Am I Feeling Bad or Badly?

A responsibility that often gets overlooked is managing your time. This is the act of intentionally planning out what you need to do and when you need to do it. While it can be tempting to just “go with the flow” and let things happen as they will, putting effort into time management can make your life easier. Taking the time to do simple things, like weekly planning or employing time-blocking, can help ease the stress of everything you need to get done. Time management can also help ensure that you are making the space to do the things you enjoy, such as hobbies or hanging out with loved ones.

Why Time Management Is Important

As the world gets larger and more complicated, it becomes more necessary to be intentional and mindful about how you are spending your time. Mindlessly scrolling through social media or binge-watching TV are examples of activities that can steal your time away. While neither of these activities is necessarily “bad,” the time they take away from other more important areas of your life can have a detrimental effect.

Better time management has been correlated with several benefits. One study gave employees a one-and-a-half day time management training to help with procrastination. After one month, the employees reported increased time management skills and decreased worry and avoidance behavior compared to employees who did not receive the training (Eerde, 2003). This means that increasing your time management skills can have a positive effect on your job by encouraging action and decreasing feelings of worry.

Time management can also have benefits in an academic environment. Students who feel they have greater control over their time see the following benefits:

● Less role ambiguity

● Less role overload

● Fewer job stresses

● Greater work satisfaction

● Greater life satisfaction

● Better self-evaluations of performance (Macan et al., 1990)

Feeling like you have greater control over your time is exactly the kind of power that practicing time management gives you. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you can feel sure and prepared to tackle anything that comes your way.

Time Management Skills

Certain skills can help create better time management habits. Try focusing on developing the following skills to gain more control over how you spend your time.

Goal-setting.

When you have clear goals, you understand all the steps you need to achieve them. This allows you to take action and get things done. Having both long-term goals and short-term goals can help you prioritize and manage the things you need to focus on.

Organization.

Being organized can help you manage time better because you can easily find what you need to find. This includes keeping files and paperwork tidy as well as taking detailed notes.

Planning.

Planning out your day and week can help you stick to your schedule. This allows you to complete everything you need to.

Prioritization.

There are different ways to prioritize. For example, you might choose to complete short, simple tasks first to get them out of the way. Conversely, there might be a complicated task that needs your attention right away. Knowing how to prioritize is an essential piece of time management.

Stress management.

Feeling stressed can make it difficult to manage your time. (Poor time management can also be a cause of stress). Approaching tasks from a calm state of mind will make you more efficient. Try exercises such as yoga, journaling, or meditation to manage stress.

Time Management Tips

Different tools will work for different people. Consider the following common time management tips and see if they fit into your life. Keep trying until you find tools that feel useful and comfortable to you.

Pomodoro Method

This method can help you take action and get things done if you are having trouble getting started. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work straight through with no distractions. When the timer is up, take a 5-minute break. Repeat this cycle until you get your task completed.

Eat the Frog

“Eating the frog” is a time management tool that refers to doing the biggest or most unpleasant task first. Getting this task out of the way means it won’t be hanging over your head. Plus, getting the most difficult task done first can help serve as motivation for the rest of your day.

​Build in Breaks

While it can be tempting to pack your day with activities, it is also important to build in breaks. Research has shown that building in breaks with regenerative activities, such as walks or meditation, can boost productivity and overall well-being (Taylor, 2005). When you build a time management plan, try to include breaks. Even five or ten minutes can be beneficial.

Do you feel like you are always busy but can’t seem to get anything done? Creating structure around your time can help you gain control if you feel overwhelmed. With some forethought and practice, you can learn to manage your time more efficiently. This means that you can have time for all of your responsibilities while also creating space for the activities you enjoy. Keep trying until you find the set of skills and tools that works best for you. Gaining back control of your time can help you gain back more control of your life. To learn more about time management as a writer, view our website, contact us at 314-795-3448, or email us at info@tipofthewriteberg.com.

 

References

Eerde, W. V. (2003). Procrastination at work and time management training. The Journal of Psychology, 137(5), 421–434.

Macan, T. H., Shahani, C., Dipboye, R. L., & Phillips, A. P. (1990). College students’ time management: Correlations with academic performance and stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(4), 760–768. Taylor, W. (2005). Transforming work breaks to promote health. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(5), 461–465.​

 

 

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