To manage your time is simply to use your time effectively or in a productive way in order to achieve your goals.
Managing your time effectively might mean different things to different people. You might like to try different techniques depending on your commitments at a particular point in time.
Time management involves a cluster of inter-related skills:
You are likely to be practising some of these skills but possibly not all. When we are under a lot of pressure with our workloads we often skip the planning stage. However, this step more than any other will help you make the most of your time, track progress and keep you feeling motivated.
Tip: You may already know your main challenge when it comes to time management. Keep reading this post to find out what skills you could build upon by using some simple tips and strategies.
Before you can start ticking off tasks and being effective with your time, you need to have a clear understanding of everything you need to achieve. The first step is to get organised and prioritise your tasks. Here are some simple strategies you can use to help you with this stage:
Image by Rorybowman (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsFind out more about how to create an Urgent/Important matrix.
It can be tempting to skip the planning stage if you are feeling overwhelmed, but the danger of not planning is that you may spend hours editing your work near the deadline, if you haven’t worked through things in a logical way. Here’s some simple strategies for planning your time:
Tip: Don’t forget to allow time for reading and making notes on what you have read.
Tip: If you decide at this stage to use a reference management tool to store records of your sources you will save lots of time not having to do this manually as the end.
Tip: It is important to use tools you are already familiar with — learning a new tool will require time, so save this until you know about what works for you.
Once you know what you need to do and have a plan for when you will achieve, it’s time to focus on getting your tasks done. To help you be even more productive during this time there are a couple more things you might want to consider having a strategy for, take a look at our examples below:
Apps & Other Tools
There are many tools available to help you stay on track: apps that let you block time-wasting sites for set amounts of time, apps and calendars that you can use for due dates, and project management tools.
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