Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. - Carl Sandburg
How effectively are you utilizing your available time? Are you giving your best to the time allotted to you? Are you being just to the precious time in your hand? Or are you simply letting it flow and blaming it for not being available to you the way you want it? Reasons and excuses are many, but solutions are none. Truly construed by the above idiom, time is your coin and only you can decide how and where you want to spend it. For, you cannot let others utilize your share of time. But then, why do you continuously grumble over lack of availability of time and not fulfilling the assigned set of tasks and duties? Is the work allotted excessive or are you least interested in completing them? It’s none of them; it’s the lack of time management that is the cause of all problems. Unless you learn how to manage time, you are unlikely to increase your productivity, which, in turn, is responsible for low income. For a businessman or an employee to be successful, he should master the art of time management. Illustrated here are some methods of time management which you can utilize to your best and come out with flying colors and no complaints, of course.
Time Management Activities
To begin with, jot down all your scheduled activities, deadlines, resources, and the time required to accomplish each task on a week-plan chart. Prioritize your tasks according to their importance. Apart from the most important tasks to be fulfilled, mark 2-3 goals that will help you in meeting the prioritized tasks and the marked goals together.
Now that you have sketched out a week-plan, it’s time to organize the task to be fulfilled into categories. Depending upon the job and duties to be accomplished, group your work under categories, like staff supervision, daily operations, agency development, and so on. Also, mention the approximate time that you will require for achieving each task.
Track Your Time
While you are engrossed in fulfilling all your scheduled activities, it is important that you keep a track of the time spent on each one of them. Jot down all the activities for the week, including the planned ones and even the routine ones. And make a note of the time you have spent on accomplishing each one of them. Do not write down an approximate time; be specific and take every minute into consideration. This will give you a crystal clear picture of how long each task is and how much time you have utilized in fulfilling them. This would allow you to plan the activities more realistically in the future.
For the entire week, all you need to do is keep a track of all your work done and time utilized in accomplishing each task. At the end of the week, it’s time for some observation and analysis. Glance through your accomplishments and unfinished tasks. Observe which category and task took most of your time. Was it worth spending that much time on that particular task? Or was it simply a waste of time? Now compare your achieved tasks with the tasks you had planned in the beginning of the week. Do you find any differences between the time planned and time spent on each task? Do not be surprised if you find a large variation between the two.
Evaluate & Re-plan
After you have seen how much time you require for fulfilling a particular task, its source, and priority, you now have to decide where you can deduct time and where you need to add in more time. By doing so, you will be able to review the role and sit down with your supervisor to discuss your time analysis, make structural changes, and hire an assistant, if required.
Time Management Plan
Planning and sketching plans will not do any good in helping you to accomplish your assigned tasks and duties. Allotting time to fulfill them is equally important, which is possible only by delegating time for each task and ensuring that you utilize the allocated time for fulfilling that particular task only. If you are occupied by any other activity, hold it back and prioritize your assigned tasks for that time period. Unless you stick to you plans, you are unlikely to fulfill even the unassigned work that you have been doing during a particular time period.
It is very unlikely that you will accomplish your tasks smoothly without any obstacles and problems coming along your way. Work is a natural phenomenon and you are bound to be met by barriers and hindrances in your way. More often, you will be faced with obstacles during tasks due to which the work would remain unfinished and unmet. Find reasons for your failure to complete the task. These barriers could be your disorganized desk or even long unnecessary meetings. Identify the cause of the problem and take steps towards reducing them, so that they do not stand in your way next time.
By implementing your plans and lowering hindrances and barriers, you can surely do justice to your time management graph. Hope these time management activities serve your purpose. All the best!