Time Management Articles
Time management is the conscious act of organizing your tasks, learning how to arrive places on time, and fighting against the urge to procrastinate getting work done. Managing one’s time isn’t limited to one area of life, but can impact work, romantic relationships, friendships, and family. People in one’s life appreciate a person’s ability to respect their time, and that comes with the awareness of how time works. An individual can manage time effectively when they gain an accurate understanding of how long things take including tasks, transportation, and meetings. Here you will find articles about how time management can help you get things done, strengthen your work relationships as well as personal ones. People underestimate the importance of managing time effectively. Read more about techniques to keep on track and maybe even be early for something!
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Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Time management can be defined as the act of consciously planning your time spent on particular tasks and activities to increase your productivity and maximize your efforts. Some people can manage their time effectively. They may be punctual and get things done without challenges, whereas other people may struggle with time management. There can be many reasons why an individual may experience difficulty managing their time, and a licensed therapist can help you identify and address them accordingly.
What Is Time Management?
Time management can be defined as a method of consciously making decisions that structure, protect, and adapt your time to changing conditions. When you effectively manage your time, you may structure it in a manner that enables you to complete your daily tasks and responsibilities.
Those with this skill will usually protect this schedule from interferences, while leaving time and space in their schedule for unexpected interruptions. For example, consider a graduate student who also has a family to whom they want to devote time. Effective time management for this person would likely involve a structured outline of daily tasks and assignments, saying “no” to extraneous requests from others, and leaving room in their schedule for an unexpected illness or fun family evening.
Challenges With Time Management
Struggling with time management is not unusual. While it may seem that time management comes naturally to some people, most people need to actively develop this skill to effectively complete their tasks and outstanding obligations. Difficulties with managing time can also accompany certain conditions, such as a learning disability or ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
Both learning disabilities and ADHD can be characterized by cognitive difficulties that may affect a person’s ability to plan and perform tasks in multiple areas of life. Accordingly, these challenges can impact how a person is able to structure their time. Further, these individuals may have deficits in executive function that can directly affect their perception of time. The pressure of time limits or deadlines can be overwhelming for those with executive function difficulties, and this pressure alone can impede a person’s ability to complete tasks in an efficient manner.
One beneficial outcome of time management can be the ability to remain productive while simultaneously allowing yourself the time to complete quality work. Caring for your work typically means that you do not want to produce a subpar product. However, if you are unable to manage your time effectively, it generally becomes less likely that you will produce something you are proud of creating.
Make sure that you have enough time to complete everything that you need or want to implement into your day. Rather than overcommitting yourself, try to be realistic and plan your day one step at a time. With discipline and a focused intent to manage your time, you may find that you not only have time to produce better work, but also that you have time left in the day to spend on hobbies and other enjoyable activities.
Strategies For Improving Time Management
Research suggests that time management can enhance job performance, improve academic achievements, reduce stress, and boost health. However, if you are one of the many who do not naturally have the ability to structure your time with ease, you may benefit from developing a set of strategies to help you improve this skill.
People who struggle with time management may find it difficult to identify the most important task on their to-do list. When engaging in time management, making a list of the most important things that you need to get done in order can be quite useful. Make sure that when you are naming these objectives, you identify what to prioritize first. Once you establish your priorities, work down the list and, once finished, implement other activities.
Use The ABCD Technique
A technique often used in business settings helps people manage their time effectively by following the letters of the alphabet. “A” is generally for tasks that are urgent. B can be for tasks that are important, but not quite as urgent. “C” may be for tasks that are unimportant but urgent. “D” may be for tasks that are unimportant and not urgent. Each group can be ranked by priority. This format may simplify your tasks and organize them in a systematic way that is easy to understand.
If you are still having trouble with time management, you can talk to a therapist about your challenges. Whether you are managing ADHD or have a complicated schedule, a therapist will likely be able to assist you in developing time management strategies. If you are overwhelmed by your list of tasks, a mental health professional can be there to listen and aid you in coping with that as well. A large workload can be stressful, but talking about it with a licensed therapist can help.
Benefits Of Online Therapy
If you struggle to manage your time, please know that there are therapists available to support you in learning to structure your day effectively. When time management is not your strong suit, online therapy can be a convenient option to receive professional support. You can set an appointment time that works for you and attend sessions from the comfort of your own home, which may reduce any stress associated with setting and attending appointments.
Effectiveness Of Online Therapy
More research may be needed on the efficacy of online therapy specifically for time management. However, a large body of evidence suggests that online therapy tends to be similarly effective to in-office therapy, and both options can effectively treat a wide variety of mental health disorders and concerns.
Time management skills can be valuable in all parts of life, but for many people, they’re quite challenging to develop. Many mental health disorders can be associated with symptoms that may impede time management skills. If you struggle to manage your time wisely, you may benefit from working with a licensed therapist to improve them.