In the contemporary world, time is one of the most valuable resources. Having time means being able to accomplish more productive tasks, make a larger contribution, and a stronger impact. An individual with well-developed time management skills is wanted at any workplace due to their ability to produce better results. As a concept, time management is applied to a variety of spheres of life (such as career, education, self-improvement, private life) and is a basis for personal planning and organization of individual resources.
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Each day lasts for 24 hours. However, somehow some individuals are able to fit many more tasks and accomplishments within this time than others, and the key to this ability is good time management (“What is Time Management?: Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity” par. 1). Time management is best described as one’s awareness of the ways they spend time on the daily basis (“Time Management” par. 1).
This definition includes the evaluation of quality and quantity of one’s activities and their influence on the overall working process time management is applied to. Going through the activities of the day, one would be likely to identify some of their habits that can be seen as useful or harmful to the process improvement and productivity. The most important attribute of good time management is the focus of the manager.
It is crucial that one moves their focus from the process and its qualities to the final results it might create (“What is Time Management?: Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity” par. 3). Being busy is often associated with high achievements, but in practice the correlation is the opposite. It is believed that to produce good results one is to work hard, but in reality all that is requires is working smart.
Traditionally, time management is associated with one’s ability to accomplish more assignment and duties within a certain period of time, but often the first task for a time manages is to eliminate some of the activities and habits that kill productivity. The most efficient killer of productivity in the contemporary world is a distraction that usually leads to procrastination and consumes hours of valuable time that could be spent on useful accomplishments (Long par. 9).
The modern technological progress has created a variety of means for distraction such as smartphones, computers, and the internet. Due to everyone’s total connectedness the individuals of all ages these days are frequently distracted reading the news, scrolling through social networks, checking emails, and answering phone calls. One may give in to these distractions multiple times for short periods or a few times ending up as lengthy sessions of procrastination. Regardless of the pattern, the results are similar in both cases – valuable time is lost, and working process is interrupted. Elimination of the habit to procrastinate is quite hard, especially knowing how addictive the internet and total connectedness can be.
That is why the best way to address distractions is to organize them. For instance, the emails and messages can be checked only during specially arranged breaks and only those that concern work should be responded. Leisure activities such as social visits to social networks can be included in the time management schedule as parts of lunch or coffee breaks conducted for a purpose of rest from work. However, it is important to remember that the most harmful property of distraction is the individuals’ inability to control the amount of time they consumer. That way, careful planning of the day and sticking with the schedule is a key to keeping procrastination under control and preventing it from making a negative impact on the daily activities.
In addition to the activities and behaviors that need to be excluded, good time management requires some habits that one has to add to their daily life. First of all, the beginning of successful time management lies in the clearly established priorities for the project or a day (Burn-Callander par. 1). Secondly, having a very busy day, one is to be prepared for a high density of activities and tasks. It is important to keep them from piling up because doing several things at a time serves as an ultimate distraction and productivity killer. A multitude of activities can be management by means of the delegation, or hierarchical organization based on the priorities set previously.
Besides, the plan for the day is to include breaks between the activities since switching instantly from one task to another is unrealistic, so if the items of a plan are too close together there is a risk of not getting into some of them in time (“10 Common Time Management Mistakes” par. 18). In other words, interruptions need to become a part of the schedule (Mathews, Debolt, and Percival par. 14).
To conclude, time management is not as much a specific set of new behaviors to learn as it is a list of things to cross out of one’s daily activities. Time management is based on the elimination of the main errors an individual makes during the day, among them there are distractions, procrastinations, inability to delegate, attempts to do several things at a time, and planning tasks without any “breathing time” in between.
10 Common Time Management Mistakes 2015. Web.
Burn-Callander, Rebecca. Ten time management techniques that really work. 2014. Web.
Long, Jonathan. Become a Productivity Monster by Eliminating These 5 Time- Wasting Habits. 2015. Web.
Mathews, John, Don Debolt, and Deb Percival. How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work. 2015. Web.
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Time Management 2011. Web.
What is Time Management?: Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity 2015. Web.