The Connection between Time Management and Personal Productivity


  The Connection between Time Management and Personal Productivity

Do you often find that your days are going by and you haven't made the progress you wanted to on a project, or felt like there were enough hours in a day? Are you constantly running out of time? These are all symptoms of inefficient time management.

To be productive, it's important to successfully manage all of your tasks, projects, and goals. This is primarily done with good time management skills. 

Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.
That definition is not very deep but it's what we're going to focus on. We'll get into more depth about how to manage your time later in this article.
How Time Management Affects Productivity
When you manage your time properly you are essentially controlling when and how much time you spend on certain activities and tasks. For example, if you want to get caught up with all the reading for class, you could spend your entire weekend reading or you could plan out exactly what needs to be read and when. You may choose to read fifty pages a day for the next four days. This way you'll not only get caught up on your reading, but you will also have time on Saturday and Sunday to relax and do whatever else you desire.

Effective time management helps us accomplish more with less stress. It gives us more time for recreation, time for friends and family, time for personal development as well as more time to sleep and rest. It's also easier to maintain a healthy diet when you know exactly when it's okay to eat certain foods. 
The benefits of time management are apparent. It's one of the most important skills for surviving in our modern society and being useful in our careers.

How to Get Started with Time Management
The first step is to determine what your goals are and obtain a good understanding of what these goals are. If you want more free time, then you need to carefully plan out the activities that give you the most benefit while maintaining your free time as well as possible. If you want more money, then you need to set up realistic and achievable goals for yourself.
You will also want to make a list of things you enjoy doing as well as a list of things that are important to you. Once you have these lists, then plan out the time for each activity. If it's an activity that is important to your life, then find out how much time and energy it will take to accomplish the task or goal. For example, if you want five hours of sleep daily and five hours of study time in your free time, then realize that it will take around six hours just for sleep (five hours inputting 15 minutes a day).

You could also use a weekly or monthly view for more long-term goals. For example, if you want to take a two-month vacation one year from now, then you should plan around that goal. You can also plan out how much vacation time you will need at work for that period of time.

Converting Goals into Action Steps
Next, determine the action steps required to achieve your goals and prioritize them in order of importance. If it's a business goal then you will want your action step to be a task that needs to get done in order for the position or project to move forward. It's essential that you list this task out and give yourself a deadline for completion. For example, you may want to have a new product developed by the end of the week. The most important thing is that you have time set aside on your schedule to get it done.
If the purpose of your goal is personal growth or relationship building then create a list of things you need to do to achieve your goal. Then assign each action step an amount of time and estimate how difficult each action step will be from one to ten. I would suggest listing things in order from most important to least important as well as difficulty level one being the hardest and ten being the easiest. This way you can create a plan that makes it easier to accomplish all the action steps.
For example, if you want to make more friends, then you may have to call old friends, initiate conversation with strangers in public places, make dinner appointments and etc. You should also value your time and realize that some activities will be more effective than others. Activities such as inviting that friend over for dinner or lunch may take a lot of effort but the rewards can last for a long time. In your plan make sure you set aside time to actually visit the friend as well as setting aside time for making the calls and initiating invitations.
When you get a chance to see your plan, ask yourself if the plan is realistic and feasible. The plan should be flexible to allow a little room for reality which means that you should not be too hard on yourself as well as stretching out the goals (create an extra week of vacation time at the end for added flexibility).
There are no hard and fast rules for time management, but I would suggest that everyone keeps their progress visible in a journal so that you can see how long it takes you to complete certain tasks and when you're getting close to completion.
If you follow these steps closely, and take good notes about what worked well as well as what did not work so well, then your time management skills will improve over time.
The Importance of Time Management
The best way to get more done is to have more time, but if you don't have the time to do everything that needs to be done, then you should make sure you don't leave anything important undone. It's a waste of time for example, to spend your entire evening preparing for a presentation or assignment while neglecting all the other things that needed to be done. The same goes for sleep. If you didn't get enough sleep last night because you were too busy preparing for that project and stressed about it, then you're depriving yourself of rest and may fall asleep during your presentation or assignment.

Time management is a very important skill that can get you more done in a day or week and help you sleep better at night. There are no right or wrong ways about how to do it, but if you follow the steps I outlined above, then you will be able to enhance your time management techniques to be better than most people and be more successful in all aspects of life.
For more free articles like this one, then we always recommend reading Time Management Mastery: Learn How To Manage Your Time And Get More Done In Less Time by Dan Miller.
You can also check out Dan's work on his website, blog and other social media platforms.

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