By Heang Sokuntheary,
School life has taught us many life lessons. Here’s a simple example: We were given an assignment or homework to be due in two weeks or so. However, seeing that we still have more time to do the work, we tend to be careless and neglect the responsibility until the last minute. Then, when it’s almost the deadline, and you have little time to finish your work, you might simply complain that you don’t have enough time. But have you forgotten that the work was given to you long before the deadline, and you just forgot to do it for some reason? Yeah, I am talking about procrastination. It’s so common among a lot of students, just admit it.
However, in this article, I’m not going to talk about procrastination, but a better way to get rid of it, simply with ‘time management’. I guess this term is very famous, and for a long time, people have been aware of it already. But what is time management anyways, and how to do it effectively? We are going to discuss it here.
According to Cambridge Dictionary, time management is the ability in using one’s time effectively and efficiently. Moreover, Mind Tools Website defined similarly that time management is the ability to plan and organize one’s time to do various activities effectively. It says having good time management skills will make you work faster, smarter and in less time, even with time pressure. Meanwhile, failing to manage your time well will cause your work to be ineffective and will cause you stress too.
Why Does Time Management Matter?
Time management is not just for a period of time, like a month, a semester, or a year, but for your lifetime. It involves every aspect of your life ranging from your work, your family, your passion and attitude in the future. Having planned thoroughly will make you easily keep track of your action, the preciousness of your time spent and result you’ve worked for so far. Someone used to tell me that we are just like an hourglass; the work can flow smoothly as the sand, running easily through the glass. However, if the sand got stuck and clogged in the hourglass, then that is like daily work getting procrastinated and your life won’t be able to function well.
Every hour and every day is so precious, so you have to live in the present all the time. Live like there’s no tomorrow. Live with care and don’t procrastinate. You should bear in mind that yesterday creates today, and today will create tomorrow. So, that’s why you should fill each day of yours effectively. H. Jackson Brown Jr said, “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasture, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
How to Manage Your Time Well?
In order to organize your time fairly and effectively, you must know your priority first. We usually compare things or situations based on whether it is important or urgently needs our attention. Moreover, Dwight Eisenhower divided his time priority into four groups:
|Important||Urgent + Important||Important + Not Urgent|
|Not Important||Urgent + Not Important||Not Important + Not Urgent|
So it’s very important for you to know what task or situation fits most into each domain, which ones you prioritize the most, next, and after that, so you won’t regret not having done things you need to do.
Next, you must know where your vision and passion lie. Having a clear vision is very important for your life’s goal and achievement. Vision always reminds you where you are going. When you know that you’re aiming for that, even with many failures, you still keep trying. A life without a vision is like traveling without a map; you will easily get lost along the way. I must admit that nobody is born with a clear vision, but as you walk through the path of your life up until now, you must find what you are good at and what you like the most. Start from there, write it down, and you might easily find your future somehow. Here is a step-by-step guide too if you would like to see.
After having the goal, list it down, and start having your own action plan. Having a goal is good, but how good is it without taking proper action on it? So planning should be the first step into bringing your future into picture bit by bit. In my opinion, you should set your key goals by section, develop a plan for yourself, your family, your education and so on, into an action plan within a number of years. Say what you want to achieve in one year, three years, five years, or 10 years. Moreover, your time spent will be effective if you could manage it using your diary, daily planners, or some planning apps on the Internet. For some daily planning, check out some more tips on that here.
Last but not least, you must know your best working time in order to manage your time well. Are you a morning person, or a night owl? If you clearly know which type you are, it’s really beneficial because you won’t spend a large amount of time dragging yourself to do something. Instead, you can focus on what you’re doing and produce satisfactory result. However, if the work still gets stressful or intense, it never hurts to take a 15 or 20 minute break and come back fresh.
In short, in order to manage your time well, you must know your goals, have a clear plan, start taking action, and know best about yourself. While trying to work hard, you also shouldn’t forget about taking care of your health too. After reading this, have you already pulled your book from your backpack and started setting up your goal already? If so, I am so glad you’re doing it!
Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.