Long hours at work, overtime, constant fatigue, skipping the major events, and forgetting of the important calls. If this list is quite familiar to you, you have to pay attention to time management.
Time management is the concept of managing time between specific activities. It enables you to spend your day effectively with less energy, time, and resources.
If you want to learn how to do all this in the best way, first of all, you have to figure out what tasks and activities require most of your efforts. For this, you may try to do the following.
Write down all your actions (even the least ones) for the whole day. It isn’t an easy task, and this day will be completely different from other ones. Hence, you will be able to see where you spend most of your time and resources every day.
In fact, specialists noticed that main reasons for incorrect time management among IT professionals are the following:
- Non-specific purposes;
- Wrong tasks managing by their priority;
- An inability to say “no” when needed;
- Many tasks that require a high level of focusing from a specialist;
- Lack of motivation;
- Factors that distract from the work;
- Phone calls that aren’t connected with work;
- Co-workers’ questions during the work;
- Unplanned events and meetings;
- Disorganized data storage.
Time Management Methods
There are four main methods of time management.
Everyone who is active and has a lot of work to do for every day has to write all the thoughts and tasks. Moreover, he/she has to write it in detail in order to open these records and see all the necessary things to do.
Nowadays almost everyone has a gadget (smartphone, tablet, laptop), which is always somewhere nearby. That is why it is so easy (and necessary) to use some devices to manage one’s time.
For this purpose, there are a lot of programs that you can download in the Play Market or App Store. In these applications you can edit notes, set notifications, schedule events (both short-term and long-term).
In most cases, people use urgent but less important tasks. Thereby, they postpone those tasks that can wait until some other time. And this continues on a daily basis.
In the end, it can happen that you need to solve some problems very quickly. And because of high stress, it’s almost impossible to do everything qualitatively.
When you stop planning your day, you need to analyze the tasks by their priority. If you want to have time to do all your tasks according to the plan, you have to divide them by their importance.
For this, you have to plan your activity at the beginning of the day or week and edit or delete some tasks if needed. It will be better to do all the things that seem to be hard at the beginning of the week or working day.
In this way, you will get rid of the anxiety that wouldn’t leave you until you have this task done. At the end of the working day, look through planned tasks and analyze them.
If you spend 10 minutes in the morning and in the evening for task planning, you will be able to control your activity completely.
Specify the Motive and Time Limits
No doubt, planning and prioritizing the tasks is an initial and important process in tame management. But everything that you do should have some purpose.
That’s why when you plan some activities, it is extremely important to establish timelines. They play an important role in any motive and task.
Usually, people experience stress and have some discomfort when there is too strict completion deadline. Although, it can happen that there are some unexpected circumstances despite the established time frame. To avoid this situation, you need to make some extra time.
A Lot of Tasks Don’t Correspond to the Efficiency and Quality
When people try to multitask, they think it’s ok and everything goes faster. But it’s not. The level of efficiency is the same as when you solve your tasks one at a time.
However, this situation has a big disadvantage: if someone does more than one thing at a time, he/she gets tired quickly and there’s a big chance to make a mistake. That’s why it’s so important to solve tasks one at a time and set their priority.
There are some methods that help you to prioritize. Let’s analyze the main ones.
A – tasks that need to be done in the first place; their compliance delay causes bad circumstances;
B – tasks that go after A-tasks; they are also important but not critical;
C – plans or tasks that are recommended to be done;
D – tasks that you can delegate to your subordinate employee.
The Ivy Lee method
- Every evening you have to write down 5-6 tasks that need to be done tomorrow.
- Prioritize them.
- Start your working day with the most important task. Proceed with the next one right after you finish this task.
- Do the same with the rest tasks. If something is left, reschedule it for the next day.
- Follow this algorithm every day, and soon it’ll become your habit.
It is worth noting that there are a lot of time management methods. Everyone can find something for himself/herself.
But every approach has one aim – teach you time management and make your activity as productive as possible.
If you master time management skills, you will be able to:
- Achieve objectives before anyone else;
- Cope with the several tasks in a short span of time;
- Make a clear schedule and follow it;
- Avoid continuous fatigue feeling;
- Feel comfortable at work and control your life.
And this is only a little part of the positive influence of time management on IT professionals.
In conclusion, we would like to notice that in the modern world everyone’s own time is the most cherished value. Because no matter how hard we try, we cannot get it back or change it. That’s why it is significantly important to master the art of time management.