Life Skills Development/Unit One/Time Management

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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.

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Think of your own timeline. What were your goals when you were younger and how were these goals achieved? Now list your future goals and show how you plan to achieve them. Use this framework to focus on your present reality.

Use this framework to focus on your present reality.

  • I am able to do………
  • I can meet this level of challenge.
  • I have these resources, support, expertise, time…
  • I have these goals….…

Reflect on what these mean to you and why.

Do a timeline to achieve your career goals. What do you plan to achieve in the next 3-5 years?

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  • What barriers have you encountered in your planning and acting out of desired goals personally, at work?
  • Were you able to turn them into time savers? How so.

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
idle chat relax
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

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Make a list of see how your own list of time wasters can be turned into time savers. Time wasters/ savers can be selected from the items previously outlined.

Careful planning

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.

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Discuss why it is important to be cautious or a risk taker, or persistent in order to achieve one’s goals (bearing in mind that an individual will encounter difficulties in trying to achieve his/her goals).

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  • Are you a risk taker or a very cautious person or at what point on the continuum?
  • What goals a particular would you therefore not consider?
  • What goals are priority for success and happiness?

Time Manaagement Additional Notes

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.

Portfolio Contents

  1. Your personal/professional timeline of goals for the next 5 years or more.
  2. Your five or more steps to attain your major goals.
  3. A list of time savers and time wasters.
  4. Monthly plan
  5. To Do List

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  • Write a short note on whether your goals are being accomplished within the time frame you were expecting or not, OR whether you need to re-structure your goals.
  • Have avae I planned sufficient time to achieve my goals? Am I mature enough and I am capable of managing my time efficiently?

Unit summary

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.

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