Time management is the ability to use your time productively, effectively, and efficiently to achieve the desired outcome. Learning how to prioritize time management then becomes the key to helping you achieve the best results out of your daily responsibilities.
Prioritize Time Management
Time never changes. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, no one has more than that and no one has less than that either. Why is it that so many people struggle to manage their time and achieve so little whilst others manage to achieve so much in one single day? Those who achieve the most out of their days attain that because they simply learned how to prioritize time management! It is therefore important to learn ‘why’ it’s essential to prioritize time management and most importantly how to prioritize time management.
Benefits of time management
Good time management helps you to accomplish greater results in a short period. This leads to more free time being available for you to take on more opportunities to do other activities you may want to do for personal growth or leisure. Prioritizing time management helps you focus, lower your stress, deliver work on time, provide a better quality of work, be capable to handle more responsibility, procrastinate less and enjoy life better.
How to prioritize time management:
Identify your time wasters
Time wasters are people, habits, or activities that distract you from achieving your desired goals within a specific time. These time-wasters could be too much socializing, poor planning, perfectionism, lack of skills, trying to do everything yourself, poor delegation, not valuing your own time, being indecisive, saying yes to everyone’s needs, interruptions and distractions.
Once identified, time-wasters have to be simply deleted or at least deferred, that is attend to them only after the most important and urgent tasks are accomplished first. Other time-wasters such as habits are due to personality flaws, hence learning how to overcome bad habits will help you to know how to prioritize time much better.
Pareto’s Principle; the 80/20 rule
Pareto’s 80-20 rule is an aphorism that asserts that 80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event. So this means you can identify and put your efforts (20% actions) where they will make the most difference (give you 80% results). This is certainly a very effective method to save time and invest it in only things that will bring forth greater results in comparison with the amount of time you spent putting effort into accomplishing that work.
Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of the less pleasurable ones. It also entails carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones. This results in putting off impending tasks to a later time.
Ways to overcome procrastination:
Depending on the nature of what needs to be done, to overcome procrastination, these are options to consider:
- either delete the task if it’s not that important,
- set a reward for yourself for motivating you to complete the task,
- remove distractions,
- set a deadline to get it done and practice discipline in completing it,
- break it down into smaller manageable tasks to avoid being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task.
Create your productivity journal
Prioritizing time management is almost impossible without having effective ways to plan well and be organized. A productivity journal is simply a time log for the day-to-day activities you have to do until the time you retire to bed. It’s best to have a personal journal and a professional journal. These two have to be used daily to achieve the best results. Include the date, time, and day before writing what the time log consists of. At least the first three most important tasks should always be prioritized each day. When important tasks are not prioritized, they end up being unnecessarily urgent tasks that will end up stressing you as you try to rush to complete them.
To maximize the power of your productivity journal, always plan it the night before. This way you also help your subconscious mind to prepare your body to get it done soon the following day. Next, never forget to prioritize your tasks. After completing each task, cross it off. This is very motivating as it helps you to see your progress and have the energy to complete the rest. Carryover unfinished tasks and complete them before tackling new ones for a new day.
Tips for making a to-do list:
Step 1: Capture everything you need to do.
Step 2: Prioritize the most important and urgent tasks first.
Step 3: Determine how long does each task or activity take.
Step 4: Tick the action when done.
“Time management is a misnomer – the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen Covey
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