This Essay will support the view that managing ones time involves prioritizing the tasks one has to do. Before we go further. Let us look deeply into what time management entails. Developing time management needs practise and a lot of guidance along the way. the goal is to help become aware or knowledgeable on how to use ones time effectively. Therefore Time management can be described as the process involved in planning and gaining conscious control over the amount of time spent on certain activities in order to improve efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. In exercising the act, range of skills, number of tools and availabilty of techniques will be needed to accomplish specific task, objectives and goals. Lets not forget that the ides of managing time is mainly important when one is trying to comply with a due date. That is, a deadline is always anticipated and in order to meet it time must be managed properly. Furthermore time management does not only refer to just business, school or office activities, ity includes personal activities as well. It is considered a necessity in any activity worth doing as it will to a large extent determine the productivity and completion time. How to manage time is not taught in lectures but it has to be learnt. It doesn’t matter how smart a person is, if you cannot organize yourself and arrange your schedules properly, you will find yourself procastinating the work that has to be done. In today’s universities, polytechnics and tertiary institution as a whole, an individual will be outstanding if he or she can develop the ability to handle information and manage time. Mann(2008) states that ” Careers are made or broken by the soft skills that make you able to handle a very large workload”(pg 28). In other words, you can differentiate yourself in a n organisation by putting in place the techniques to break your workload in smaller parts.
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Managign ones time involves prioritizing the tasks ones has to perform. It is important to proritize activities lined up before you in order not to end up achieving an aim that does not carry reward and neglecting an activity that when completed adds value. The ability to quickly process and analyse information and develop it into action is one of the most eemergent skills of the professional world today. Organize your workload in order of omportance and urgency. By doing this time is not wasted even if there was no time left to perform the non-important task, one can have a rest of mind knowing that what matters most have been attended to. We also have to be aware that even though managing time involves prioritizing tasks, it is not advisable to multitask. Multitasking is considered deadly because it decreases productivity, no matter how energetic a person is. So one must create a to-do list and spend the first hours on whatever is on top of that list. This is a great idea because even if you can’t get the whole thing done within the time you have, you will be able to go back to the remaining ones you have started.
In one of his publications, Markovitz (1996) proposed that ” Just because a task appeared to be interesting or enjoyable, it does not mean that you have to attend to it immediately”(pg 65). Even though that activity involves a lot of fun, if it not important it should be placed on hold. If you do not attend to something that is not important, the cosequences will not have a negative effect on you. you may pass up the chance to have a laugh or enjoy a movie at that period, but it is not the last you will experience. When the tasks before you are assignments, it is good to prioritize them as well. Develop the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject, when completed it will make you feel fresh thereby having more energy to take on the other ones. When prioritizing time in relative to time, you must not allow for distractions that is, whatever you have not planned to do must not take the place of what oyu have to do. It is easy to get carried away when you are trying to perform your task especially when you come across something you really love to do or recieves an invitation from a friend to quickly participate in some activity that will not result to time wasting. When you have set your priorities right, you should cultivate the habit of studying and achieving to them always. On the other hand, one should be disciplined enough to postpone unecessary activities until every urgent work had been done. As young people we unexpectedly meet opportunities that look appealing but a focused mind will not divert its attention. With that been said, one must begin to think in terms of pride of accomplishment. Think of what will happen when you accomplish everything on your to-do list, imagine how excited and refreshing you will feel when you looked back and realised that you have managed your time properly.
There are various tools that can help and individual prioritize tasks and effectively carry them out without exceeding the time given. One is creating a simple to-do list. Just like i have mentioned earlier this program will help you identify a few items, the reason for doing them, a time frame for getting them done. To make it more interesting your to-do list can be posted on the wall in your room, bathroom, on your book or even set as a wall paper on your phnoe. This will serve as a reminder anytime it catches your eye. Another tool is a daily/weekly planner. This may include appointments, lecture timetable, group meetings, sport practise, religious programmes and even leisure time. A llong term planner is also useful, it is referred to as the monthly planner. You can use this to plan ahead for events, functions and journeys. You also have to know how your body works or know when you work best. You must perform your assignments in a way that you will not overstress yourself. Some people are used to staying up late studying and still have the energy to function the following morning. This is not so for the people on the other side. One must be able to know the condition that best comply with ones body structure. You can discover yours by monitoring your perormance under different conditions. Student A can study for hours without tasting any food and yet still go about attending to other engagements while student B may find it difficult to do so. Student A may not be able to study in an environment where there is loud music or concentration of so many people while student B can study beside a market place or even have the music on while reading. However the most important thing about performing a task is to note the most suitable time for it.
Another situation we find ourselves is when all the tasks lined up seem to be equally important. That is the moment when you begin to feel there is too much on your plate. This is a problem that everyone face from time to time. Even though it may be difficult to skillfully juggle priorities and multiple responsiblities, it is however not impossible. Some techniques can still be applied in situations like these. The first question one should ask is: Is everything really important? Though everything is important but since you cannot divide yourself into several parts, you will have to find a way. For example if the project before you involves relating with people. What you can do is to talk to them. Finf out from then when they need your help, how much work do you still have to help them with and if they can help you by granting you a free time. When you settle with a group of people like this, then you can attend to another group whom you feel attending to them is of utmost importance. Researchers in project management have come up with two methods that are worth applying when trying to answer the questions like: How do i decide what is a priority? What should i do first? The first one is the P.O.S.E.C method. The term POSEC is an acronym which stands for prioritize by organizing, streamlining,economizing and contributing. This method supports the view by reggie leach(1990) which states that “If you pay attention to your evryday personal reponsibilities first, then you are in a better position to handle other things that may come your way”. This method can be followed in the order of hierachy. P – Prioritize your time and define your tasks by goals. O – Organize the things you have to accomplish regularly to be succesful. S – Streamlining the things you may not like to do, but must be done. These are specific tasks you are not crazy about about working on. E – Economizing the things you should do or may even like to do. but they are pressingly urgent. C – Contibuting by paying attention to the remamining things that make a difference but which may not have an immediate measurable benefit. This method to some extent lets you breakdown your tasks and project into little segments. It helps you put your tasks in order. An innovative speaker called Ralph ransom at one of his conference was of the view that:
No matter how you prioritize your tasks or even your life
the important thing is to gain control over the things that
are eating away at your time and standing in the way
of your accomplishing everything you would like to do.
The first task for many will be to start utilizing time
managements method to make their task list and
projects a lot more manageable.As with anything,
the first step is always the most difficult.But once
you have a system in place using it will get easier and
it will be very beneficial.
When one realizes that some projects or habit eats away time that could be invested in educative and productive endeavors, it could be the foundation of proper management of time.
The other method is called the Eisenhower method. This is the much talked about Four quadrants method where items are placed in each box according to its importance and urgency. so things that are unimportant and not urgent can be placed behind those that are. Quadrant one is where crises are, which obviously have to be handled immediately. Quadrant two is where true productivity is, and where one should be focusing most of ones energy. Quadrant three is where the traps are set. For example you recieve a call from a friend asking you to come and watch a movie with him. This interrupts you from Q2 or Q1 tasks. The call may be important to your friend but not to you. I have an ucle who used to say “lack of planning on someone’s part should not create an emergency on yours”. Quadrant fouris where we can find craps. Trivial time-wasters fall in here. e.g Facebook, t.v, pinging on blackberry. This method of eisenhower has really hleped a lot of people to understand how to properly prioritize their work. The beauty of the method is in it’s simplicity. All you have to do is answer YES or NO and automatically you will have your priority.
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In conclusion, prioritizing daily tasks is key to succesful time management. When you prioritize, you accomplish the most important task first,therefore time management should be made a habit. Always remember that everything has a deadline so make sure you know it so you will know how to prioritize it.Also be aware of the critical path,in other words Distractions. The things that you have to avoid to remain focused.
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