Time management is found to be the most important skill of highly productive people. These
people know they have limited time so they indulge in planning a schedule for better utilization of time.
WHAT’S IN IT
- The ABC system
- The Payoff System
- The Covey Time Management Grid
- Misplacing things
- Forgetting things
How to schedule your time?
Effective scheduling of your time is an art that everyone who wants to become successful should master. By effective scheduling of your day, you can achieve a high level of a stress-free productivity. Most people fail to utilize their time effectively, if you are one of them then this the article is for you. Time management skill can be attained with practice, just follow the tips below.
Tips on how to schedule your time effectively
Identify the tasks to be done
Before you try to master the art of scheduling your time, you need to note down all the tasks that are needed to be done. First of all, writing down all the tasks will give you clarity on what is supposed to be done. Secondly, it will help you reduce the amount of stress on your brain.
Because you will be able to focus on one task at a time instead of wondering about what has to be done next.
Most people often make the mistake of not knowing exactly what they are supposed to do. Time management can only be done if you are aware of what tasks you have to perform in order to achieve your goals.
Identify the time required for each task
The next thing you have to do for time management is to figure out the expected time for completion of each task. As a result, you will be able to dedicate a fixed time to each task and will also know about the spare time you would be left with which you can utilize for fun and leisure activities.
For estimating the required time you can write down the amount of time it took when you did the same task last time. If you are doing a few tasks for the first time, then you can take advice from your colleagues and seniors.
Prioritize your tasks
Now you need to prioritise your tasks by using the methods below:
The ABC system
With this system you will prioritize your tasks on the basis of the value they bring to you. A consists of the tasks that are of the highest value as they are very important and should be done on an immediate basis. These are the tasks if not completed on time will have really bad consequences.
These are high priority tasks.
B consists of activities that are not as important as the tasks that fall in category A. But yes they are important too. The only difference is they are not supposed to be done on an immediate basis. So these tasks can be delayed for a short period of time, but yes not for a long time.
C consists of tasks that if not done will not create some bad consequences. Some tasks do not bring a lot of value to you. And you need to figure these tasks in order to stop wasting your time and energy.
The Payoff System
In this system, you are supposed to view spending your time as spending a currency (money). For the tasks you noted down previously, you just have to rank them in order of highest payoff at first and lowest payoff at the last.
As a result of doing this, you will have a priority list. The tasks with the highest monetary value according to you will be the task of the highest priority. And a task with a low monetary value will be a low priority task.
The Covey Time Management Grid
According to this method, you prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency. There are four grids:
Urgent and Important
Here you add the tasks that are really urgent to complete. But there are a lot of tasks that are urgent so decide which of these tasks are important as well. The tasks that are both important and urgent will be the highest priority tasks.
Important but not urgent
The tasks that are not urgent but have high importance needs to be completed next. These tasks take a large amount of time to be completed. So these tasks require planning.
Urgent but not important
The tasks that are urgent needs to be done next. These tasks might not be that important but are supposed to be completed.
Neither important nor urgent
These tasks should only be touched after all the important and urgent tasks are completed. Most of the time it won’t even matter if you don’t complete these tasks.
The tasks that are not that important, or some tasks you are not specialized in, need to be delegated to the right person. For finding the right and appropriate person, you need to understand that you should not only delegate to a person who is your subordinate. But you should be open to delegating sideways to colleagues having the same position as yours.
One of your colleagues might like to read the emails and reply to them and on the other hand, you might hate doing it. So you can swap your work, whenever possible, with your colleague. As a result, it will help both of you to complete the tasks on time.
Learn to say “NO”
Not being able to say “NO” as an answer to a question that might waste your time, is one of the biggest problems people have. It takes a lot of courage to say “NO”. So to be able to say know,
you need to ask yourself, “By saying yes what am I committing myself to?” and “Will it be a good use of my time if I commit to it?”
Tips on how to say “NO”
● Come up with a reason. A reasonable reason will make the other person realise that you are busy right now.
● Don’t say “can we talk later” if you don’t want to talk later. Give a genuine reason or straight away say “NO” if you can.
Fix time leaks
There are a lot of time leaks that can cost you your success. And the funny thing is you might not even realize it. So it’s becomes important to identify time leaks.
The most common time leaks are:
On one hand, this is the number one mistake that drains your working efficiency. But on the other hand, it is considered to be good as it keeps
your morale boosted; you might get some relevant information etc. So all you need to do is to fix a certain time in which you will focus 100% on socialising. It will act as a break. But when you are working your 100% focus should be on completing your task.
The next big mistake that drains your time is misplacing things. Everything that you require to complete your tasks should be available to you at every moment. For this, you can fix a certain space to keep everything organised. Keeping things organised will help you save a lot of time.
You forget things because your brain is not designed to remember every idea it generates. Its work is to generate ideas. So you should develop a habit of noting down everything. Trying to remember what is the next thing you were supposed to do will also drain your time.
Schedule contingency time
You might not anticipate the exact time required to complete a task, so always schedule some contingency time. Failing to schedule it might lead to stress as you will have to work extra hours.
You can use the False Deadline Strategy to schedule this time. In this strategy, as the name suggests, you have to set a deadline earlier than the actual deadline. If you are able to accomplish the tasks before this deadline then you will have more time to accomplish other tasks. Having a contingent time means you have a good time management strategy.
Powerful methods to utilize your time effectively
The Most Important Task Method
Not every task or goal will bring you the same value, some will bring more and some will bring less. So according to this method, you need to identify the most valuable 2 to 3 tasks every day and try to accomplish them first. Only after completing them, you should do other tasks. Just make sure these tasks are relevant to your end goal. If not, then they might not be the most important tasks. The tasks that have the highest impact on your goals are the most important tasks for you.
The Time Blocking Method
As the name suggests, you have to make certain blocks of time dedicated to a specific task only. By doing this you can focus 100% on one task at a time. As a result, it will increase your productivity.
Keep a note of the tasks that are not important but have an urgency to be done and keep these tasks in one block. Schedule breaks exactly when you need them the most.
Keep the highest priority tasks in the morning block or whenever you feel you are most productive. Least priority tasks at hours when you feel least productive. Start doing this and see how your time management skill enhances.
The Pomodoro Method
According to this method, you have to select the task you want to complete then do that task for 25 minutes with any distraction and with full focus. After 25 minutes, take a short break. Do this 4 times then after that, take a long break. Then start the process again.
This will also help you in increasing your productivity and better utilisation of your time.
We can conclude that, for effective time management and effective scheduling we need to note down our tasks, prioritize them, and learn to delegate tasks, should be able to say “NO”, fix time leaks and keep some extra time with ourselves. Try all three methods of schedule planning and continue the one that suits you the best.
Also you can read our blog on Start visualization to achieve your goals