reflective writing on time management

reflective writing on time management

Effective Time Management Strategies

1. Introduction

If you have ever worked long hours in a day, missed out on your business and personal goals, have older children or a partner, or wanted to relax while still achieving your goals – well, you are in the right place. To be more effective in your business and personal life, you need awareness and discipline. You are competing in a fast-paced, always changing business environment. World and economic events can create short or long-term effects on your business and personal life. In order to be competitive in your business, you must be aware and prepare for changes that affect your business. Sometimes your business and personal goals are long-term goals, and you have to have the ability to stay focused and maintain course, despite these changes. A strategic approach is the only way to be able to adapt to these changes and effectively manage your time. Effective time management enables you to adapt to these changes and will provide you with the means to be competitive and achieve your personal and business goals.

2. Setting Priorities

Setting priorities has to do with making choices to commit to certain activities. Prioritizing is about making sure that you focus your efforts on the tasks that are important to you. It’s about order in your life. With a sequence of tasks that put you on a path to reach your goals and determine which of these tasks are most important. This way, you will not waste time on tasks that don’t matter. Some ways of deeming what is an important task can be asking yourself questions, such as “Do I really need to do this?” “How would I feel if this didn’t get done?” “What are the consequences of not doing this task?” These questions will help you to really figure out what the task is worth to you, showing you how urgent and important it is. Now you are able to distinguish the importance of each task. A method to visually see and prioritize the importance of the task is to draw a table and plot the task along the axis of Urgency and Importance. A task that is urgent and important should be scheduled to do first, whereas an important task that is not urgent should be planned to do later, so that it becomes an urgent and important task. A task that is not important should be disregarded.

3. Creating a Schedule

One of the biggest obstacles in creating a schedule is sticking to it. Procrastination is the art of delaying tasks which you know you should be doing. It’s important to recognize the signs of when you procrastinate and what tasks you normally avoid. This will help you recognize the differences between time when you are relaxing and time when you are procrastinating. Always make sure that your tasks are scheduled at the appropriate time. For example, don’t allocate a difficult task to late at night when you may be tired.

Now that you have a clear idea of your goals and objectives, the next step is to develop a plan. A good way to do this is to break large tasks down into smaller, more manageable ones. This makes it easier to schedule as you can allocate only short periods of time for each task while still making progress. You can apply the ABC method to help decide which tasks to focus on and which to delegate.

When creating a schedule, there are very specific steps to follow. The first thing you should do is identify how much time you need to spend on your various activities. To help do this, you can use the Time Matrix Exercise. The time matrix exercise can be done by drawing a big square and dividing it into four smaller squares. Label the vertical axis “Urgency” and the horizontal axis “Importance”. Then assign your tasks into one of the 4 squares where it best fits.

4. Overcoming Procrastination

When you discover you have been putting off all tasks until the night before, you know you have a problem. Procrastinating is one of the biggest difficulties you face on an everyday basis when relating to time management. The foremost way to overcome procrastination is to acknowledge that postponing things is simply not a good tactic. It is so much easier to remember this when you have just finished an essay at 4 in the morning or the day the assignment is due. You should use those icky feelings that you have when you are rushing to finish things to encourage yourself to change your behavior. Write down a great deal of the negative and positive aspects of your habitual procrastination then you will have a clearer understanding of why you do it and what are the most effective ways to combat it. You may come to realize that you do your best work under pressure but is the stress and anxiety experienced while rushing to finish worth it? Failing to plan is planning to fail. Many times the reason you procrastinate is due to a lack of direction or a rather hazy one. This in itself makes a task seem more difficult or tedious than it actually is. List your task or tasks and order them in terms of priority. This will give you a clear picture of what needs to be done. Often doing jobs in sequence of difficulty or by doing the smallest easiest job first is an effective way to avoid procrastination. A timetable will then enable you to allocate a suitable amount of time to each task and a realistic deadline. Without skipping the tasks and going straight to the deadlines on the timetable, it is wise to estimate how long each task will take. Over-estimation is better than under-estimation.

5. Time Management Techniques

1. Consider using a planner to record all the crucial dates for the upcoming work within the term. Then break it down into smaller pieces and assign dates to start and finish each part. A planner has the advantage of figuring out if everything can be done in the available time. If not, a decision can be made, based on the relative importance of the tasks, to drop something or allocate more time to it by taking it from something less important.

Balancing a heavy workload with the need to enjoy the social aspects of university life is a difficult task for every student. If you seriously want to succeed and do the best you possibly can, effective time management is a critical step. This term is used often but it’s not always clear what it actually means. Effective time management involves a multi-step process with the purpose of making the best and most efficient use of your time. At its most basic, time management is really the question of what to do next. Done well, it can help you find the time for everything. Done poorly, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress about your workload. There are an infinite number of ways to manage your time, many of them quite complex and some very simple. Here I will outline some of the most popular and most effective methods of time management.

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