Time happens. It flies, it flows. Spending your time in an effective way is a hard task to accomplish. There lies a big problem which is hard to deal with. You see - time has two separate entities in human mind. One is real time - that occurs naturally. The other is clock time - that is 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and so on. Clock time passes equally. However, real time is relative. It is abstract in its perception - it can go fast, it can drag. Our experience of time is a very tricky thing that makes a lot of problems when it comes to doing something. It might take too much time.
Hopefully, time management is the perfect solution for such problems. Time management enables you to work much more productively with far more satisfying results. It also helps to avoid getting too much stress and turning your working process into a completely incomprehensible mess. Time management is a method of planning and diving time to be spent on certain activities in order to achieve a particular sets of goals.
Since real time is an abstract matter - why not teach yourself to shape it the way you need?
Basically, there are three types of human activity - thoughts, conversations and actions. No introduction is necessary. These three comprise every form of activity you take in one form or another. Thoughts evolve into the actions, then actions evolve to conversations about actions, then they evoke thoughts which evoke conversations that evoke actions that evoke conversations and so on to the end of time.
There are two types of time management - general and task specific.
General time management refers to your everyday activities - whether its making lunch, washing dishes, surfing on internet or writing poems then writing prose then writing a diary entry. Usually, such type of time management is organized by your own intuition. You know how you're doing certain things and how much time it takes - and you plan according to that. There is no point in telling you how to do it - so I would like to skip this part altogether.
Task specific time management is much more interesting. It is type of time management aimed to achieve a certain goal - to write a novel, for example. In such case you need divide the stages of the work, set deadlines and gradually, step by step, move towards your goal.
While the way of doing this time management largely depends on the task you're doing and goal you're aiming at - there are few points that you need to remember.
Don't wait for the right moment to start - just sit down and start. Point of entry might be a bit rocky. But it will go smooth later on;
- Clear your mindset before start. It might take some time but don't worry. Leave your bad thoughts, feeling, premonitions, apparitions and other potential distractors behind. Usually it just takes a deep breath to cut it off;
- Define your general goal in one short sentence. Never stray away from it. Keep it within an eyesight in some form.
- Make a "pathway" towards the goal - a set of steps to achieve it. Stick to the principle - think global, act local. Breaking down the big goals into the small sets of actions makes it easy to do from psychological point - you may be scared of the big mountain, but it doesn't seem that scary when it is divided into the elements;
- Compose a schedule of things you need to do. Use step-by-step breakdown. Define priorities - what things need to be made at first, second, third rows;
- Divide every activity into stages. Usually there three: preparation, action and analysis;
- Set up deadlines. In order to keep up with your time - keep a real clock within an eyesight. It is even better when you have both clock and a timer lingering on. Keeps fit and focused;
- Document your activities. Analyze how much time every activity takes and what are the results;
- Record your thoughts throughout the process. Don't let them sit in your head and distract you;
- Schedule time for pauses. Taking time off gives you the breathing space that can give you an opportunity to look at the progress from a different point of view, thus finding flaws and tendencies that might need a revision. Look for the ways of improving every step regarding the goal. Pauses help you to prevent gaining a "weary eye" on your project;
- Ignore every distraction. EVERY. That includes phone calls, social media updates, mail checks and other forms of cyberprocrastination. If it is not furthering your progress towards a goal - forget about it. If you can't do it yourself - use blocker-applications.
- Don't try to do everything at once. It doesn't work. You do one thing at a time. Then you do the another thing. And then another. Not in the same time. If not - you will get into the mess and that's not what you need.
- Keep somebody to hold you accountable. Need to report and document your progress to somebody that is not you is very motivating to achieve impressive result. That's a productive play of your own vanity. Having a girlfriend helps.