TEACHER CORNER | Time management

by Marigrace C. Monte

Many of us tend to forget how, as a resource, time is limited.

Whether or not we have one task, or hundreds of tasks to accomplish in a day, there are only 24 hours—eight to ten of which are consumed by rest.

This is why time management—or the process of planning how much time to spend on activities—is a valuable, even crucial skill to have, if one were to be successful in life.

In general, proper time management allows one to accomplish more in a limited period of time. In doing so, on frees up the rest of the time for other important activities like exercise or recreation.
Further, it decreases stress levels and increases concentration.

While I claim to be no expert in time management, I have figured out several ways to manage my time as a professional.

One is by making a schedule and a to-do list. These help one plan ahead, set goals according to priorities, and track one’s time. Apart from making a schedule and a to-do list, however, it is equally important to stick to them so that one develops a sense of discipline. That said, a little flexibility is vital, as well, so as not to overwhelm oneself and be able to adjust if and when it is really necessary.

Another way is by eliminating distractions. Seemingly small, harmless activities such as checking social media, watching television or listening to the radio, or chit-chatting with colleagues or friends at a time when they are not scheduled add up to huge distractions over an entire day. In order to focus, one needs to reduce, or even eliminate distractions entirely especially when one is on a tight schedule or a deadline is looming. Other distractions, meanwhile, include clutter in your workspace or bedroom, which also serve to muddle the mind and wellbeing. It is thus important to set aside some time to clean one’s space so that the clutter does not add to the stress of the daily grind.

A third tip is to make time for rest and relaxation. Leisure activities such as listening to soothing music or going for a jog may seem to be a waste of time for some. So does taking short power naps or getting a good night’s rest. However, many studies have shown that periodic recreation and relaxation contributes to a healthier and happier lifestyle, which makes for better productivity in the long run.

Lastly, one needs to learn to refuse. Saying “no,” contrary to what some believe, is not a sign of weakness or a form of unkindness. Refusing, especially when one cannot handle the task or responsibility requested, is in fact, a strength. This is because it lets the person refusing acknowledge his/her limitations, allowing him/her to not overpromise and underdeliver.

These are but tips from a person who has made it a point to employ proper time management in day-to-day activities. Whether one is an employee, a manager, a student, a parent, or a member of an organization, these tips may help in managing that limited and very precious resource we call time.