Time Management: The Art of Organizing Your Time
Time is a fleeting thing. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Take into consideration the fact that a lot of us are at work more than we are at home, which has resulted in time being treated as a commodity. So much so that when someone tells us to take our time because they “have time,” it is often a surprise. Why? Because we are living in a world where time is precious, everyone is in a rush, and there is not enough time in the day to do all the things we need done.
We have put such a high value on time that we are willing to sacrifice other things simply to maximize our time. Parents miss their kid’s soccer games because of meetings. A husband comes home late after squeezing in a few hours extra to get more work done at the office. A student crams in late-night studying for a final exam.
What is the similarity between these scenarios?
Lack of time management.
Don’t believe me?
Consider this: the forty-hour workweek was a concept that was introduced in 1926 by Henry Ford. This is the man who brought us assembly lines and the model T vehicle. He was an innovator and businessman who, based on his own research, found that the more hours a person worked did not mean more productivity. In fact, a forty-hour work week had been presented in the past, but it wasn’t until Henry Ford popularized it, that it started to take off.
Prior to this, people often worked eighty to one hundred (80-100) hours each week. Their sole existence was to ensure a workforce was available. Henry Ford recognized this was unrealistic and could cause the opposite desired effect on productivity. Overworked, burnt-out workers do not generate more output.
Nowadays, forty-hour workweeks are the norm. In fact, any position that hits a minimum of forty hours a week is considered full-time employment.
Now, some would argue that the forty-hour workweek is outdated. While that is a discussion for another time, I think it is safe to say that unless you have great time management skills, you aren’t able to get a lot done.
This is one of those transferrable skills I like to talk about. The challenge comes when people try to manage time and tasks without any kind of understanding of what proper time management is. It goes beyond just simply making time. I don’t know why we say this, but this phrase seems very misleading. How can we “make” time? To me, that is like saying we can make money rain from the sky or wish away all our problems.
Unfortunately, that is most definitely not the case.
Time management is one of those things which can help boost productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and set the foundation for achieving a healthy work-life balance.
The idea of having a work-life balance is often treated as a myth. That is farthest from the truth! The secret to work-life balance is time management. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to do all the things you need to get done in one day. The struggle I often see is people trying to cram everything in a short amount of time. This does nothing but lead to people becoming overwhelmed, overworked, and burnt out.
Employers are beginning to catch on to the importance of work-life balance, time management, and employee satisfaction. We are meant to learn these skills in our formulative years; however, that is not always true.
Don’t get discouraged! There are some tricks and tips you can do to learn time management strategies.
- Use a planner.
- Block out time in your schedule
- Take breaks
- Work for a designated period
Time management is something that takes discipline, planning, and dedication Just like with any habit, you will have to make an effort to try different things and see what works for you!
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