When we were in school, our entire day used to be divided into definite segments. Every class in the school had a particular time period allotted to it and the teacher had to complete the course for the day within that stipulated time. In fact, our playtime and study time were also time bounded by our parents. Whether we liked it or not, this particular schedule during our school days is what made it worthy. We learned to manage our time, everyday activities and most importantly the ultimate discipline of life.
With the due course of time as we reach college, the entire concept of Time Management tends to go up for a toss. Then we finally get to realise its significance as soon as we experience the transformation from being a student to a working professional in the industry.
With all the piled up work, strict deadlines, multiple work points and a never ending list of Do’s and Don’ts, time management comes up as a boon in disguise. With the help of various corporate training programs, we slowly get to understand the role of time in our lives.
It basically refers to the process of planning and effectively using the hours and minutes of a day in the most efficient manner possible. Now when it comes to the art of time management for the working professionals, there are four main questions that arise in most of our minds:
In the present scenario of Covid-19 crisis, almost half of the world is working remotely from their homes. In this situation, the main challenge is to prepare a schedule which would help you to organize your daily chores as well as your organisational commitments in an efficient manner. In most of the corporate training sessions in India, the very first thing that is taught in time management is the preparation of your schedule. So you must ensure that every morning you sit and jot down all the tasks that you need to complete within the day. Try to give adequate time to each task so that you neither over-exhaust yourself nor sit idle at any point of time.
You need to prioritize your work and prepare a proper sequence to make sure that you do not miss out on your deadlines and accomplish your goals efficiently. You should also keep in mind that work schedules need to be unique for every individual. If a particular schedule works well for your colleague, it does not necessarily mean that it would suit well for you too. That’s why you need to choose your own priorities and utilise the time for improving your efficiency.
No matter how much we defend ourselves on this, we all know that there is a huge difference between being busy with our work and being productive in our work. One needs to understand that working without a goal leads to no result at all. Most of the corporate trainers stress on the fact that you need to set your own targets and give your best to meet the targets on time. It is always advisable to time-bound a particular task so that you are able to finish it on a priority basis and enhance your productivity at the same time.
Before knowing how to deal with them, one needs to first recognise their own time wasters. The best way to analyse your time wasters is to make use of ‘Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix’.
You can simply put your everyday tasks on this particular matrix and get a fair idea of which are the essential activities and which activities can be given a pass. If you attend any kind of behavioural trainings for corporates, you would get a fair idea of how to eliminate these time wasters from your day.
As soon as you get to know about the activities which might not prove to be very fruitful for your day, you can just simply avoid them or reduce their frequency. Now for example, we know that it is not possible to stop making coffee and munchies while working at home. But you can at least avoid making coffee ‘five’ times in a day. This would ensure that you save minimum an hour which you would be able to use in meeting your deadlines.
We always crib about the fact that we do not have ‘enough time’ in our hands.
Procrastination is an enemy of every working professional in the industry. Delaying a particular action to a later time is a major drain on productivity. If you try to set your goals and attack the task on the first go, then there would be no need to crib for lack of time in your hands. There are many behavioural skills training sessions where ‘Procrastination’ is discussed as a vital topic.
Even if you are multitasking, your priorities must be clear to you. Always try to finish off with the work that you have started. Leaving a particular task midway and doing something else might just break the flow and you may end up procrastinating.
So once you get clarity on all the above mentioned questions, it would get easier for you to manage your time well. Nowadays, we all have a lot of spare time in our hands due to the Covid-19 crisis. Everyone is locked down in their houses. In such a scenario, you must utilise your time in increasing your efficiency, working on your business communication skills, brushing up your talents and spending lots and lots of quality time with your family. Manage your time in such a way that you meet your organisational as well as individual goals.