Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Time Management for Success

Time is the greatest resource and wealth in any person’s life, but this is the most neglected and ignored asset by most of the people. People do care about the tangible things like money, house, bike, car, gadgets etc but they don’t ever care about the most valuable resource and asset which is time. Well, why is it so important? Let say you don’t have a car, bike, or a gadget right now – no problem – you can get it at any time later, but what about time? What if you waist the current moment? What if you would have lost today, this month, or this year? Will you be able to get it back ever again? No. Never! Then why is it not considered so important, why is it so ignored thing in life?

Okay, let me tell you the truth. This is so unimportant thing just because you can’t find it in the stores, whenever you go to the store you don’t find any section related to time. Hey, don’t you compare time with a gadget like a watch – this is not the true representation of the time, I think, rather it gives you more confidence to waist time – like you say it’s 9:30 – Oh, I have half an hour more to play this game then I’ll be back to work! Anyway, joke apart -You should think time in itself an individual entity that can do some great things for you.

Time management is the way to organize not only the things you have to do but also the order, the preferences, and the duration in which you have to do those things. Time management involves different techniques which can let you organize the tasks you have to do and also prioritize those tasks with respect to the preference they have, and to assign the duration to each task depending upon it’s importance and then analyze that how much output you gained in the specified duration. I’ll discuss these techniques in this article.

I would like to disclose the disadvantage you have to face due to the lack of time management before discussing the techniques which can be utilized to manage your time. When your time is not managed you are most probably supposed to be caught up by procrastination. I mean to say that you put off things until later, and never finish your tasks on time. This kind of approach puts a stack of activities on you and you start feeling overburden and then ultimately exhausted. In some other situations you put a lot of time in doing certain things just to find out that you have achieved nothing. It is just because you don’t make it sure that which things are more important than other ones. So, actually you put most of your time doing things which are of little or no importance at all. This kind of situation again makes you feel tense and nervous.

Does time management make any difference? It is a very important question for those who don’t usually manage their time. Well, just try to compare two people who are given equal duration to finish certain task, one does much better than the other one. Why so? There could be the affect of some natural tendency, but this is not the sole thing which impacts the most. If you study the routine of the both people during this period of time you’ll notice one had managed her time properly while the other one didn’t. This kind of situations is very common in the society. You can study the lives of the great people in the world like prophets, great leaders, writers, poets, scientists, inventors, discoverers etc.
You’ll notice that those people had managed their time very properly and achieved a great success in life, whereby achieving their goals. However, the people who don’t succeed in life are always found complaining that they couldn’t get enough time to finish the things. Actually, they got enough time but failed to manage it.

What are the things which cause the wastage of time? There are few reasons due to which people waist a lot of time doing nothing. They don’t have a list of the tasks they have to finish. They don’t know which tasks are more important than the other one. They don’t understand what times are when their potentials are full blown. They don’t have any idea how to analyze their time with the output they gained from it. An important point is that they don’t have a goal to achieve as a whole. In some later article I’ll discuss how we can set our goals, but for now I’ll discuss the techniques which can be used to manage time effectively.

Well, you can try these techniques – a process as a whole – for one day and see how it affects your output. First of all you need to have a list of your tasks, called to do list. It’s very simple, take a pen and a paper and put all the things you have to do today. At this point don’t think that you can do certain things today and some other things tomorrow or even some other day. Just put all the things on the paper which you have to do today, but remember, be realistic and don’t you ever put the tasks of the whole month on this list! Okay, you have got a pretty handsome list of tasks. Now, you have to prioritize the tasks. There is a little difference between priority and urgency. There is a tradeoff between the both. Sometimes some tasks may be urgent but not so important – like there is a show about to be on air on the TV, if you miss this show you are really gonna miss it, but there is some other task which is important like you have to finish a chapter of your course book because your exams are about to start in a month or so, now here you’ll have to see what is important. Well, sometimes some urgent tasks may also be important like there is someone ill in the family and you have to take her to the doctor. Now, here you can ignore some important task over this urgent task because this is not only urgent but also important. So, while prioritizing your tasks you’ll have to keep these points in mind. Take a paper and draw four columns on it, first one for the tasks and the second one for the priority. Now, take the tasks one by one from your tasks list and add it on this list with the priority calculated from the above formula we discussed. After you had prioritized the tasks, in the third column add time required for each task. Remember, you don’t always need to do this kind of lengthy process; it’s just to take a start once you are used to with the process you’ll never have to write it down somewhere. So, for now, carry on with it. Next technique is to keep the activity log for the whole day. As you complete a task just put how much time you spent on it in the fourth column. The last step in the process is to analyze the activities at the end of the day. In start you’ll find that you had spent more time on the things which were less important and less or no time at all on the things which were more important. The next day try to overcome your week areas and carry on with this process for some time. Gradually you’ll, not only, be used to with the process, but also, you’ll see that you have more time to complete your important tasks and ultimately this will guide you towards the success.

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