Time management – our top tips…

Time management – our top tips…

Time Management

Why is it important? 

Managing your own time allows efficient completion of tasks without having a build up behind you. Sometimes it can be overwhelming knowing that you can’t seem to find time to get everything done. The key to fixing this feeling is taking the time to manage your diary. The skills learnt in education; that is, ensuring that all work is done on time, complete work to make way for recreation, and subscribing to a timetable that works for you are all roots for good time management.

There are many problems associated with time management: procrastination, lack of drive, distractions, lack of preparation, time wasting etc. The good news is that all of these can be conquered with strength of mind and some choice tips, outlined below!

 

timer and time management

Our top tips…

1. Plan, plan, plan…

Taking the time to plan out your day is more important than you think. Much like writing an essay or any piece of work, your time needs to be planned out in as much detail as possible, to ensure that it is not wasted. At the beginning of any work stint, ensure that you know how you have broken up your day appropriately, and you know what you are working on at certain points in the day. By doing this, you are aware of how long you have to complete the work, as well as not losing track of the bigger picture. It is easy to get behind schedule, so try your utmost to keep to the timetable you laid out – this tends to lead to a sense of accomplishment when a piece of work is completed on time.

A word of warning: don’t let the planning stage of the working day become a distraction in itself. Do not draw it out, as this can easily become a way of procrastinating from the work you are yet to do! Therefore, try not to spend more than 45 minutes preparing for the day to come, as this will maximise the time you have for the rest of the day.

 

2. Keep working hours…

Making sure that you follow hours of work and routine are an important aspect of time management. By having a routine, you ensure that your mind and body know what is coming up, and is shown to improve the creation of distraction free work sessions. What is usually suggested is mirroring hours that are kept in a 9-5 job. By doing this, you ensure a consistent get up time, and can ensure the amount of work sessions that you complete in a day. 

It is very easy to let the day get away from you, so by ensuring that you are working during these ‘core hours’, there can be no scope for wasted time!

 

3. Take a break…

It is often assumed that to work hard you cannot afford yourself any time to break. To be efficient, the opposite is often the truth. The brain, like any part of the body, requires a break every now and then to ensure that it is working at peak potential.

There are several ways of breaking up sessions, but a popular method used is called the Pomodoro Method. Put simply, this method has the user working for 25 minutes, then having a break for 5 minutes. After 4 rounds of this, you then get a longer break to further give the brain a rest. The value in this method is that it ensures that regularly your focus is slackened, which enables your mind to relax. They are also integral for assimilating the information that has been learnt throughout the session. 

 

4. Set goals…

Making sure you have definable goals before you start your day/work session is crucial not only for ensuring that they are completed, but also for the sense of success on completing the days work and ticking it off the list. Ensuring that tasks are manageable is important, as a failed objective can lead to periods of low productivity, which can put you behind of your schedule; there is no such thing as too easier a task, so make sure that the small wins add up to a large win.

 

5. Sleep!

Sleep is so crucial to ensuring good time management; time management is also crucial to having a good sleep schedule! Pulling all nighters will never be as efficeint as making the time in advance to complete the work. The generaly accepted number of hours needed for a healthy adult is between 7 and 9 hours, so ensuring you are as close to hitting this number as possible will only enhance your ability to manage your time and apply to more jobs.

 

6. Distraction; cut it out!

Distraction and procrastination are the enemy of productivity, so finding ways of removing them allows sessions of work to be more efficient, and less time is wasted. As Benjamin Franklin was attributed with saying, ‘You may delay, but time will not’. Rather than letting the distraction pull you away, sometimes it is necessary to make a deal with yourself – if I do this work now, I can do something I want to do later on. It also goes without saying that turning off your phone and informing friends of your decision to work makes the process easier!

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