In the most recent edition of our town hall meeting, we discussed about time management as a tech enthusiast. We all know that a very important factor in any task assigned to us is “time”, once one has been given a deadline, one would have to do everything possible to make sure to deliver the task before the deadline so let’s discuss how to manage time when assigned tasks.
One important thing to know is that each and every one of us has exactly 168 hours a week at our disposal. Subtract the 56 hours we’d (hopefully) use for sleeping, and that gives us 112 hours. How one uses that time and what one does or does not accomplish with it, is entirely up to the person.
In managing time, You need to:
1. Know your priorities: You need to know what’s more important to you so you could allocate appropriate timing to each activity, Know what is
- Important & urgent
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Not urgent and not important
- Write out tasks that must be completed within a specific time
2. Get you a Plan/Timetable always: One of the worst things to do is to jump into a day without a plan, trust me, you’re just going to waste a whole lot of time! Learn how to:
- Plan the night before
- Plan first thing in the morning
- Note that all these should be according to your assigned priority. Remember, there is time for everything!
3. Start your day off with the biggest tasks: People are more productive in the morning. You tend to accomplish the big task if started in the morning (top of your list) rather than it being at the bottom.
4. Use technology to help you: We have alarms on virtually every phone, this does a lot, want to be reminded of how your day was planned, set reminders on phone or laptops, have stickers on laptop that reminds you.
5. Avoid distractions: You could be trying to google a problem and boom! Jumia drops you the latest dresses. This can be avoided by using a tool called “LeechBlock” . This is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block. Another alternative is to have chill time planned out within allocated hours.
6. Do not procrastinate: It is very certain that everyone is a victim of procrastination.
- Never push deadlines, prioritize to meet deadlines. The only way to meet deadlines is to never push them
- Set meaningful inspection points to see if you’re going to meet the deadline. Each week is such a point.
- Decide on the deadline first, then list the tasks that will fit into that time frame. Don’t make a list of all the tasks, then try to assess how long it will take. Think about it, if you only have two free hours, it’s quite easy to assess what will fit into that time slot.
- Break it down into smaller time units, not smaller tasks. Here’s an example: set the deadline for two months away, break that down into weeks, and figure out what will fit into each week. How does this make a huge difference? It’s actually easier to assess what you can do in one week, than how long a certain task will take over a period of time.
How can you differentiate between an urgent task and an important task??
Ans: Urgent tasks are mostly tasks that have an immediate deadline or a deadline that has passed. It is not necessary that these urgent tasks should be time consuming or effort intensive. It is also not necessary that these tasks will have a significant impact on your life. Most time they become urgent due to procrastination.
Important tasks, on the other hand, need not have a deadline looming over you. They are important because of the impact that they can have on you. They contribute to your missions and goals. Again, these need not be time consuming or effort intensive and may not require you to do it immediately. For instance, planning your education or career since your school days ‘“ it is not something that you need to execute it right now but will help you chart your direction.
Urgency of tasks is based on deadlines. Deciding which task is important is relative to each person’s thoughts and circumstances. In other words, urgency is driven by external factors and external pressure. Deciding the importance of tasks is an introspective exercise.
- Urgency of a task is largely governed by deadlines whereas importance of a task is decided by the impact or significant change it can have on your life
- Urgency is driven by external factors like deadlines whereas importance is more of an introspective exercise. What you consider important can differ from what others consider as important.