Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Time management is the planning of tasks and activities to maximize the effectiveness of your work. Essentially, the purpose of time management is allowing people to get more and better work done in less time.
Some of us are very familiar with the idea of ignoring our tasks which we find boring or tedious to do. We look at how lackluster the task is, and think of the other easy and comfortable things which we could be doing instead like playing video games or chatting with friends. Either way, some of us might find it difficult to finish our tasks on time due to how inefficient we are at managing our time.
The first step is to set up a goal for what you are going to do. Let's say you have Student A who has an assignment due in 3 months, instead of stressing themselves out and trying to finish their work in a single day, setting goals for that task can help in minimizing your work and to lessen the amount of stress you’ll have.
Setting up a goal should be both challenging and reasonable. Your long term goals should not necessarily be to finish your work in a day or two, but to make goals that are practical and will challenge yourself to improve.
The second step is for you to make a proper schedule. Scheduling is the art of planning your activities so that you can achieve your goals and priorities in the time you have available. When it's done effectively, it helps you understand what you can realistically achieve with your time. Make sure you have enough time for essential tasks.
Once you have your goals written in, you should break them down into concrete and actionable tasks. Then the tasks need to be prioritized. The Eisenhower Matrix is one of the most popular frameworks for prioritizing tasks.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a time management technique that will help you in structuring and prioritizing your tasks based on urgency and importance while sorting out less urgent and important work.
The matrix recommends arranging tasks in one of the four quadrants:
Urgent + Important (Do first)
Not Urgent + Important (Schedule)
Urgent + Not Important (Delegate)
Not Important + Not Urgent (Eliminate)
Urgent tasks are the ones that you feel you must react to like your emails, phone calls, meetings etc. Tasks that are time‑sensitive to finish or have strict and approaching deadlines.
Important tasks are the ones that contribute to your long-term goals and things you really want to do in life. Important tasks are the ones that are part of your business or life vision and mission but shouldn’t be as prioritized as your Urgent tasks since this task, although important, does not really have a deadline to follow, however, that doesn't necessarily mean that your task can’t be important and urgent at the same time. If you think that one of your tasks fits that criteria, then that should be your number 1 priority .
The last step is to make a deadline for yourself and keep them. Deadlines will help us in achieving our goals by ensuring that we have a specific time to submit all of our short term work on time, and in certain cases, keep complex multistage projects on track. Deadlines make clear what we're expected to deliver and when.
Another tip that we recommend would be to ask someone that can hold you accountable for your work like a family member or a close friend to not only ensure that you finish your tasks, but to also make sure that the quality of your work is of standard.
Benefits of time management
You won’t just be doing tasks as you remember them but instead you will have a procedure to follow.
It helps you prioritize your tasks based on their weightage and importance so that you get important things done quickly.
You get more done in less time and you get more done period. If you don’t manage your time and schedule your work you might just forget about some tasks entirely until it’s too late.
It also reduces stress, by seeing all the tasks you have and splitting them up into smaller chunks to be done one at a time, you will feel more relaxed about your work.
In conclusion, understanding the importance of time management will help you to be more efficient in controlling how you spend your time. We can focus better on important tasks, and better focus leads to better efficiency. The more you practice in managing your time, the more your life will benefit from a more stress-free life.