Let’s start the year right!

This article shares how you can effectively manage your time in 2020.

Managing our time can be challenging, especially if there are distractions around you. Let’s talk about the things that impact your time. For work, it could be events in your workplace that affect your time.For example, travelling to a different location, or attending a stressful event. Change in the workplace can affect your time, for example new systems or a change in a task, and so on. Your own personal activities too, certainly have an impact on your time. Trying to achieve a better work-life balance so you can spend time with one’s family can impact the available work time, as well as events and activities that are unexpected and out of our control.

Time management is also about managing ourselves. Setting priorities and taking charge are key to time management. We may need to change and adjust our habits and activities so not to waste time.

We take time for granted; we do not realize that time is for us to manage. Sometimes, we let time manage us. All of us have the same number of hours available to us in a day, a week, a month, or a year. It is up to us how we use these hours, which is the important point. We have to be more effective with managing our time so there is more time to do what we really want. Either we manage our time efficiently in order to be more productive and enjoy our leisure time or we let time take us in a world full of stress.

In order for us to make the best use of our time, we should control our activities and make educated decisions. Bad time management usually results in stress. Managing your time allows you do more of what you love; and therefore, feel more relaxed and refreshed for work. We have to be the masters of our time to be in control or our tasks, and to avoid stress.

These are the common problems we encounter in time management and some tips to avoid it:

Distractions – Clutter and noise can eat into your productive time. Make sure there are no distractions or interruptions when you want to work. Having a quiet place would help you focus on what you do.

Poor Delegation – If there are tasks that are not effective use of your time, perhaps you should delegate them if you are confident that the person can complete the task well.

Procrastination – Stop procrastinating! Some things can be done right away. Do not make it a habit to put things off unnecessarily. Postponing urgent tasks only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do important tasks early in the day when you are fresh. If no deadline has been given, make one. Assign yourself a deadline for projects and milestones and write it down in your day planner or calendar. Make your deadlines known to other people who will hold you accountable.

Lack of Planning/Poor Planning – Make use of a planner, write down notes, schedules, and appointments. You may create time management sheets for organisation or colour-code files to make things easier. You have to be organised as much as possible. Use your time accordingly.

Set your goals! Goal- setting can be used in every aspect of your life. It could be both for work and personal. When you set goals, this puts you ahead of the pack.

Always make use of your calendar. Plan the night before. When you write down your action list the night before, your mind focuses on that plan. You will also start fresh and focused on the most important tasks for the day. Cross off completed tasks as this will give your mind a good amount of satisfaction.

Organise your workplace and eliminate clutter. To effectively manage your time and be productive each day, create an appropriate environment.

Lastly, let us not forget to reward ourselves. Celebrate the completion of project milestones and reward yourself for getting projects done on time. It will provide positive reinforcement and motivate you toward completing your goals.

Be consistent and proactive with the use of time. When we know what to do with our time, we can start taking steps to maximize our time, and getting that work-life balance we dream of in 2020.