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In-Depth Jobs

Volume-44, 27 January-2 February, 2017

Time Management

Sarika Raghuwanshi Badhwar

5.30 am: alarm in the mobile.. swiped off
5.45 am: action repeated
6 am: action repeated
6.10 am: finally awake..check phone for messages especially WhatsApp and Facebook.
6.40 am for those who only read on the phone and 7 am for those who read and reply else they'd be missing out on very important global issues!
Get ready and rush for work..postpone physical fitness and other healthy options since tomorrow never dies!
Isn't that relatable?and then we often find ourselves hard pressed for time.
If time is lost Health is lost,wealth is lost and the strength of character is lost!
Further to my article on Stress Management (6th Jan to 12th Jan edition),everyday functioning in a satisfactory manner requires good time management.This also aids in reducing the stress caused due to the inability to manage time efficiently.
What is time management?
Time Management is the act or process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities to increase productivity and efficiency.
Causes of poor time management
Lack of self discipline:
The ability to monitor and supervise "Self"plays an important role in managing time,the lack of which creates chaos in daily activities.
Obsession with perfection :
In order to attain perfection we lose time and energy on small irrelevant details.The all or nothing syndrome,the workaholism,the fear of failure,the procrastination are the characteristics of perfectionism and this contributes to poor time management.
The inability to say "NO" :
How much work we already have on our plate needs to be identified based on which saying a NO should be acceptable to our mind.Always saying a "Yes" is a source of stress and leads us away from our priorities into less important tasks.
Indecisiveness :
Lack of decision making skills makes us waste a lot of time.
Ineffective work delegation:
Not delegating right kind of work to right kind of person results in poor time utilisation.
Lack of patience:
Sometimes multitasking is required but attempting too many different things simultaneously makes us lose patience and as a result none of the tasks gets done efficiently and effectively.
Oscillating between alternatives and options:
Having too many options and alternatives causes confusion so choosing the best option within an acceptable time frame is the key there.
The prefrontal cortex plays an important role in time management since this part of the brain is responsible for certain brain functions like impulse control,planning and attention acting as a filter by decreasing distracting stimuli from other rain regions.Any damage in the prefrontal cortex of an individual reduces the ability to filter out distracting stimuli resulting in increased procrastination hence poor time management.
Lack of confidence:
Sometimes it's just our perception that we lack the skill so we stop believing in ourselves and our abilities and totally avoid completing a task in time.This leads to further procrastination and further waste of time.
Evaluation anxiety:
In order to impress others ,sometimes the pressure in the mind is so much that it delays work.
Techniques of Managing Time effectively :
Time slot for leisure networking:
I'm highlighting this because in today's scenario ,most of our time (all age groups)goes off in looking at our phones for leisure networking.Only one hour everyday is more than sufficient for connecting with friends and relatives via mobile phone. Call this as "My hour" and it can be split into two parts of half hour each or three parts of 20 minutes each.The "My hour"must mean a total of 60 minutes in one full cycle of 24 hours and stick to it.
The Facebook and WhatsApp addicts have already stopped reading this     article ? :)
GTD;Getting things done:
Here the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be           done and the focus is on  actually performing those tasks.Record the tasks externally in some note/ diary etc and not in the mind and just get the things done rather than keep thinking and repeating what's to be done.
The Pomodoro Technique:
This technique uses a timer to break down work into a 25 minute intervals called "pomodoro" separated by breaks.The frequent breaks can improve mental agility.This technique is followed in this order;
Decide on the task to be done
Set the pomodoro (timer)to 25 minutes
Work on the task until the timer rings
Take a short break(5minutes)
Every four "pomodori" take a longer break  (15to 20 minutes)
POSEC method:
Prioritize time and define life by goals.
Organize things to accomplish regularly.
Streamline things we do not like to do but have to do.
Economize things we should do or may even like to do but not pressingly urgent such as pastimes and socializing.
Contribute by paying attention to the few remaining things that make a difference such as social obligations.
ABC analysis:
Rank the tasks/activities according to the urgency and importance
A:tasks that are urgent and important
B: tasks that are important but not urgent
C:tasks that are neither urgent nor important.
Pareto Analysis:
This is based on the 80-20 rule.This principle is used to sort tasks into two parts.The idea is that 80% of tasks can be completed in 20% of time.The remaining 20% of tasks will take up 80% of the time .The tasks that fall into the first category should be given priority.
Time boxing:
Time boxing is fixing the time we have available to work on a given task and then doing the best we can within that time frame.So instead of working on something until it's done in one sitting ,we only work on it for around 30 minutes.It is either marked as done at the end of this period or we commit to another 30 minutes at a later time or another date.
Time boxing is the most effective tool against procrastination.It makes us focus on things that matter most.It also allows us to work on things during the free gaps we have between our commitments and appointments.
Time is a precious jewel that needs to be spent judiciously and managing our time is equal to our physical,mental,spiritual,social and financial growth.
So,Let's just slow down and focus on what's most important,learn to say NO,ration our social networking habits,divide task into pieces and take short breaks,club related tasks together and set a time frame ,avoid irrelevant unimportant details and most important of all:Never procrastinate.
The author is a career counselor and life skills trainer. Email id: ssarika1117@gmail.com