Time management skills
For some, finding time to fit work, family, study, socialising, keeping fit, and time for yourself into each day may feel impossible. For others, suddenly having lots of time that is unstructured and self-determined can feel daunting and uninspiring. Time management is an essential life skill.
When you are very busy it can feel counter-productive to take precious time out of ‘doing’ in order to organise yourself, but investing 30 minutes of planning can pay dividends in the long run and taking control of your time can also help to reduce anxiety and improve productivity.
Listed below are some tips on how to manage your time:
- Start work tasks as early as possible, it will make you feel more in control.
- Identify problems early, giving you time to ask for help, and meet up with colleagues or friends who might have the same difficulties.
- Plan to hand your work in before it’s due.
- If learning identify what time of day is your most effective study time.
- Identify how long you can concentrate effectively. Go beyond this and your effectiveness drops dramatically.
- Plan regular breaks from works – they don’t have to be long breaks.
- Be realistic about what you can achieve.
- If you know you are unable to meet a deadline talk to your Supervisor as soon as possible
- Make a timetable to help with self-motivation and breaking the work into management chunks to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Plan out all of the things you need to do each week – include some fun things as well as all the other things you need to get done. It is important that you have time to relax and enjoy yourself otherwise stress will begin to build and it will affect your productivity and ultimately your wellbeing.
- Divide your timetable into fixed commitments and flexible commitments so you can see clearly where you have some room for manoeuvre.
Technology that helps your time management skills
When reflecting on how you spend your time, you may become aware that you are prone to procrastination. There are lots of reasons why people put off starting tasks or following through on them.
Break free from Procrastination in 3 steps
Procrastination – while effectively distracting in the short-term – can lead to guilt, which ultimately compounds the initial stress.
For more detail on how we need to address the emotional side of procrastination see this BBC article by Christian Jarrett.