Basics of Time Management
"Clear Mind, Effective Action"
Advantages of Time Management
I think we can agree that for most of us, a job is stressful.
By Donovan Baldwin*
Time is often a critical factor in doing our jobs well, but, unfortunately, many people lose a lot of time just thinking about their job.
If you are reading this, I am willing to bet that often your job consumes you to the point that it becomes a part of your everyday life and you tend to lose track priorities...for your job, and for other activities. Mostly, this is simply due to improper management of time.
You need a plan, man...or woman!
The Problems Of NOT Having a Time Management Plan
One of the worst things of not having a plan is that you get stressed.
And, when you get stressed....
I don't know about you, but that reminds me of those DirectTV ads, where somebody gets upset about their cable bill and winds up doing something stupid.
Well, that's what stress does to you. So, let's avoid some stress.
Without some sort of proper time management plan or process, you could be facing a lot of unnecessary stress. You have to remember that productivity does not simply mean that you are doing a lot of "stuff". You need to create a balance in your activities and make sure that each is being properly done.
However, when you have so many things to keep track of, you are in danger of failing to meet deadlines, or you might just overbook yourself...which just creates more stress.
All this stress can, and often does, lead to lower efficiency and lots of wasted time.
Even if you are lucky enough (or un-lucky enough) not to lose your job in the process, you can still pretty easily screw up other parts of your life without much additional effort.
Just because you didn't have a time management plan!
The Time Management Remedy
Some good, but simple, time management practices can help prevent such events from happening. This is because when you plan ahead and prioritize and silly stuff like that, you won’t have to worry about things because you have scheduled your events, activities, and obligations properly. This causes a lot of stress relief and creates a lot of time to prioritize your life...and either have some fun or work even more...whatever appeals to you.
It Can Be Tricky
Successful time management can be simple, but it can also be a bit tricky.
It's not a "just add water" kind of thing either. You have to actually get involved and actually incorporate a little self-discipline in order to set up your events properly. You also have to work harder at being more flexible with your goals and priorities.
These small prerequisites are pretty easy to attain, however. For the most part, you just have to learn a few basic concepts, and make that commitment, in order to set things in motion.
It can be pretty easy to keep the momentum up once started as you begin to observe that proper time management creates some powerful "forces for good" in and out of your job sphere.
Since many of these problems stem from stress, the main advantage of time management is going to be the reduction of stress. You probably have experienced the non-joy of chasing deadlines that seem to loom ever larger and more ominous. Or, perhaps you realize that you have scheduled yourself to be at two different places at the same time.
Whew boy! It's nice to know that you can prevent such terrible events from happening if you simply adopt the practice of following a clear time management plan and timetable for your activities.
Giving Yourself a Chance
By having a clear plan to start with, you have given yourself a chance to set up a workable, low-stress, schedule that suits your planned activities both at and away from the job. Even better, perhaps, you avoid compromising the most important aspect of everything: your health.
It's All About Getting Stuff Done...Right? Or Getting Stuff Done Right.
Another good thing about having a successful time management program in place is it automatically creates a greater probability of completing everything on time. When you miss a deadline, you fall out of favor with your boss...and yourself. This leads to additional pressure in working at other tasks and make you try even harder than you really need to. This leads to a lot of unnecessary pressure that may cause you to go to extremes such as taking extra work home (literally and figuratively) just to keep up. It might even mean that you will bring your work to the dinner table, and we both know how your digestion is going to handle that.
Even worse, if you get that stressed out, you pass on the stress to your family members. The sooner you are able complete your tasks, the more stress-free time you have.
I guess in the final analysis, the best thing about proper time management is that you get the chance to live your life on your terms. Your working schedule is not swamped, you feel confident and capable, and you will find you have more than enough time for relaxing and having fun.
Don't forget, despite your hectic schedule, never forget to take a break from time to time as it actually helps you become more productive.
*ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donovan Baldwin is a freelance writer, accountant, truck driving instructor, food service manager, optician, and retired soldier currently living in the Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas, area. He is a University of West Florida alumnus (BA Accounting 1973) and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service.