To say that everyone desires to be successful in life whether one is a bureaucrat, a business person or a student is stating the obvious. We need to consider why several do not attain 'success'. Some are of the opinion that intelligence, knowledge, expertise, determination, single mindedness are the key factors for anyone to be successful. In my opinion however, 'time management' is the key and determining factor. You may ask me 'why'? The reason is, 'time' is the only resource that is given to all in an equal and definite quantity: 24 hours a day, nothing more, nothing less; whereas all other resources mentioned above vary in quantity (and quality) from person to person. How well one manages this limited resource is left to the person and on this management depends one's success.
In our fast developing world today we can easily be overwhelmed with information, people, and tasks that sometimes tend to get the better of us. Without sufficient knowledge, strategies, and tools we experience how inconsequential things can be the cause of much stress and discomfort. 'Time is precious, make use of it well' is the good advice of our elders. But today we often hear 'time is money' 'I don't have time' 'I am too busy'. Yes, we are too busy with many things and we lose control over our time. We are preoccupied with unnecessary and unimportant things and often waste time. It is important to see what we are busy with and what the outcome of our 'busyness' is. This short article would presumably, motivate one to focus on what we do and the purpose of our activities. We need to learn to budget our time and resources in the best manner possible.
Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. It is the ability to use one's time on priority basis. It may be institutional planning, annual programmes, business, study schedules, celebrations, vacation or even daily chores.
Time management allows us to be better prepared to the demands of our life and to bring out the desired output within a short time and perhaps with less energy and less stress. Though there are various approaches, the best strategy would be to set SMART goals, which are:
Specific: our goals must be very specific in terms of what we would like to accomplish. It sharpens our thinking and tells us why we do what we do.
Measurable: our goals must have a time measure. It helps us from procrastination.
Achievable: our goals must be achievable with the resources available to us in terms of abilities, finance, and conducive environment.
Relevant: our goals must be relevant given the time frame and resources to accomplish them.
Time bound: our goals must be time bound amidst many activities we do. It helps us to get the best within a short time.
Through the above SMART goals we learn to value time by being flexible with our time amidst emergencies as well as inflexible when it comes to priority activities. "Never leave until tomorrow which you can do today" says Benjamin Franklin, who was a leading American writer and publisher. Time management helps us to set ourselves organized, beginning with our thoughts. It takes for a little more effort. However, if consistently implemented it will lead one to a greater sense of freedom, satisfaction, and heights.
Sr M Dona Sanctis BS