Time management skills


Paridhi Laddha

Psychology Associate

It seems that there is never enough time in the day. But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in good time management. People who succeed are the ones who use their 24 hours in a way that’s smart and efficient.

The secret to managing time successfully is being able to manage ourselves properly. We often think that we don’t waste time, but the reality is far from true and there are several ways by which we can manage ourselves more efficiently, which ultimately ushers in more successful time management. In order to successfully manage time, there are strategies that we can use to remain in control and relieve stress which plays a huge role in proper time management.

Strategies for time management

1. Don’t attempt to do too much

In today’s busy world, many people want to do too many things in a short span of time, and this only leads to rushing around and not doing a task properly, it also leads to mistakes and half-finished work with no real feeling of having accomplished anything.

We should set a realistic target that needs to be done in a day's time and try to accomplish our goals in a systematic manner. It is far better to finish a couple of things properly than to mess up multiple activities and get tired at the same time.

2. Get priorities in place

The single biggest cause of poor time management and waste of time is a lack of priorities. In order to manage time effectively and complete our tasks, we have to know exactly what our priorities are for the day. By not prioritizing, we spend too much time on the secondary things and we are not left with enough time for the important ones.

It’s best if we start the day by making sure we have it written down somewhere, what our top goals for the day are. This ensures that we know what our day should look like and also reduces chances of wasting time on frivolous activities.

3. Avoid procrastination

Actually getting up and doing what needs to be done, instead of just thinking about it, is one of the best things you can do for ourselves. Too many people are not able to realize their vision because of a sense of urgency.Reducing the amount of time that we spend ‘thinking’ leaves us with more time for doing.

Many times, we procrastinate because the workload in front of us is too overwhelming. In such a scenario, we must take the most important task and start working on it right away rather than thinking about the entire list. Focusing on one task at a time not only helps counter the feeling of helplessness but also leads to better productivity.

4. Learn to say NO

Many of us just cannot say the word ‘no’ when asked if would do something outside our plan, this is usually out of fear of upsetting the other person. But if we are taking over the responsibilities of others then we are taking time away from our own workload or tasks and essentially robbing ourselves of that precious time which results in stressing us out.

If we can't manage to take time to go out and sip a cup of coffee when a friend asks to, we can politely say 'no'. It is extremely important that while giving in to the expectations of others, we don't disappoint our own self.

5. Eliminate or reduce clutter

Looking around our desk or workspace, do we know where everything is? If we are asked for a file are we able to lay our hands on it or do we have to go rummaging to find it? A cluttered desk or workspace is a big time-waster.

Keeping things in order, reduces a lot of stress and disturbance from the mind and aids us to do our work peacefully and efficiently.

6. Set strict deadlines

Working out a reasonable deadline for a particular project and make sure that we stick with the deadline is critical. If we don’t set a target date, chances are we will endlessly keep delaying our work and it will never get completed.

We can’t possibly do everything a night before the deadline. Being prepared a day or two before the deadline really helps us be relaxed. We don't have to miss our sleep the night before that important presentation, we can plan and practice in advance.

7. Manage our e-mails and phone calls

It’s a good idea to set aside certain times when we check our e-mail and reply to them; the same applies to phone calls. It is surprising how much time can be wasted throughout a day by stopping and then restarting a project or task. By avoiding constant checking of e-mails and calls, we are not continually breaking off to answer a call or reply to an e-mail in the middle of a task.

8. Using an activity planner

Setting our day out in a planner can help us save time. A planner will allow us to allocate tasks to time slots, and this way we can plan our day out and maximize our time more efficiently. Having a planner or written to-do list, offers great help in time management.

There’s a reason why it’s said that ‘Failing to plan’ is ‘Planning to fail’.

9. Avoiding excessive multi-tasking

Starting many different projects at the same time is not a very good way of managing time. Completing one project before starting out on another, bestows upon us the satisfaction of seeing the project complete and knowing that we have accomplished something with our time. One thing gets off our mind and we can focus on the next task better.

These are some ways by which we can effectively manage our time. Embracing time management techniques isn't about grasping tons of tasks into our day but to simplify how we work to do things better. By adopting good time management techniques, we’ll have more time to do the things we love!

View more content by Paridhi Laddha

Discussion Board

How do you think time management helps in success?

Rohit Chopra
As mentioned in the article, all of us have 24 hours in a day. By utilizing time efficiently, we can ensure that we are not only more productive but continue to grow personally and professionally. For instance, if we use time effectively, we will be able to focus on courses and hobbies.
Anurag Shastri
Yes, time is free but priceless, Can't be owned but can be used. Can't be kept but can be spent. Once lost we can never get it back. Use you time wisely and selectively
Kunal Sinha
Less is more and use of Pareto principle is the best way to manage time. Today we are living in the world of social distraction and hence time management requires one to manage his mobile