How to manage our time effectively?

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How to manage our time effectively

How many hours do we have in a week? The answer is 168. How many things do we do in a week? Well, the answer is not straightforward. It depends on what we do on a day-to-day basis. It also depends on how socially, politically, and professionally engaged we are with our environment. However, sleeping at night, shopping for groceries, working be at home or at office, exercising, commuting, socialising, communicating through emails and social media, watching TV and so on are some of the typical day to day activities we are all engaged to varying degrees. We repeat some of the activities perhaps a number of times in a week. No doubt, we need a lot of time to carry out all these activities. However, we have only 168 hours in a week. Here comes the question of time management. How effective are we in time management?

How to manage our time effectively?

We often hear some people saying ‘no matter what I do, I do not have enough time’. Yes, it is true that we do not have enough time compared to the number of activities we carry out. However, we have to manage our time effectively so that things are done as they should be. The following is a list of tips (in the form of a plan) which would help us in managing our time:

Making a list of all the activities for a given week. We have already mentioned some of them at the outset of the article. Other typical activities include but not limited to catching up with family and friends, taking a nap, playing video games, and going to theater.

Identifying the activities from the list which need to be prioritised. All activities are important; however, they are perhaps not equally important. So, let us prioritise.

Let us carry out the activities keeping priority in mind. Please do not procrastinate! Procrastination on one activity will have a knock-on effect on the others.

Saying no to ‘time wasters’. Time wasters may be a person, an unwanted phone call, or even an activity. If we are not able to say no to ‘time wasters’, we need to learn it. A number of techniques can be applied to say no to ‘time wasters’.

Finally, we need to review our performance in all the previous stages. Have we been able to draw a list of priorities? Have we been able to carry out our activities within the stipulated time? Was there any delay? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then we need to revisit and revise our plan.

We may sometimes wonder how some people seem to have enough time to do everything they want to, whereas others are struggling and running here and there. Is it simply that the former have less to deal with? The answer is ‘No’. It is more likely that they are very good in time management.

The article publication date: 26 October 2016

Further reading/references

University of Kent (n.d.) How to manage your time effectively, available from https://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/time.htm (Accessed 02 June 2016)

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.