What Makes Effective Time Management Effective?

Many people begin using a time management program without knowing exactly what makes it effective. This is often why time management programs are not effective for their users.

Most of us have heard that using time management techniques will help us in our daily lives.From the workplace to managing family responsibilities, we are told that there are better ways to manage our daily chores.

While many individuals at some point have purchased a book or attended a course on time management, they often do not stick with the program.In addition, many find the programs to be tedious and simply stop following the advice all together.Of course, the key to using a time management program effectively is to actually understand what makes such programs effective in the first place.

Staying Organized

The basis for most time management programs is organization.Getting yourself organized is the key to being able to accomplish tasks in a more effective manner.And for most of us, the one place that could stand a little organization is our work area.

When your desk or office is disorganized, it takes twice as long to find a necessary file or an important document.The need to spend 10 or 15 minutes simply hunting for the necessary equipment is 10 or 15 minutes not used toward the ultimate task at hand.This means that 10 or 15 additional minutes will be needed just to complete the task.On the other hand, neatly organizing your files will prevent this wastage of time.

This example illustrates why most time management programs will tell you that a major step toward utilizing time more effectively is getting organized.Many may see this as an unnecessary diversion.However, it is probably the most important and effective step in any time management program.


A second crucial step in effective time management programs is planning.Most people approach their daily routine as a hodgepodge of chores and tasks that must be completed.Time management programs, however, show that there is a better way.

One of the most oft-used steps in effective planning is list-making.Simply making a list of all of the tasks that must be completed by the end of the day shows you how much time can be devoted to each item.Even more, it means less time is spent throughout the day trying to remember what needs to be done.This keeps your work momentum flowing and stops unnecessary interruptions.

Also, effective time management programs teach people to break down large jobs into smaller pieces.If a presentation at work requires four or five steps, breaking down each step can actually save you time.You know what has to be done, when it needs to be done, and this prevents unnecessary stops in work that you might spend figuring out what needs to be done next.

Alleviating Stress

The element that makes time management programs so effective is that they help to alleviate stress.Sitting in a messy office trying to find a file that is lost while the boss is yelling from down the hall is certainly one definition of stress.On the other hand, knowing exactly where to find what you need when you need it makes life much more pleasurable and less stressful.

In addition, not knowing what truly needs to be done by the time you leave work is quite stressful.Knowing that you have forgotten something but can't quite remember what you have forgotten can also be aggravating.And of course, waking up in the middle of the night and remembering what you forgot to do that needed to be done yesterday is certainly a fine way to bring to an end to a good night's rest.

In the end, it is the sometimes mundane and even boring tasks that time management programs require that make them so effective.Just as with making a list, it is the small pieces of these programs that, taken collectively, can help us to use our time more wisely.

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