The rhythm in which most of us live can hardly be called calm and measured. The lack of time is a challenge that not everyone can handle. We felt the lack of time, the pressure of deadlines, and the stress of being forced to rush. And every time we told ourselves that next time we would watch our time more carefully, plan everything, and not do many tasks. Or, on the contrary, to do all the things at once.
Emotional stress blocks productivity, which leads to rapid fatigue and apathy. To avoid becoming a victim of stress, it is worth thinking about time management.
About time management
Time management is the ability to rationally allocate time resources. In modern times, time management has become one of the necessary practices for productive business people. Each of us has the right to use the limited number of seconds in life in his or her way. Some spend it on entertainment, while others spend it on the study, work, or travel. By allocating the resource of our lives, we use time as an investment in projects, self-development, and health care.
Manage your time not only during working hours but also during rest periods. This will help you better recover your strength, as well as give you the opportunity to feel the happy, self-sufficient, and successful person.
Is it that easy?
First, you define a goal, then you put it into your plan. And then you start moving toward it. But it’s not all that simple, and there can be certain difficulties.
For example, it’s not easy for everyone to start planning their day, or at least their work schedule. Someone does not see the sense in it and thinks that it will not increase their productivity. And someone who has never done any planning will indeed have a hard time getting started. However, even a pre-written shopping list will save time, money and make a difference.
By making a to-do list in advance, you know exactly what you need, and you don’t waste time searching or thinking. You get everything you need to do right away.
Also, some things don’t seem significant enough to stand out. Some things just suddenly fall on your head. It’s almost by definition impossible to make a list that way.
There are indeed techniques that a basic list for the day should have no more than the 4 most important things to do. And the list is effective when the most important things are completed. It is worth leaving time for unexpected tasks, one way or another they will appear.
Also, you can make a block for small tasks and start doing things you have been dreaming about for a long time.
Don’t get hung up on standards, and don’t approach planning scientifically. The list, its structure, and purpose are yours and you can keep it as you see fit.
And in our team…
We surveyed within the team and found out that every employee plans his or her tasks. Isn’t that great? Some keep a diary. Some keep everything in their heads, and some colleagues use stickers, task managers, notes on the phone, and calendars. But one way or another, they keep track of their daily routine.
How long have employees been planning? Mostly a year or more. Some started planning a few months ago, some since they started working, but it’s never too late to start. They plan tasks for the day or week so that everything is clearly organized.
Mainly they plan based on the urgency of their performance. In second place comes complexity. And someone is guided by his free time and duration of the performance. We succeed when we accomplish a limited number of tasks carefully, diligently, and consistently.
Distracted from work?
One of the phenomena associated with the concept of time management, and with which it is intended to combat, is procrastination. The inability to concentrate and do important things, the distraction of attention to secondary activities and extraneous stimuli is the greatest scourge of post-industrial society.
Procrastination is a symptom. It indicates problems that you don’t want to admit. For example, difficult tasks, overwhelm, or we don’t know where to start. Perhaps we do not see the point in doing some work.
We need to find the right problem solutions. For example, to divide large projects into small tasks and to rest in time. We must listen to ourselves, understand the difference between the signals of a tired mind and the body’s unwillingness to move.
However, you should not neglect your rest. Plan it as one of the main tasks. The quality and speed of the work you do depend on how well you refresh your energy. Don’t neglect your sleep either. Otherwise, depression and loss of energy are guaranteed, and it’s not worth waiting for productive work.
We asked our employees if they took breaks between tasks, and most said yes. After all, one of the foundations of good time management is the ability to objectively assess your resources and time, set manageable tasks, and be able to rest.
Of course, it is very difficult to work non-stop. And it is impossible to go into business with your mind and completely ignore the world around you. That’s why employees are sometimes distracted during work. Do they have time to complete scheduled cases? Not always. Sometimes tasks are completed on time, sometimes they are postponed. But anyway, they are finished.
How to manage everything?
Every day, try to take a few minutes to make a plan for the next day. You can plan in a diary or use services like Google Calendar. Try to plan no more than four important tasks for the day. If you think there will be time left over, you can add small subtasks that you don’t mind putting off until tomorrow. Don’t forget to allow time for rest and leave a little for the unexpected. After all, no one is immune to unforeseen difficulties.
Everyone has a dream, which turns into a certain goal. To achieve it, we have to set goals and understand what we are working for. You need to learn how to set goals correctly. First, think about what you want. The goal should be realistic, achievable, relevant, measurable, and time-bound. Having defined the goal and objectives, you can gradually move towards the result and use your resources rationally.
To achieve your goal, you need to learn how to prioritize and highlight important processes. It is better to put the hardest and most repulsive activity ahead of everyone else, or after a small number of subtasks, to have time to do everything planned. If you constantly postpone difficult activities, you can get excessive emotional stress and decrease your ability to work.
There is another method to help prioritize everything. It is called the Eisenhower Matrix. It allows you to divide things into four categories:
- Urgent and important. They are worth doing first. Procrastination with such tasks can have negative consequences.
- Important, but not urgent. Do not put them off for too long, because they may become urgent and important.
- Urgent, but not very important. These cases mostly take a lot of time, so you can delegate them to someone else.
- Unimportant and non-urgent. Such activities can be kept to a minimum.
Try to analyze the period of your life from time to time. Pay attention to how you spent your time, how quickly you reached your goals, what difficulties you encountered, and how you overcame them. Try to note if you are satisfied with your actions. This analysis will help you abandon methods that are not effective, allowing time for other important work and new ideas.
As for the colleagues…
Due to the COVID-19 situation, Techvice employees work remotely from home. So we asked them how things were going with their free time. Some don’t stretch their workday, and some do. But in any case, it doesn’t affect their work. They try to control tasks and get everything done on time.
And at the end, we asked if they noticed a difference before and after they started planning. Based on the responses of colleagues, it can be noted that planning played a role. It allows employees to structure tasks and keep track of them, rather than rushing to remember what else needs to be done.
Managing time is difficult. After all, it means a change in life. You can’t literally control it – you can’t stop it, you can’t bring it back, you can’t look ahead. But you can work on yourself, your accomplishments, and manage the individual elements in your life.