"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?"Henry David Thoreau
That statement effectively sums up what time management is all about. Most of us go through the day, frazzled with all the tasks that we have to complete. We go from one task to the other, but at the end of the day, when we look at it, we have achieved little.
Effective time management is not about working through the day. Rather, it is about maximizing your productivity in your working hours. If you often feel overwhelmed with project deadlines and tasks to complete, here are a few time management tips that will help you out.
- Prioritize- During a day, we all have tasks that are really urgent, some others which are important but can wait, and the rest which can be left alone for a little while. In order to get the maximum done during a day, learn to prioritize different tasks in front of you. Start off with the most urgent ones and then move to other tasks. If you feel you have too much on your plate, learn to say no rather than committing your time to more than you can handle. Effective time management is also about knowing what you can do in a certain period of time and refusing to take on too much.
- Break up your tasks into small chunks- Sometimes, we get projects that look daunting to us. When that happens, we tend to procrastinate, which leaves us with plenty to do at the last minute. To avoid that, it is always better to break up a single large project into smaller doable chunks. That way, you remain focused on the job and before you know it, your project is completed.
- Sleep well- An average person needs 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep can wreck havoc with your productivity, throwing everything off track. No matter how important work is, make sure you give your body enough rest so that it is ready for battle the next day.
- Start your day on a positive note- A good beginning is half the battle won. In order to stay productive through the day, it is important to start your day on a positive note. Different things may work for different people. For some, meditation may be a good stress-buster while for others, it could be running, exercising, or simply listening to music.
- Avoid interruptions at work- On an average, people get interrupted at work every 8-9 minutes. In an average working day of 8 hours, that translates to more than 60 minutes of interruption. Avoid interruptions at work as much as possible. If your job profile involves handling clients, working on projects, handling e-mails etc., divide your day according to your tasks. Devote an hour to handling clients, an hour to responding to e-mails etc. That ways, when you get down to completing your projects, you will have much less interruptions bothering you.
Most successful people around the world often have time management as their best traits. If you can maximize the 24 hours in a day, you sure could have a very successful life ahead of you.