you keep a little extra time so that if any task needs more than the allotted time, you have time to spare. Also, if in the beginning you are not able to compute the right amount of time for any or all the jobs then don't panic as you will be able to do it in an efficient manner with a little time.
While managing time and planning a schedule for work be flexible and relax.
An interesting factor which should be considered while preparing a schedule for yourself is that, some people are more productive in the morning than the evening. So, plan the schedule accordingly.
One should keep an eye for the unexpected in life as it can and it will definitely creep in, like you are assigned a task which you were not expecting but it's urgent as it will effect the decision of a major client. With most unusual circumstances, it may take no more than an hour or a few days to return to your usual schedule.
Whatever it is, know that the clock ticks continuously and waits for none. So, before time overtakes you and you lag behind, take charge and manage your minutes and hours well.