IntroductionTime is a very valuable and important entity in our life. It is an integral part of all the activities as each activity takes some time to complete. Importance of time management in day-to-day life, as well as the workplace, can not be ignored as everything and every step in human lives is solely dependent on time and discipline in managing one's schedules. Managing time is not a compulsion but essential for the smooth and orderly management of all the activities in our lives. It is said that those who can tame the time can shape up their destiny.
What is time?Time is the most mysterious thing among the various natural resource elements available to mankind. Science is still to find exactly how time started (the Big Bang theory is still disputed) and when it is going to end if there is an end to it. Some people believe that there is no beginning and no end to time. It is limitless and infinite. The unique thing about time is its flow direction - it flows only in the forward direction. Once a time is missed it can not come back. It can not be recovered. Under these natural boundaries, time management becomes more and more crucial and challenging.
Time has no fixed size, it can be very very long for geological processes on earth - for example, millions of years took for the evolution of humans from apes. Dinosaurs survived on earth for millions of years. It can be as large as thousands of years separating intermittent ice ages on earth. On the other hand, it is an average of 80-90 years for the human life span. Further, it is small for the life span of some domestic pets. It is very small for a wink of the eye. It is very very small for explosive firing or gun firing. At the atomic and molecular levels, things happen in micro and nanoseconds. So the time has different spans and is very relative in terms of the activities undergoing it.
Managing time effectivelyIt is true that managing time effectively is an art. Those who know it can reap the real benefits of time management. Some of the useful tips and aspects of time management are as follows.
Making a list of tasks and scheduling themThis is what many people follow by maintaining diaries or slip pads and refer them often for the next activity expected. So what is required is to jot down the tasks and their expected schedule or when one has to attend to it. Once this is done it becomes very handy for referring. For managing time one has to foresee the volume of the coming events and their approximate timings. If an event is approaching and we forgot to participate in it due to other occupation not necessarily more important, then it is a lapse on our part. and if we scrutinize the happenings during that time we will find that it was sheer negligence on our part or technically speaking it was time mismanagement.
Adhering to disciplineDiscipline in life is one of the keys to success in one's life. It is a great attribute and has been recommended by many management gurus as an essential ingredient in our routine. A disciplined person would save a lot of time which otherwise is wasted in delays and laziness. He gets its advantage by starting early and finishing also early and saving himself a considerable time in the process.
ForeseeingThis is something which is called having a vision. We have to see the future consequences and implications of our present actions and accordingly take the corrective actions today itself. Making corrections at a later stage is for myopic people. Foresight comes with hard work and experience and people who have a good foresight can utilise their time quite effectively. They would never starve for time.
Having patienceDoing work in a fast pace does not mean that a person is managing his time effectively. Many people lose a lot of time due to their impatience and hurry. One has to think twice before acting and only patient people can achieve that. Hurry and impatience would only bring problems and worry in life.
MultitaskingMost of the people work sequentially - one thing at one time. If tasks to be done are limited this approach is alright. People, especially ambitious people, having many tasks at one time have to resort to multitasking techniques. Multitasking has its advantages but at the same time, there are risks of falling in confusion loops thereby missing some vital activity. So multitasking can be attempted for better utilisation of the available time but due care is to be taken that the number of tasks should not be beyond the capacity of the person.
Take it as a way of lifeStrictly speaking, time management is a way of life. One has to see the things in totality. The results and implications of doing a certain thing are to be considered not only beforehand but also to be analyzed afterward. Many people argue that if they live their life with so much thinking and pondering then where is the time to enjoy. The fact is that if time is managed properly one will have more free time for fun and hobbies. We must also remember that one man's work is another man's hobby. Some people enjoy their work. They devote more time to that rather go for fun activities.
Avoid unnecessary stressPlanning one's time meticulously and adhering to it in a disciplined manner is the need for time management. We can not do everything at one time but we can plan and sort out the job's priority so that importance wise tasks get attended. Some people think that working fast is time management. It is not so. Our speed of doing things is dependent on how much time is available for the activity. If sufficient time is available then there is no point in doing it hastily as it will only create unnecessary stress. We must avoid stress at any cost. Health is a precious thing and stress is detrimental to it.
Time behaves strangely, beware of itTime has another strange thing about it that when plenty of it is available with us then we feel that it is moving slower and how to pass it becomes a challenge. On the contrary, when it is less you can't catch up with it as it appears to move ahead fast. We must be aware of this unique thing about time as it can allude us from time to time. Factually speaking, the time is same, it is only we that see it differently.
ConclusionIn essence, good time management will provide more spare time for a person and make life smooth and orderly. Once it becomes a way of life it will change one's habits and lifestyle dramatically. Time is fixed and limited in our life and it should be our all-out endeavour to utilise it optimally and effective ways.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do if I am not able to do multitasking?
Multitasking is not everyone's cup of tea. A normal person should sort out the jobs in hand as per their importance and priority and take up them sequentially.
Can I save time by working at a faster pace?
Every job or task requires some time to get completed. If we try to do it in less time or in a faster way, then there are chances that errors and mistakes would come up in it, which is not desirable.
If time moves ahead with a fixed speed why do I perceive it differently at different times?
We perceive time as per our situation and circumstances. When we have nothing to do, time will appear to be moving very slowly, while when we are rushing to the airport to catch a flight, it will appear to us as moving very fast.
Those who care for their own time and give respect to other's time are considered good citizens on par with any comparison. Time management is essential for every individual. Those who does not know how to keep time are really bothering others who regard time and respect time. If you do not respect time and manage it, you will lose visiting exam hall in time, you may miss the train when it leaves the station at right time and the politician would miss the presence of crowd if he won't maintain the real time. And those who are given the honor to deliver speech or lecture on stage, they should also maintain time as they have no right to waste the time of others by talking irrelevant topic and missing the main course of discussion. Thus every one must respect the time as every moment lost cannot be regained.