Have you ever felt overwhelmed with lots of works or school assignments?
When you feel overwhelmed, try to consider improving your time management, because this will allow you to get more tasks done and help you to maintain the balance between school, work, and organization.
In a book called Time Management, Ismail Kamdar shared six steps on how you can manage your time effectively.
- Living with a Purpose
Why do we want to have good time management skills? The primary motive for wanting to manage time is obviously because we have goals that require good time management.
If we still find it hard to manage our time wisely, we might need to ask ourselves, what is the purpose of our life and why are we being here in this world.
Once we recognize the purpose of our lives, then we can formulate our personal goals which can assist us in fulfilling our purpose.
These goals should be such that they align with our natural talents, passions, and skills. For instance, if you are passionate about writing, you can make it your goal i.e. to be a skilled writer and write beneficial books in life.
Goal-setting is very empowering. People who have clear goals wake up earlier full of energy, ready to tackle the next day.
For goal-setting, there is a SMART formula which refers to:
Specific – not vague; it is something specific that you want to do in life. “I want to be an author” is a vague goal, whereas “I want to write a book about self-help from an Islamic perspective” is a very specific goal.
Measurable – it should be something that you can keep track of to measure how close you are to completing your goal.
Attainable – it should be something you can work towards and attain.
Realistic – your goal must be something you are willing to do.
Timely – last but not least, a goal must have a time limit. As far as you leave something without any time limit, you will not feel the urgency to work on it. Set a deadline might help.
- Regaining Control of Your Life
Back to our first question, “Have you ever felt overwhelmed with lots of works or school assignments?” we might not realize it, but most of us live a rat race.
We keep being busy in life – works, schools, etc., and thus make us feel overwhelmed. We are blinded by keeping up with those things and others that in the process we forget our own priorities, goals, dreams, and duties in life.
One of the keys of time management is to be in charge of your time, to control your time so that time does not control you – it can simply start by evaluating our time and how we are currently using it.
- Re-evaluating Your Priorities
Priorities are those things that are important to our happiness and success, but many of us fail to recognize our priorities and thus make us fail to manage our time wisely.
Many people do not take to figure out the priorities in their life and this leads to a lot of wasted time.
To avoid it, we can try the diagram of the urgent/important matrix.
- Taking Initiative
When we have a goal, we should not procrastinate. When your mind is filling with excuses, you need to look at yourself and remind yourself that there is no benefit in delaying anything good.
Time management is a matter of replacing bad habits with good habits. If you are committed to time management then you need to be ready to change many habits over time.
The key to changing a bit is the following formula:
1. Identify the bad habit
2. Identity the good habit to replace it
3. Start replacing the bad with the good one day
4. Be consistent until the new habit becomes truly a habit
- Maintaining Momentum
As we know that time management is primarily a matter of forming a habit, it will be tough in the beginning.
However, without determination and commitment, maintaining momentum can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to be aware of this and take measures to avoid falling back into bad habits.
Some of the ways are setting up a daily reminder, get your family or friends to remind you, and analyze your actions and choices.
- Avoiding the Distractions
There are some common distractions which we use to face in our daily life such as email, phone, or work environment.
To solve this, you can regulate your communication into batches by setting specific times of the day to check inbox on email, for instance, twice a day in the morning and at night.
In addition to the work environment, the solution is simple: your work-space should contain just what you need for work; what you need should be accessible, and kept everything else away.
A Book entitled, “Time Management” by Ismail Kamdar.
Kamdar, I. (2018). Time Management And Barakah In Islam. Independently published.