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Time Management Days Plan

Introduction

Time management is one of the most important recipes to success. In order for an individual to succeed virtually in almost all aspects of his or her life (either in business, academic or even social life), strategic time management is inevitable. Effective time management directly translates to high productivity not only in terms of quantity but it is also a paramount ingredient as far as an individuals tasks performance and accomplishment quality is concerned (Morgenstern & Julie, 2004; 44) This paper therefore reviews the concept of strategic time management, presents the reader with current approaches to strategic time management and gives the importance of being a strategic time manager.

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Background Information

Effective time management involves proper planning of one’s time and the ultimate implementation of the latter so as to allocate one’s time to all the activities that he or she wants to accomplish (Morgenstern & Julie, 2004; 46). Although many people might think that time management is only concerned with time planning, implementation of the time schedule that one comes up with, just like it is the case with budgeting is the most crucial bit of time management (Stephen, 2001; 168). This is perhaps because even if an individual came up with the best time plan and fails to implement it or does it poorly, the latter will not translate into the desired results thus rendering the whole exercise a failure.

According to Stephen (2001; 167), time management is an art or a set of skills, tools and techniques that are utilized in managing time for efficient accomplishment of specific activities or tasks, projects or to achieve certain goals and objectives. It includes a wide range of closely related activities which includes but not limited to time scheduling, respective allocation, setting of goals, coming up with delegation schedule, detailed analyses of the time and mode of time spending, activities organization, and activities prioritization i.e. determination of the activity that requires first and last attention in that order. According to the latter, strategic time management is a set of activities that involve a recipe of procedures, paraphernalia and methods.

Approaches to Effective Time Management

Forster & Mark (2006; 224) categorized effective or rather strategic time management into four generations namely, fist generation, second generation third generation and the fourth generation models. According to the latter, first generation models refers to the use of the basic approaches to time management such as clocks and watches, which with the incorporation of the computer technology can be used to alert an individual on the time he or she is set to perform a planned activity. Second generation approach, on the other hand refers to the aspects of coming up with activity and time plans as well as making preparations using such tools as calendars, diaries and appointment books. This generation also incorporates goals and objectives setting and coming up with plans to achieve them. Forster & Mark (2006; 225) points out that the third generation approach involves time scheduling, identification of activities priorities and evaluation of the implementation and efficiency of the time plan using such tools as personal organizers, paper-based tools and computers or rather PDA –oriented systems. Fourth generation approach to time management of the other hand involves ensuring efficiency and proactiveness in the utilization of the first three generations tools and system to ensure effectiveness and strategic ness in time management. It also involves placing of goals and roles as means of controlling and evaluating the achievements of the time management system (Forster & Mark, 2006; 224).

According to Fiore & Neil (2006; 112), time management is a small compartment of other forms of management such as project management, attention management and personal knowledge management or what in other words referred to as personal time management. While the latter points out that project management has everything to do with project planning and coming up with project schedules, time management remains central. Effective and strategic management of time in this case is a key determinant of its success. Attention management on the other hand is the actual planning and control of the cognitive resources or rather the time that had to do with the human factor as related to the implementation of a project (Morgenstern & Julie, 2004; 47). However, its success is dependent on how well the manager is able to factor in the time management aspect i.e. effectiveness in time management. According to the recent writers argument concerning time and management, the term time management is taken to mean the act of managing an individual’s own activities with an aim of ensuring that they are completed with the set and available time pointing out that time is available but an all time difficult to manage resource (Morgenstern & Julie, 2004; 49).

Time Spending

Spending time does not always come with improvement in efficiency, productivity or even effectiveness in what we do. Time is not a renewable resource which means that once it is spent it can not be replaced but it is gone for good. However, an individual can save time in circumstances where he or she performs an activity in a less time and effort that it was performed in the last time or at a faster rate. An individual can spend time on a leisure activity like watching movies; an activity that has no economic or investments significance whatsoever (Fiore & Neil, 2006; 119). However, if such a time spender was a screenwriter rather than a mere spectator seeking entertainment the time spent in the movie translates to economic value or rather it is an investment because it aids him in taking his or her movie writing skills a step higher.

According to the latter, such a person is likely to save his time in future screenwriting since he has acquired high level of efficiency due to the experience. Another method through which we are able to save time is through delegation (Morgenstern & Julie, 2004; 48). Through delegation he says, the individual is able to teach another person to do what he has been doing. Although such training may be a bit time consuming in the present, it presents the individual with a possibility of saving more time in future. According to Forster and Mark (2006; 224), approaches such as the famous 80:20 approach, coming up with a task list which is very well organized and prioritized is an intricacy to saving time, good time spending which is the backbone of the success in time management. With the incorporation of computerization and up-to-date information technology, preparation and organization of the to do list has been greatly made more efficient

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Importance of Effective Time Management

An individual’s day for instance presents him or her with multiple activities that have to be covered by the same individual. Such activities vary in the aspect of urgency, intensity and importance. While some have to be completed within the shortest time possible, other can wait a little longer while others can even be put off until the following day (Fiore & Neil, 2006; 117). In order for an individual to effectively and efficiently handle the day’s plan therefore, it is important for him or her to strategically manage time which will involve prioritization of activities and precise allocation of time to respective activities so as to minimize time wastage in any one activity. Precision in this case will ensure that the latter does not, neither under allocate nor over-allocate time for any particular activities while avoiding straining in trying to complete an activity with a shorter time span than it actually require(Morgenstern & Julie, 2004; 49).

Conclusion

Time is a continuous, available but an all time difficult to manage resource (Forster & Mark, 2006; 224). An individual’s success in his or her activities however depends on how efficient and effective he or she is in managing this unique resource or rather effective time management (Forster & Mark, 2006; 226). As a result, it is of paramount importance that an individual has adequate strategic management skills if at all he is to succeed in getting all his tasks accomplished within the required time. As the time goes that failure to plan is planning to fail, failure to manage ones time is a leeway to failing in ones activities. Different scholars have therefore suggested multiple approaches to time management which includes preparation of task lists, tasks prioritization use of computer aided models such as ABC, resistors and drivers to control time management, the famous 80:20 rule among others.

Reference List

Fiore R. and Neil A. (2006), The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt- Free Play. New York: Penguin Group, pp 116-117

Forster P. and Mark L. (2006) Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management. Hodder & Stoughton Religious. pp. 224.-226

Morgenstern A. and Julie S, (2004), Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule–and Your Life (2nd Ed.). New York: Henry Holt/Owl Books, pp 44-52

Stephen R. (2001) Achieving Objectives Made Easy! Practical goal setting tools & proven time management techniques. Maarheeze: Cranendonck Coaching, pp 164-168

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