Time Management – How to schedule your time and have a stress-free life

Time management means so much more than the ability to plan and manage time.

Doing what you love is also important

The so called third generation of time management parameters means organizing your time according to the answers to the following questions: What? When? and Why?

However, one important aspect is left out – the whole dimension of human life and satisfaction, or simply put the pleasure of doing things you love. Therefore, incorporating this aspect into your time management strategy means adopting a whole new set of rules.

One of the definitions of time management is the following: time management is a set of tools and strategies, which enable leading a more balanced life and a more efficient and pleasurable use of time.

First, set your goals and your tasks

Efficient time management should start with the goals you want to achieve. Due to the goals we have, we know what we want and where we would like to go from now on. It’s easier to define tasks and individual goals, which we want to achieve, if we understand what our common goal is (as a team, a company or business).

The goal is not measure by activity, but by result

Let’s have an example: let’s say you suddenly decide to move in some other country and start a new business on your own. One of the first possible tasks is that you would need to learn a new language. The goal is not to actually start learning the new language, but reaching an advanced level of understanding and speaking of that language, which is the result of the learning process.

One of the individual goals might be taking some classes or buying textbooks to learn on your own. You can apply the same way of thinking in your business strategy to: the way to achieve a main goal is to set individual goals first, like going on a ladder step by step. The main goal is not your desire to work hard or establishing too high expectances, but rather the simple perception of the general picture regarding the path you chose to follow.

 The mind map

Perhaps you’ve heard about mind maps, basically graphic representations of how your mind works. Any individual preoccupied with time management should start by creating a mind map.

Are you a good planner?

The basis for any type of planning is understanding limits, needs and spending enough time for preparations. You might want to try establishing a rule, that at the end of each week you revise the task list for the next week and also the following daily tasks.

The best way to do that is to have a special place for your notes and lists, regardless if you’re working with paper documents or electronic files. The moment you use for planning should be the relaxing part of the day, or see it as a compensation for wasted time. In order to finish a task on time, you should be able to approximate correctly the amount of time needed and don’t forget some extra time for any unforeseen events. Try to be realistic about it, because wrong estimations might mess up your entire schedule. Therefore, be very careful when you plan your tasks. If you finish a task or a project earlier, you can use the remaining time to relax or spend it on less demanding tasks.

How important is biorhythm?

Some people are early birds, while other are night owls. Our daily habits usually influence the way we perform, therefore it’s best to plan your activities according to those hours. If you’re feeling more energetic in the morning, important tasks, that need your full concentration should be attended and leave easier tasks like answering emails or phone calls for the afternoon. And vice versa, if you’re having trouble starting your day.

Types of priorities

Many people have trouble setting their priorities straight, but you should know how to rank your tasks accordingly:

  • Important and urgent – deadlines, meetings, important phone calls and emails
  • Important, but not urgent – some meetings, difficult tasks, that require more time.

Of course, the best way to handle things is to attend to the tasks in the first group, before your start working on the second one.

Don’t waste your time with:

  • Long breaks
  • Daydreaming
  • Browsing on the Internet (and not for research purposes)
  • Office gossip
  • Starting to work on a task without having compete and correct information
  • Delays
  • Searching for documents, because you’re not using a proper DMS

Time management rules are not meant to be annoying, but they should help you manage your time, which leads to increased performance and less stress. Understand what your needs are and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you don’t feel well or you’re not focused one day, adjust your work, deal with urgent tasks and make room for the rest in the following day.

An efficient Time Management software is a big help for any company or organization, so don’t hesitate to use it in order to keep track on projects, progress and time.

 Photo credit: Pixabay.com, user: geralt