17 April 2008

So much to do, so little time

Have you ever experienced running after a deadline at work or on a project? Finishing a homework before bedtime? Having a long vacation only to know that tomorrow you'll be back to work or school?

At some point, we all have to face the dilemma of not being able to do so much in so little time. We blame the lack of time for not completing a task or having to face the end of a sabbatical or vacation. The truth of the matter is, it's more of a time management really and not the lack of time.

We find ourselves getting engrossed in what we do at the moment that we feel bad having to reach the end of something. Sometimes, we cramp too much activity only to know that we won't be able to finish all of it and blame the lack of time. Again, this is becoming a vicious cycle on our end; blaming the limited time we have for not completing a task. Try to see things the other way around then.

Here are tips of time management to help all of us in managing our activities in what little time we have:

Don’t waste time on unnecessary stuff.If you’re in the office, try not to indulge so much time on reading personal emails. Do that after work hours so you get things done fast. Read only what is essential and relevant to your field and jurisdiction. I always clean up my mail first thing in the morning. I read my personal mails the last or whenever time permits. As much as possible, I forward my personal mails to my personal account at home so I don’t eat my work time for personal matters.

If you’re a student, try to finish your homework on the same day. Avoid watching TV or tinkering the computer on school days. I know it’s hard to do but learning to discipline yourself at this early stage will be beneficial when you are all grown up. Focus on your homework and lessons for the week.

Make a priority list or a “things-to-do” list.This is always a big help for me. I am not sure about the rest though. I prepare my list before I go home. I concentrate more when I am organized and I have laid out what my assignments are for the next day. There are other things that will come up so I check my priority list and accommodate according to my time frame. This list can be written randomly and just mark those that are in high-priority level.

Try not to multi-task.Multi-tasking is not bad all together but when it compromises the quality of output you have because you try to juggle 2 things at the same time then drop the act. You only multi-task at home but try not to do it at work. In your studies, you are unable to concentrate when you are multi-tasking so focus in one subject and move on to the next when you are done.

Multi-tasking can decrease your productivity because if you slip along the way then you’ll have to repeat the process again. So try not to do it.

Know when you work best.If you are a morning person, try to schedule most of the gruelling task in the morning because this is when you are at your most alert-mode. Finishing the hard tasks makes it easier to do the rest.

DelegateThis is applicable to those who are handling people at work. We are not Atlas who has to carry the world on our shoulders. We need to delegate work to our staff or colleagues if we are burned down. Pass smaller tasks to others and see to it that the deadlines are met. Be there as well when they need help. If someone says no, it’s okay and the world will not end there.

Be realistic – there’s just 24 hours in a day!We cannot stretch time as much as we wish we can. That’s a fact that can never, ever be bent. Just try to manage what you can do with the time you have. As long as the urgent matters are covered then leave the rest if it can wait. It’s not procrastinating but setting aside time for what is essential at the moment.

(photo source: http://www.fuddwhacker.com/images/time-warp.jpg)


  1. A nun said, "laughing" wastes valuable time uggghhhh!!! ha ha ha ha, i could laugh my heart out if i want to, ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  2. Amen to that! hehehehheeee, bwahaaahhaaaaaaaaaa


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