By Areeba Altaf Saudi Life
“IT’S 9 p.m., and there are still three assignments that need to be submitted by tonight. I have to attend a one-hour lecture at my virtual university, and then there’s dinner. And yes, I had to call a friend who had been waiting for my call since two days How will I hit the bed at 11 p.m. so that I can wake up at 4 a.m. to leave for office? Phew! So much to do and so little time!” These thoughts rushed in Khalid’s mind as he stared at his watch.
In fact, most of us face this issue of “so much to do, so little time” and we constantly find ourselves saying “Life is in such a fast forward mode, no time to pause.”
Well, it is not the time that is insufficient, but it is, in fact, our poor time management.
What is time management?
Time management is about effective scheduling of your time, goal setting, prioritizing and choosing what to do and what not to do, delegating tasks, analyzing and reviewing your spent time, organizing your workspace, keeping your concentration and focus at your work, and motivating yourself to work towards a goal.
Time itself can’t be managed. It is constant and it always goes forward, never backwards. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. Therefore, if you are managing time, you are not trying to manipulate time, you are trying to make the best use of your time because time cannot be stored, and its availability can neither be increased beyond nor decreased from the 24 hours.
Why is time management important?
Time management helps us make conscious choices, so we can spend more of our time doing things that are important and valuable to us. A small amount of time once a day, or even once a week, will take us closer to our goals.
Time management can help us reduce wasted time and energy, and become more creative and productive, thus enabling us to do the right thing at the right time, which will lead to more balance and fulfilment in our lives. Because of better time management, we gain extra productive hours. We tend to be more disciplined when at work instead of gossiping with co-workers or aimlessly browsing the Internet.
We are better organized and can prevent deadlines from becoming a problem. Because our work hours then are much more productive, we will be working less while achieving more. In the end, this results in more free time to spend with our family and doing extra activities.
How to manage time?
1. The most effective way for maximizing the time is to balance our online and offline time. We are today suffering from can be called the ‘24/7 quick response,’ always expecting the other person to be online and respond. Avoiding gadgets is getting harder and damaging our productivity. We should create such thing as offline time, where there should no interruptions due to emails, phone calls and other social media notifications.
2. Managing your schedule around when you have the most energy to dedicate to the highest return tasks.
3. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is supposed to help you get more things done quickly, but when you try to do 19 things at once, everything ends up incomplete. You’re trying to simplify your life, so simplify your approach to getting organized!
4. Take breaks: While it’s tempting to continue working when you’re on a roll, it’s important to take short breaks every few hours in order to get refreshed. Take a moment to stretch, eat a healthy snack, or grab a cup of tea. Not only will this allow your body and brain to recover, it will give you some extra energy so that you can tackle your projects more effectively.
5. Weekly reviews and updates are also an important strategy. Each week, perhaps on a Friday night, review your assignments, your notes, your calendar. Be mindful that as deadlines and exams approach, your weekly routine must adapt to them. First thing in the morning, check what’s ahead for the day and always go to sleep knowing you’re prepared for tomorrow
6. Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can improve your focus and concentration, which will make you more efficient so that you can complete your work in less time.
7. Learn techniques that will help you complete your tasks at a faster rate
8. Ask yourself which activity is more important and how much time should be allocated to the same. Know which work should be done earlier and which can be done a little later. The very act of taking a moment to thinking about the time before spending it will begin to improve our personal time management and increase productivity immediately. It’s easy to wonder where the time went if you don’t have an accurate picture of how you spent it
9. Some inner detachment and inner peace is of great help in managing time effectively. If we avoid expending too much emotional and mental energy on what people say and think about us, and if we stay calm in spite of distractions or difficulties, we can save a lot of time and energy, which we can spend on better and more rewarding activities.
10. Don’t misuse time – Do not waste time by loitering or gossiping around. Concentrate on your work and finish assignments on time, and then do whatever you feel like doing. Don’t wait till the last moment.
In the end, I hope you all remember the quote: “A stitch in time, saves nine.”