Have you ever wondered how some people tend to have all the time in the world to effectively plan out their tasks and activities while there are others who seem to rush every single day to complete their daily chores? Is it that the former category of people has fewer tasks to complete than the latter? Well, that might be the case in some situations but generally speaking the fact is that they are better at managing their time. Effective time management and practicing good time management skills isn’t always a herculean task. As a matter of fact, time management is a surprisingly easy thing to do. All it requires is some investment of time upfront to prioritize and organize.
Understanding the difference between urgent and important
To begin with, time management is all about prioritizing. When you have a list of tasks to accomplish, it is important that you are able to organize the tasks in their order of priority. This typically means, you will have to understand the difference between what tasks are urgent and what are important.
Urgent tasks are those that demand your immediate attention and action. However, whether you give them that attention may or may not matter. On the other hand, important tasks are those that need to be completed and not doing them may have serious consequences. When you understand the distinction between urgent and important, time management becomes easy.
Basic principles of good time management
Apart from understanding the critical difference between tasks that are urgent and those that are important, there are a few basic or rather, guiding principles that you should always follow in order to become efficient at time management. These principles are enlisted below –
- Keep tidy:
This might seem totally unrelated but in reality, clutter is quite depressing. When you are all neat and tidy, you are sure to feel good and this will reflect in the way you perform your tasks. In most cases, tidying up can actually improve your self-esteem as well as motivation.
- Identify your time zone:
Every individual has this productive time zone when they tend to work at their best efficiency. Identify this time zone and keep your most important tasks for this time. For some people, it is the early morning time while for others; it could be the evening time when they feel fresh and active. This time period is your most productive time period so plan your tasks around it accordingly.
- Don’t procrastinate; there is never a better time than now:
If there is a task that is genuinely important and urgent, make no excuses to yourself. Do not procrastinate for the later you push the task to, the more uninteresting and difficult it would seem to complete. While you should never procrastinate, you definitely should feel interested and motivated to perform that task so yes, ask yourself why you are performing that task and how is it going to benefit you in the long run.
- Multi-tasking is not good:
Generally, people tend to believe that they can be more efficient when they multi-task. But the fact is quite the opposite. Efficiency levels drop when you have your mind on several tasks. Switching between tasks tends to make you work harder and this will have a negative impact on your efficiency. It is best to give yourself peace of mind by completing one task before moving on to the other.
- Stay calm and of course, positive:
Staying calm is most important when it comes to efficient time management. Panicking over time lost will further cause inefficiency so relax, stay positive and don’t get too overwhelmed with the huge list of tasks you have in store.