If you are sitting there thinking, “Time management sounds boring. I don’t need that,” it’s understandable. But first, hear us out. Time management is more important than you may think it is!
A lot of people take the “I’m okay, I use my calendar” approach to time management, which is fine, but the calendar approach only gets you so far.
Time management goes far beyond dates in a calendar—it is a personal project management system that helps you budget your time. That sounds really challenging, doesn’t it? But it really isn’t. It’s actually here to help you simplify your workload.
Without time management, all your responsibilities and deadlines are floating around in your head like clouds in the sky. You know they are in there, and you know you need to get around to them at some point. But it’s hard for you to grab on to one responsibility or task without knowing how to attack it —or when. It may seem like a drag to work on something that seems so simple, but there are numerous benefits to it.
This seems obvious, but lots of people think they know how to manage their time until they realize that they arrive late more often than they should. Take it from American author Karen Joy Fowler: “Arriving late was a way of saying that your own time was more valuable than the time of the person who waited for you.” It’s okay to be late every once in a while, but it’s a red flag if you’re late more often than you are punctual. When you have a plan for your time, you factor all kinds of things into the equation.
If you don’t have a schedule that is holding you accountable, you don’t value your work ethic as much. You may kill time or idle around as if there’s no impending responsibility or deadline—only to realize that there is, and then be forced to scramble to make up for lost time. In other words, it’s a mess!
When you have everything written out and planned, with your priorities taken into consideration, you’re more disciplined as a worker. Your goals are separated into bite-sized tasks that feel way more feasible than attacking one big project at a time.
Time management isn’t limited to organizing how you spend your hours in the day. It also means being efficient and organized in other facets of your life, to make sure your time is being used effectively.
For example, when you set up your computer with organized files, you ensure that everything has its own rightful place. It cuts down on time spent aimlessly searching for files because you can’t remember where you placed them. This type of habit is two-fold: It keeps you organized, and it optimizes your time.
How are confidence and time management related? It seems like a distant relationship, but the two intersect more than you would imagine. When you use your time well, you get more done in the day. You capitalize on your good moments, and you minimize your unproductive ones. This makes you feel more confident in your abilities.
When you have a game plan for how to spend your time, you automatically have a game plan for how to accomplish all your goals. What previously took you two hours to finish may only take you 30 minutes, because your time will be planned more efficiently. This way, you will be able to fully focus on the task at hand instead of wasting time trying to figure out what you should be working on.
If you’re able to plan the ‘now,’ you’re more inclined to think about the future. That means setting long-term goals for yourself and planning out how and when you would ideally like to achieve them.
Have you ever seen someone sprinting across the airport to catch a flight on time? That’s stressful! If your time is being used resourcefully, and you arrive at your events or destinations on time, you minimize the stresses that come along with being a poor planner.
Now that you have an understanding of the benefits of managing your time, we’ll touch on a few time management “traps”—those common mistakes people make that just happen to be 100% avoidable.
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