Written by Dorcas Solomon

Have you ever asked yourself how some people are able to work so many different activities into their schedule while others barely seem to have the time. Are they smarter?Doubtful. More Organized? Probably. Better at managing time. Likely.

It is important to note that time management is a personal skill. Only you know your peak work hours, attention span, sleeping needs e.t.c. Finding a time management strategy that best fits your need is important. The following steps can help you determine your strategy.

THE BIG FIVE

1) Plan – Research have shown that individuals who set personal goals have a greater chance of success. Theses individuals have determined, and set on paper what they would like to achieve and how they would like to get there. Their goals are realistic, believable  and achievable. If you want to better manage your time, your first step is to set the goal you would like to achieve.

2) Assess – Your next step is to assess how you are currently using your time. You cannot make productive changes unless you know what areas  need to be changed. You can keep a time log for three days. prioritize your activities and next, analyze your time log. Answers the following questions – Where there any surprises? What patterns could you identify in your time wasters or interruptions? What time of the day do you feel most or least productive? Which activity would you like to totally eliminate.? e.t.c

3) Organize – You should make a list each morning of everything you want or need to do for that day. Don’t hide if you don’t accomplish everything, just include the uncompleted task to your next day’s list and get them done.

4) Prioritize After you have have recorded theses “things to do”, go over the list and rewrite in priority order which things you need to do first. How you choose to prioritize is a very personal matter. What is important is that you are responsible with your priorities. Review your personal goals- how do theses priorities fit with your goal?

5) Schedule- The Last thing to do is to take this list and begin to work these “things to do” into your schedule. You cannot plan every minute of your day. Remember to leave room for breaks, socializing and those unexpected things that pop up. There’s no use making a schedule that is impossible to follow.

Learn to say now. You will reach a point where there is only so much you can do, instead of burning yourself out or not doing quality work. Learn to balance how much you can do with what you need to do.

Photo from here
Disclaimer: This write up was summarized from U of Roregon, Holden Leadership Centre. For the original article click here

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