Tips That Help You Manage Your Time, Achieve More, and More Effective
Set your goals
Goals direct your effort to take appropriate actions to accomplish precisely desired outcomes, and by doing so you will make progress. With a goal to reach, a greater chance of what you want will happen. Here are some principles to remember:
- Goals should be specific and attainable.
- Goals should be measurable to allow evaluation of progress and performance.
- A good goal setting should take into account personal capabilities and available resources.
- Time-bound goals motivate us to review on progress and move towards our target.
Make your schedule
Write down your goals in your notebook and develop a schedule of activities to achieve them. Set a specific deadline to create urgency.
Points to note:
- Don’t be too ambitious when scheduling activities. An overwhelming schedule serves as a barrier to the work necessary to achieve it. An attainable schedule increases motivation.
- Be assertive to interruptions that interfere with your work.
- Relate your schedule to a reward to increase motivation. If you need to give up something in order to achieve your goals, replace it with a positive reward.
- Don’t expect perfection. Rather, set time for evaluation to see if modification of your schedule would be necessary.
Prioritise your goals and objectives
For better allocation of time to deal with important and trivial matters in daily life, you can record your daily activities and do simple analysis by recording a detailed time log. The following are important points when logging:
a: Write down all the important tasks and trivial items of the day in chronological order
b: Prioritise each item and count the time you spent on your top priorities.
c: Analyse the reasons for the task that took the longest time, and decide how to make improvements.
d: A 7-day log is recommended. Make analysis and review from time to time.
Rank your activities upon the following criteria and work according to priority order:
- 1st: Tasks that are considered as urgent and important
- 2nd: Tasks that are considered as important but not urgent
- 3rd: Tasks that are considered as urgent but not important
- 4th: Tasks that are considered as neither urgent nor important
Procrastination means delaying something that must be done. We would be less stressed out and more productive if we could stop procrastinating. Here are some common reasons that make us procrastinate:
Cause of Procrastination
Solution to Problem
Lack of interest
Find out way to make the task becomes more pleasurable and rewarding. Often it can be helpful to have a friend for encouragement and to keep you on task.
Set a specific deadline to create urgency.
Write out each step of the task, how long each step will take, and then tackling the task one step at a time
Lack of reward
Reward yourself for something you have worked hard to accomplish.
Worry about being evaluated/ Fear of failure
Try to think about how much total impact upon your life this evaluation will have. Try to focus on completing the task with a goal of lessening your workload and worries.
Be decisive and make a decision as soon as possible
Better prepare yourself by building self-confidence, setting self-goals, and exploring the benefits of those things you dislike. Then, set priorities and deadlines. Finally, take action.
- Learn efficient work skills
Being efficient at work means getting things done better and faster according to personal capabilities and available resources. Here are some tips to improve work efficiency:
- Schedule your activities in accordance with your physical condition. Find out when your prime time is for work efficiency and optimize your work schedule accordingly.
- Keep a good balance between work and play, rest and activity. Midday exercise may help boost work efficiency and morale. Take a short break between tasks to relax yourself in order to maximize your productivity.
- Good mental and physical health give you energy to participate into the meaningful activities as scheduled and help you cope when faced with challenges and stresses. Regular physical exercise, a balanced diet and adequate sleep are needed to keep your body healthy. Try doing things that make you feel positive about yourself and have a zest for living in order to achieve mental health. Stay away from smoking, alcohol or drug abuse because they are hazardous to health.
- Use free time wisely. Think of times when you can review a chapter or get something done as when you are in a line waiting or riding the MTR, etc. Put a notebook or flashcards into your bag so that you can handily revise your study or jot down ideas during free time.
Organise your time so that you can make the very most of your life.
Good time management helps you live life to the fullest.
(Revised in June 2022)Printable version