Time as always described is an essential component in every ones life. Many, it is true, consider time as money. Money enables human being go through daily activities and fulfilling desires. With money one could buy food and other essential items for living. The more money one has the more material possession could own. With no money it is very hard to lead a normal life in which necessities are fulfilled.
If we agree time is money and ones it is gone it would never be recovered, then how could we effectively use it? First and foremost one has to identify his goals in life. After identification of the goals what comes next would be draw the goals according to the priorities. The priorities we draw would not necessarily be permanent, today’s number one priority might not be the same after sometime, hence, reviewing them on weekly and monthly basis would be very important so that we become up to date with what we want to perform.
Use of time is not static but flexible. There is always room for improving time use. To use time effectively we have to have clear objective. Which task do I have to do first? Which tasks are very important, important and non-important? What time does it take to perform one task? In order to perform tasks in accordance to their importance we should have plan of activities.
The tools for planning activities are: write down each task and have checklist to help record actions to be taken that might other wise be overlooked. There are people who forget what they were assigned to perform and when asked how they are doing things they ask you in return “what?”. And when reminded, they respond “I forgot”. The remedy for this is “Do Lists” and “Checklist”.
Good performers put on every activity they want to perform “very urgent”, fairly urgent” and “not urgent”. The list is always in front of them or is written and put in their pocket or else where they could see it easily. In such condition they would not be in a position to forget their tasks.
One very critical situation of not using time effectively is overloading and not identifying activity beyond our capacity. We tend to satisfy every one and in the end we offend every one. The tendency of saying yes to every thing that comes to our attention is sometimes harmful. Saying “No” is a big remedy to such a situation. Saying “No” is often difficult but necessary. To say “No” one has to boldly say that is not within the area of competence and responsibility.
Some useful phrases are also there for exercising “No” and find alternatives. “I would like to help but I am afraid that I already have another commitment”. Or one could say, “I will have to think about that. Can I come back later?”
As I mentioned in the first part of this article, no one could perform two tasks or more simultaneously; only one at a time. If we try that we could end up working long hours, including through the night, to complete deadlines. This habit could compel us accepting additional jobs when already over loaded. And in the final analysis we end up disorganized and complaining of lack of time. We are not lacking time; we are unable to think what we should perform what and when.
Effective time management would transform one and the organization to be more productive and efficient. It would also increase personal and institutional satisfaction. So, what makes us not using our time efficiently and have personal and institutional satisfaction?