S.M.A.R.T – Effective Time Management

The most valuable asset each and everyone have is time. It is quite interesting to note that we are all managers of our time. However, it is unfortunate that, at times, some outward forces instead manage a certain portion of our time. As a result, it would be ideal to loosely suggest that we mostly consent to all that happen to us.

Funny to say so to others although, but at times, we face the consequences of the decisions which we made in the past. Being great time managers will ensure we are content with life as it contributes to maximum performance on our daily activities.

This is how the above assumption is justified in my opinion: Let us consider using an example of a working individual. The life for a lecturer for instance who would have had a chance to choose between following an academic career or Accountancy career (not as an academic lecturer) earlier on as a teenager. Imaginations on how such a person’s time is influenced by outside forces such as duty requirements at a particular institution one could be working, different learners’ behaviours and many more are varied. Would not it be different if an option of accounting profession was followed? It’s obvious as an Accountant professional, such an individual spend most of the work’s time in front of a computer, recalling accounting principles and being quiet most of the time – hence we face the consequences of the decisions we would have made long back. It is acknowledged that the activities of the above mentioned jobs varies within different companies or institutions. The assumption in this article is that a lecturers main activities involves spending much time lecturing learners while an Accountant spending most of the time capturing financial data, processing it into appropriate financial statements and so on.

I always enjoy talking about the importance of time. I am sure I never forget to indicate that time is money in every article I write on time. From the above example, another assumption can be derived from different jobs held by different individuals. In essence, individuals value their time differently. A good question to pose is “how much do you value your one hour’s time?” An obvious example is to compare the value of one hour’s worth of time for Larry Page (Google Inc) founder and a primary kid student – there is a wide gap. The common measurement instrument is to ascertain the value of wealth an individual generates per hour or loosely saying as to an hour’s remuneration for those who are working.

I always wonder if people know the value of their time – for example – how you value spending five minutes with someone. We should take into consideration the small bits of our time. All the small bits of time should be considered as a 24-hour day is made up of 86 400 seconds.

The subject of time management takes me wild. Anyway, let me remain focused to the reason for writing this article – Effective Time Management.

Managing time is the most pressing issue among people as this is indicated by the way individuals postpone activities. I will share what I have learnt towards effective time management.

About two months back, I found myself experiencing more workload piling up each and every day that at one point it seemed beyond my capacity. The first thing I identified was the postponement of activities – yes I did this. I realised this after most of the tasks I scheduled on a particular week kept on piling. I had no option but to trace the origins of the cause. I noted that I was rescheduling unattained tasks and it worked as a weakness towards my entire plan for that week. This was a lesson to shun rescheduling of tasks; instead, there is a need to create additional time to finish up the planned tasks. However, this tends to be a challenge as some people makes unrealistic schedules e.g. scheduling to complete a task requiring 20 hrs of time to be done over a period of 10 hours. This on its own becomes a formula prompting reschedules.

On the other extreme, it is common to learn of people who do not plan at all. They just respond to circumstances as they befall upon them and they are comfortable with that – it is very dangerous, weird given the permission to use this word. Such a schedule should be termed as normal to kids not adults. In a business lingo, plans have to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound.

In essence, one should ensure goals are SMART or otherwise, it would be a nice formula towards ineffectiveness:

1. Opt to complete all the scheduled tasks by creating additional time instead of re-scheduling (rescheduling is as good as undocumented strategy leading to poor time management unless done with wisdom)

2. Know where time is frequently lost – this helps in finding a solution. If one does not know where the problem is, one is bound to waste time using a trial and error approach to come up with a solution.

3. Exercise S.M.A.R.T.ness in goal setting and in all that is done.

4. Have control measures to revise performance and make possible improvements.

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About Lucky Sibanda

He is a holder of Diploma in Entrepreneurship (cum laude) and a Bachelor of Technology in Business Administration at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2014 June - cum laude) (Cape Town, South Africa, in Africa). He has varied basic experience stretching from engineering, office work, retail and to the provision of tuition gained from the period of 2005 up to date. He is a qualified and registered Assessor (Services SETA) with a scope of 10 qualification (up to NQF Level 4).

Posted on 10/10/2013, in Motivation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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