Why time management is so important
By Tajammul Hussain Marketing Officer
Have you ever wondered how some people have enough time to do everything they want; yet you barely have enough time to do anything? Well, the answer to that is time management. It can be the difference between success, failure and missed opportunities.
Time management is an issue we all face and, yet, ironically, do not have the time to address. Conversely, Benjamin Franklin said ‘time is like money, without being managed properly, how do you know where it’s going?’
We all wish that time could just freeze – especially during assessment and exam periods. We sometimes feel like we do not have control of time – but if we learn to manage time we can earn back some control.
Time management is a complex topic encompassing everything from increasing productivity to work life balance to setting long-term goals. It is therefore importance to be confident to manage time – rather than be managed by it!
Here are some useful tips on how you can manage your time efficiently:
Managing your time
One way you can manage your time is by making a list of everything you have to do. Students normally tend to do the easy stuff first and leave the important tasks towards the end which can have an impact on quality of their work and overall grade. You can also make a more detailed list and add college deadlines, work shifts and also make a note on how long each task will take. Prioritise your assignments and you can do this by starting the habit of tackling your hardest assignments while you are fresh and alert and this will make the remainder of your studies much easier.
Be flexible but realistic
You have 8-10 hours a day for working, studying, socialising and anything else practical you need to do. As a student you have lectures and seminars that you need to attend so out-of-college hours need to be dedicated some time to independent studying. Some things may take longer than you expected so allow extra time for a certain task. You might want to catch up on your favourite TV series on Netflix so allow yourself to do that as it avoids burnout.
Avoid procrastination and distraction
One way to avoid procrastination is to think about the places where you stay most focused. It could be in the library, coffee shops or even in the park. Also you need to think about where you are most distracted and try and avoid those places so you can do work effectively. Just remember what works for some people may not necessarily work for you. For some, studying with friends might limit productivity but for others it can help to increase motivation and avoid procrastination. It is therefore worth testing out what works and does not work for you.
Exercise your head
Believe it or not, exercise works in the same way sleep does. It can focus your mind, helping you to clear your head and boost your brain power in between study sessions. Getting into the habit of reflecting, thinking and planning will help you concentrate and get work completed.
Persevere when things do not go right. You may have not been received the grade you wanted or may feel unrewarded for you hard work. Develop strategies for dealing with pressure such as taking regular exercise or taking up a hobby. Take a positive attitude towards failure as you learn most from your mistakes.
Share tasks or problems
Just as others would want to delegate their tasks to you there will be times where you want to delegate work to others. If you have tasks that is not on your list of priorities, you can always delegate that work to someone else.
Use a time log
Note down everything you do in a week to identify areas of your life where you waste time. Also write down the times where you are most productive and make sure during these times you do the demanding tasks on your list.
Review your progress
Time management skills are essential if you want to get the best possible results from your life. As you improve your time management skills, you will find that you get more valuable work completed in less time. It is not about increasing the quantity of work that you complete. It is all about ensuring that you complete your most important tasks which will enable you to achieve your goals quicker and with less stress. There are many different ways to manage your time management skills. If you take one point and work on trying to improve that then you will find that it has knock on effect on your entire performance:
- Revise plans as appropriate
- Map out several routes to your goal
- Have a contingency plan
In summary, managing time is a process of planning of how time should be spent on various activities. It involves a form of juggling between study, work, family and commitments and is overall a choice – a choice to do the right thing.