Time Management — Create an Extra Hour a day

Posted by Chetan Bharadwaj | Posted in Management | Posted on 25-08-2009

Time ManagementAre you forever racing against time to meet deadlines? Does your most common refrain happen to be “so much to do and so little time”? If you have answered in affirmative to both the questions, there are also chances that you just can’t get through that to-do list stuck neatly to your workplace or set on your mobile phone. The unfinished tasks that you are not able to complete from a long time are overwhelming you and are also jeopardizing your career :(. Time is your most precious resource today, because it is limited. So, Time management is what I suggest.

How to get the most out of your time?

From my last month’s experience I will recommend you to leverage and audit your time. NO, it definitely doesn’t mean spending more time to manage time!

The first step in doing so is to keep a log of duration spent on performing various activities in a day. This one-week ‘Time Management Assessment’ will give you a snapshot of how you have been actually spending your time. Keeping track of your hours for a week is not difficult I guess (it is only when a systematic method of doing it is not followed). After a week time I promise results will be surprising.

I will lead you into a systematic way to feed your time record for next 7 days. Rather than covering all your activities, you could conduct an audit of the tasks that are most important for you. To record time spent at work, make a chart — list the days of the week down the rows and across the top column pen down the major categories that you spend time on. You can also review your personal time as well to get the complete picture. At the end of the day and at the end of the week, add the total hour spent on each category. After a week of such practice, ask yourself — Is this how you want to spend your time? Are you apparently busy? Or, do you have no time to complete your unfinished work?

Keeping a time log does nothing other than helping you figure out how you have been ‘using or wasting’ your time. Even though till now you must have been complaining every alternative person in your life about shortage of time and pending works, but after such an assessment I assure you had known the solutions them. :)

Time Management is very important and it makes every moment of your life count! Are you still not managing your precious time?

Comments (2)

  1. ‘The Stone and The Jar Theory’

    First get yourself a pickle jar. Put some large rock pieces in it. Try to pour in as many possible. Let me know when you think it’s full because I’ll manage to put a couple more in anyway.
    Okay, now we have got a pickle jar full and which we can’t fit anything else into, right? Let us presume the total space within the jar as the total time you have in a day [i.e., 24 hours :)]
    Now let’s try to put some pebbles in the jar already containing large rocks. Put as many possible and you will soon find those small pieces of pebbles filling in the spaces between the rocks. By the end of this exercise you must be thinking that now the jar is full (assuming that you have utilized your time in optimum), but then take some sand, you guessed it, and fill that jar until you can’t possibly fit more. Sand seeps in and fill in the same still left between those small pebbles…:o.
    Surprisingly, your time can still be utilized in a better way. Add some water that the sand will soak it up & then you had probably managed your time very well. I am sure the significance of this theory hasn’t escaped any of you!
    Each one of us has to have a set of priorities in our life (represented by rocks) and along with the accomplishment of those we need to enjoy some other tasks that we have pleasure in doing, like our hobby (represented by pebbles). We also have few minor things to do in complementary to our priorities (which is represented by sand). And without any mentions we have off course obligations and responsibilities that simply clutter up our lives & get in everywhere (i.e., water).
    After all, Time management is about getting the gamut of all these, from priorities to duties. No Time Management theory should be without a balance between the entire task; and the theory of ‘The Stone and the jar’ is instrumental in making time for everything. Everything merely fits well where it is expected to fit ;).
    I strongly promote an existence of at least one Time Management System in everyone’s life — It empowers us to actually ‘do’ in stead of scurrying about without any goals in sight.

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