Mental Health Series: Time Management

Good time management requires a shift in focus from activities to results: being busy isn’t the same as being effective.

Developing effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands of work and leisure is very important.

Sometimes it may seem that there isn’t enough time to do everything that you need to. This can lead to a build up of stress. When working on different tasks at the same time or keeping to tight deadlines, good time management can be particularly important. Once you have identified ways in which you can improve the management of your time, you can begin to adjust your routines and patterns of behaviour to reduce any time-related stress in your life.

Different time management techniques:

The Eisenhower Matrix, also referred to as Urgent-Important Matrix, helps you decide on and prioritise tasks by urgency and importance, eliminating less urgent or important tasks.

The Pomodoro technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are named pomodoros, (Italian word for tomato), after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer.

Action Plan:

  • Start with what you need to do NOW
  • Clearly define the steps you will take, e.g. make a list
  • Identify the end point for each step and give yourself a small reward for achieving it
  • Arrange the steps in a logical, chronological order and set a date by which you will start each step
  • Review your progress and assign new tasks / projects only when the previous one is complete
  • Mingle/socialise with people who have a positive attitude and outlook on life and who will encourage you to keep going. Tell your friends or relatives about your goals

Apps and websites:

  • Focus booster: Based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique – it’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures
  • Microsoft To-Do or Wunderlist: Both apps help you manage, prioritise, and complete the most important things you need to achieve every day
  • Asana: Electronic calendar or online organisation tool
  • Bullet Journal: Create your own analogue customisation and organising system

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