Time Management: How to use the time you have wisely

Your teacher gave you a heads up that your big final project was due next week. You put the date in your calendar but you push it back every day for the last home basketball game, to go to the movies with your best friend, or even to go to sleep early because you had a long day, you push it away until the very last minute. Now there are only 30 minutes until it’s due, your teacher started to collect some people's projects early, and you still have nothing. You did not manage your time wisely. Everyone has the same 24 hours in their day and it is up to you to decide how you choose to manage it.

Time management is defined as “the ability to use one's time effectively or productively, especially at work” The ability to do so is highly important to career success. So you may be wondering “How do I become better at managing my time?” There are so many options such as apps, reminders, books, and blogs, but none of these are truly effective if you lack the mental awareness of timing and putting things first. According to Harvard Business Review, three particular skills separate time management success from failure:

  • Awareness: thinking realistically about your time by understanding it is a limited resource.

  • Arrangement: designing and organizing your goals, plans, schedules, and tasks to effectively use time.

  • Adaptation: monitoring your use of time while performing activities, including adjusting to interruptions or changing priorities.

It is almost impossible to manage your time if you have no idea what to do with it. Beginning with awareness we can start to think about how much time we have, and when we need things done and then set a few short-term and long-term goals. For example, a short-term goal might include getting a few extra assignments done each day, so you have time to practice your singing over the weekend. Your long-term goal could be to make it into your school's best choir team!

Arranging everything is critical. In my personal opinion, writing out all of my dates, and times, and planning out how to execute each and every one of the things on my task list by the day they are due is the best way. By assessing what needs to be completed within a given timeframe, tasks can be rated according to their importance. Setting priorities for each day, week, month, and year can help students accomplish their goals whether they be short-term or long-term. Whichever way you choose to arrange things make sure it works best for you.

Lastly, we read about adaptation. How can I adapt myself and my schedule to fit all of my needs? Be sure not to overload or push away the necessities such as personal devotions, adequate sleep, exercise, and meal times. Some people like to prioritize easy tasks early in the day and use the boost to move forward. Others prefer to tackle bigger jobs first. Both are perfectly fine, adapt to your schedule and manage it in your own way.

Good time management allows you to make the most of your abilities and enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishment. Whether it be you get to sleep in, you get to go out with friends, or even just have some weight off your shoulders and allow you to have a clear mind. It is also one of the most desirable skills for employment. You have to be able to work around hardships, and complete tasks even if given in multitude, effectively. The importance of time management comes down to how much it impacts your personal and professional life. Time management is organizing your day so that you find the best use for every moment. Excellent time management allows you to create a healthy balance in your workflow and home life. The consequences of failed time management include missing deadlines, bad grades, less sleep, and living with excessive stress. Even if you’ve failed to manage your time in the past, it’s never too late to change that. Set deadlines, prioritize your time, get organized, complete tasks, and get the most out of the time that you have.

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