Life Skills Development/Unit One/Time Management
Figuring out your specific goals is only half of the goal-setting process. The other half requires determining your timeline for reaching these goals. It is near-impossible to come up with a strategy that will successfully fulfill your short-term and long term goals if you don't have a clear line as to when you want to achieve them.
Identifying and Eliminating Timewasters
If you were to monitor your time for a day you would be sure to find at least one, or maybe even more, time waster. A time waster is something that occurs in the day that is not necessary to your day, and if it did not occur, you could have quite possibly gotten something else done in its place. A time waster prevents you from accomplishing some goal. Time wasters need to be recognized and then one needs to figure out why it occurs and if the situation can be remedied i.e. how they can become time savers, making more time available in your day for goal oriented activities. The following is a list of the greatest and most common impediments to goal achievement in addition to a few useful time savers into which time wasters can become. Some of these are critical determinants to goal achievement and effective time management and will be dealt with separately in this section.
|Time Wasters||Time Savers|
|procrastination and excuses||schedule your day|
|running un-necessary errands||understand what must be done|
|meetings||build the right habit|
|computer||use idle time to your advantage|
|rushing||use technology but do not get bogged down with it|
|indecision||plan to work and work your plan|
|unclear communication||implement your action plan and prioritize on importance and need|
|stress, anxiety and fatigue||being aware of your best time of the day to get appropriate things done|
|inadequate knowledge : acting with out total information||using waiting time constructively|
|personal disorganization||organise your surroundings|
|interruptions: telephone, guests||keep interuptions to a minimum|
|inability to say no; dealing with other people’s issues or problems||personal crisis : family member is sick or injured|
Take the time each night to take control of the most precious resource at your command, the next twenty-four hours. Plan your work and then work your plan each day. Write up a To Do list with your entire have to's and want to's for your next day. Careful daily planning ensures prioritising (what does careful planning consists of). Without a plan for the day, you can easily get distracted, spending your time serving the loudest voice rather than attending to the most important things for your day that will enhance your productivity.
An integral part of this process is penning things down either on paper or electronically. Get into the habit of writing things to do down. Your mind is best used for the big picture rather than all the details. Writing things down helps you to more easily remember the important step by step details needed to attain the big picture.
Prioritising and Concentrating on One Thing at a Time
Your To Do list will have crucial and not crucial items on it. Despite the fact most people want to be productive, when given the choice between crucial and not crucial items, we will most often end up doing the not crucial items. They are generally easier and quicker than crucial items. Put the #1 next to the most important item on your list. Place the #2 next to the second most important item on your list, etc. Then tackle the items on your list in order of their importance. You may not get everything done on your list, but you will get the most important things done. This is working smarter, not harder, and getting more done in less time.
Typically, after having prioritised, do not attempt to accomplish a fraction of every crucial item in the day. This leads only to half finished projects and no feeling of achievement as all things are done in a hurry and appear rushed to others. Ultimately, this creates more time wasting as such items in the future need to be redone. Give yourself enough time to do things properly.
Practice saying “no”
The general rule is: if people can dump their work or problems on to your shoulders they will do it. Some of the most stressed people around lack the skill to 'just say no' for fear of upsetting people. Get over it because these people can do it for you.
Included in these notes is the SWOT Analysis and an Activity for your enjoyment.
Open this attachment with Open Office to get even more information on Time Management.
- Your personal/professional timeline of goals for the next 5 years or more.
- Your five or more steps to attain your major goals.
- A list of time savers and time wasters.
- Monthly plan
- To Do List
In this unit you learned about SWOT Analysis and practised how to restructure your goals to maximise opportunities and reduce threats. You created a Personal Goal Timeline and identified the Time Wasters and Time Savers that were affecting the achievement of these goals. You are therefore equipped to reduce Time Wasters and engage in better Time Management.
Checklists of Performance Task
|RUBRIC of performance criteria||V. Well Done||Well Done||OK||Not Ok- Will redo by ….|
|1.||My personal timeline for the next 5 years includes 2 long term goals|
|2.||My personal timeline for the next 5 years includes 4 short term goals that lead to attaining my long term goals|
|3.||My goals are SMART|
|4.||I have included these goals in my Personal Development Plan.|