However, the truth that might be difficult to face is simply the amount of time is the same as it always has been, and what most of us actually lack is better time management.
Efficient time management means the organization of time that will enable us to know what we need to do at any given moment. Whether you are a student, a teacher, an entrepreneur or an employee at a company, you definitely need good time management.
Importance of time management
Perhaps you have been wondering – why is time management important? In that case, it’s a good time for you to learn an important truth familiar to successful people time management actually means managing yourself and your resources.
Determining goals and making a strategy for achieving them is of great importance for success at anything. This is where the control of time plays a big role.
Poor organization of time can not only lead to lower results in studying and at work, but can also affect our health, as it leads to higher stress, often making us tired and unfulfilled.
Why is time management so important?
1. It helps you get organized
Efficient time management helps you develop self-discipline and positive habits, which will help you fulfill your obligations within the determined time, leaving you with enough free time.
2. It lets you be efficient when you are working and relaxed when you are resting
Good time management will improve the quality of your work and your life. When you have clearly allocated and properly filled the time for work/studying and fun and you don’t have many periods which are “neither here nor there”, it will be much easier to achieve all you need to achieve.
Your sleep will improve, you will feel better and you will suddenly realize that you have time for everything you need to accomplish. So, when you are making your time management plan, in addition to work, don’t forget to include time for rest, relaxation and socializing, i.e., your personal time.
3. It helps you not be late
Although you might think that people whose time is well organized are always in a hurry in order to accomplish everything they need to, the truth is quite different it’s the people who have not organized their time that are always stressed out and in a hurry.
Efficient time management will help you always be on time, without hurry and, most importantly, without the stress brought about by the sense of being late and the inability to fulfill your obligations.
4. It brings back lost time
Organizing time also means saving time. Once you tackle the problem of time and make a good plan, you will see that you actually have more than enough time to fulfill all your obligations and that enough time is left for spending it on self-improvement, training, hobbies and socialization. Simply, when you take control of your time, you will see slots popping open for many things for which you used to think you just don’t have time.
5. It helps you use your free time better
Disorganized people often mix the time for work and the time for leisure. Their moments of relaxation are tainted by guilt because they did not work enough, and the moments when they need to work are spent procrastinating and thinking about having fun. When you are well organized, you will be much more relaxed in your free time and you will always find time for family and friends.
6. It yields professional results
People with good organizational skills are quite valued in the business world and achieve outstanding results. Good organization of time can help you advance your career and make the most of all the opportunities that present themselves. Simply, when you have organized your time well, it will be easy to include the additional obligations brought about by new opportunities into your schedule.
7. It helps you acquire a positive attitude towards your life
When your time is organized, it becomes clearer what is good for you and what is not, which, in turn, makes it easier to decide what is worth your time and what is not. Knowing that you can include only constructive actions and events into your schedule.
How to improve time management
Although many people see themselves as hopelessly disorganized, and others as well-organized by nature, the truth is different time management can be learned with time, just like any other soft skill.
There are strategies, plans and routines you can adopt in order to improve your time management skills, and once you do that, you will have improved your life. These are some useful techniques that can help you become more organized:
1. Set long-term and short-term goals
To optimize your effective time, it is important that you know where you would like to go. Long-term goals are those that take more time (months or years), while short-term ones are simpler and can be achieved more quickly. Both kinds of goals are important for your advancement. Think things through and make sure that the goals you set are attainable. Otherwise, you might feel frustrated.
2. Choose to always move forward
Whatever you are doing, however hard things might be, it is important that you always keep moving forward towards the realization of your goals. This is the only way to use the time you have productively. Even baby steps are surely better than stagnating.
3. Make daily and weekly schedules
It is important that each of your days should be fulfilled. Formulate daily tasks that you need to complete and try to make good on your plan. According to your obligations, you can also make a weekly schedule that will help you handle all the tasks for the given week. Time tracking according to the scheduled time slots will keep you from wasting your time. Remember: the only poor time is the time that is lost without learning anything from it.
4. Set priorities
The organization of time often comes down to proper prioritization. Consider what you need to do urgently, and what can wait, and organize your time accordingly.
5. Set realistic deadlines
To complete your tasks, you need deadlines. Otherwise, you risk endless procrastination. If a teacher or a manager has not provided you with deadlines, set them yourself. Try to make them realistic, i.e., possible to meet, but also try not to make them too “generous”. Above all, try to meet them.
6. Avoid procrastination
Today’s technology, the Internet and social networks make procrastination easier than it has ever been. It truly takes an effort to dedicate yourself to your tasks. So, if you are working, put your phone down, disengage from social networks and focus on the job at hand. Be aware that the sooner you start, the sooner you will finish, freeing up time for other activities.
7. Take breaks
Try not to burden yourself so much as to burn out from too much work. Breaks are necessary in order to replenish your energy, relax your mind and recover from great effort. Just like you need to keep focused on work while you’re working, during a break, try not to think about anything else and be completely relaxed.
8. If possible, avoid multitasking
In today’s business world, multitasking is often unavoidable. However, try not to simultaneously work on more projects than you can finish. If you can, avoid multitasking altogether and work on your projects one by one. The reason is simple – multitasking takes up a great portion of your time and attention, and it often happens that not a single project gets quite finished.
9. Be productive from the get-go
When you wake up in the morning, try to enter into the day right away. Avoid lying in bed pointlessly and scrolling through social networks; instead, jump right into your productive routine. This does not mean that you should get straight to work from bed, but you can take care of the essential tasks: freshening up, doing a couple of short exercises to get you going, and other stuff that your morning routine requires.
After that, if possible, try to do some work or school related things as soon as you can. This can be something small, like answering emails or going through your list of tasks for the day. The fact that you have achieved some goals at the very beginning of the day will give you a sense of pleasure and motivate you to move forward.
10. Don’t get overloaded
No matter how well you organize your time, the number of things that a single person can do is, after all, limited. Therefore, do not take on tasks that you cannot fit into your schedule and will not be able to complete.
The idea that you should manage your time does not mean that you should use all your time for work, but that you should use it wisely so that work/studying leaves enough room for being with family and friends or doing other fulfilling things, thereby achieving the desired life balance.
Time management for students
Clever time management is very important for students in order for them to fulfill all their curricular and extracurricular obligations. However, the students are often those who have the most trouble with this and suffer from procrastination.
Truth be told, it is a fact that organizing the time is harder for today’s students than it was for earlier generations, for the simple reason that they have so many options to spend their time on: the Internet, the social networks, their smartphones – the number of time wasters is huge. This is why the importance of time management for students is immense.
There are a number of time management techniques that can help students perform their tasks more efficiently, with full focus and maximum concentration. One of the most popular and most efficient of these is the pomodoro technique.
Pomodoro time management technique
Maybe you’re wondering – how a tomato can help me save time? Before you reach for one to eat it, give us a minute to explain. The pomodoro technique is actually a simple time management system invented in 1980 by the Italian Francesco Cirillo.
The technique is based on using a timer that breaks up studying into 25 minute intervals, followed by short breaks. These intervals are called pomodoros, after a tomato-shaped timer Francesco used as a student.
Why does pomodoro technique really work?
Strictly speaking, pomodoro is not a studying technique, but a time management one. And time management is crucial for proper studying. Most students who have a problem with learning actually have a problem with the organization of time that needs to be dedicated to that process. With social networks and smartphones, it’s really hard for today’s students to concentrate and use their time well.
The pomodoro technique takes care of that problem. During the 25-minute intervals, interrupting the studying, looking at the phone or surfing the Web are not allowed. The student has to wait for the five-minute break and decide what to do with that free time.
Another reason why this technique is successful is that it relies on routine, i.e., repeating something that, in time, becomes a habit. And the habits we adopt become our second nature and we act accordingly without thinking. Procrastination and time-wasting are thereby dispensed with.
How to use pomodoro time management technique for studying?
First of all, organize the time slots (intervals). Determine how much time you have for rest, how much for studying, and how much for other activities. To motivate yourself to stick to the slots, you need to determine rules, rewards and consequences for observing them or failing to do so. It’s a good idea to print out this schedule and place it somewhere where it will always be within your sight, reminding you of your obligations.
What does pomodoro time management technique look like in practice?
By following a few simple steps, you will establish a firm structure that will enable you to finish your tasks in time:
- Plan: Estimate how much time you need for studying. Make an action plan and set your priorities. Write them down in a cool notebook which you will love to use.
- Set the timer: You can get a fun tomato-shaped timer or simply use your phone and set a 25-minute interval.
- Focus: During those 25 minutes, try to keep absolutely focused on the tasks and don’t let anything distract you. When the timer rings, the first interval is over and you have earned a break.
- Break: During the 5-minute break, you can stretch out, leave the room or, basically, do whatever you please.
- Do 2 more intervals: Repeat these intervals twice. After the third one, take a 20-minute break, and then continue with the intervals until you have finished studying for the day.
Advantages of pomodoro time management
- Better organization and time spent more productively
- Higher efficiency
- Strengthening the will and developing discipline
- Adopting good habits
- Strengthening motivation and focus
- Preventing weariness from studying
- Reducing stress levels
- Strengthening good studying habits: easier homework management, breaking up larger problems into smaller ones
- Easily transferable to other areas of life
Now, please feel free to eat that tomato.