Have you ever used the “Because I don’t have time” excuse? It’s the most common and most irrelevant excuse people make when they fail to do something. Why is it irrelevant? Because we all have 24 hours a day with us. How we use those 24 hours is all that matters. So, let’s learn more about Time Management which is the Art & Science of planning and controlling the time you invest in various activities.
Important Time Management Skills
Scheduling: To arrange for something to happen or be done at a particular time
Goal setting: It involves the development of an action plan designed in order to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal.
Prioritizing: To put tasks, problems, etc. in order of importance, so that you can deal with the most important first
Multi-tasking: The ability of a person to do more than one thing at the same time
Strategizing: Skills that enable you to use critical thinking to solve problems and plan for the future
Effective Time Management Tips:
Plan in advance
Segregating your priority & non priority tasks
Making a daily morning To-do list
Make highest use of your golden hours or the most productive hours
Add Time frame/limit to your tasks
Stick to the deadlines
Get sufficient breaks wherever required
Difference between Urgent vs Important
Urgent : Urgent means a task requires immediate attention, putting you in a reactive mode, You become defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly-focused.
Important: Important tasks contribute to your long-term mission. Sometimes important tasks are also urgent, but typically they’re not. Focusing on important tasks puts you in a responsive mode, which keeps you calm, collected, and inventive.
The Eisenhower Box, also called the Eisenhower matrix, is used by people to organize their duties and tasks based on their categories of Urgent and Not Urgent as well as Important & Not Important.
It will help you to place your tasks and evaluate them on the basis of urgency and importance:
Quadrant I (Urgent and Important)
Example:-Family member is hospitalized from a car accident and you need to pick up their children and care for them overnight
Quadrant II (Not urgent but important)
Example:-You need to get a wellness check up. Items in this quadrant allow you to be proactive. You should spend most of the time working on this quadrant.
Quadrant III (Urgent but not important)
Example: – Your boss wants information for a report that is due tomorrow. Or, you want to clean the house before your extended family arrives for dinner. These are usually someone else’s important items.
Quadrant IV (Not urgent and not Important)
Example: – You are reading junk mail or surfing the web. These items are considered “busy work”. You may use these items as an escape.
Some important concepts related to Time Management
Sisyphus Effect: It is often suggested to have a to-do list for better time management. But the list shouldn’t be extremely long making it unachievable. This is called the Sisyphus effect of an endless to-do list. This helps us to learn about prioritizing work and not to accept new commitments if you have a fixed to-do list.
Pareto Principle: 80-20 Rule
The Pareto principle was named after an Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Fedrico Pareto. The Principle states that 80% of our work can be achieved in 20% of the time. In effective time management we must observe that the 20% of our activities and work are so crucial that they directly affect our 80% of output.
Example: In a typical meeting, 80% of decisions are usually taken in 20% of the time spent in the meeting. Rest is usually discussion, talks, achievements, etc.
Activity: My Matrix
When: During session
How: Following the instructions of your trainer, make a “To-Do” list and arrange that in the matrix
1) Which of the following Google apps can be best for you to practice Time Management?
a) Google Docs
b) Google Calendar
c) Google Notes
d) Google Drawing
2) Anamika has been given the authority of 2 office projects, Project A on 21st of a particular month and Project B on 28th of the same month. Mark the correct order of the project Anamika must work on.
a) Project B and then Project A
b) Both projects at the same time
c) Choose any random Project
d) Project A and then Project B
3) According to Eisenhower Box, you will delete a task which is __________?
a) Important & Urgent
b) Not Important & Urgent
c) Not Important & Not Urgent
d) Important & Not Urgent
4) Which of the following is not a Time Management tip?
a) Random Start
b) Stick to deadline
5) According to Eisenhower Box, you will immediately do a task which is __________?
a) Not Urgent & Important
b) Urgent & Not Important
c) Urgent & Important
d) Not Urgent & Not Important