Unlike other types of resources, time is intangible and cannot be extended or shortened. A day consists of approximately twenty-four hours; an hour consists of sixty minutes; and a minute consists of sixty seconds. These are arbitrary divisions of time based on ancient number system but the actual passage of time cannot be manipulated not unless in relativistic terms.
Managing time is all about optimizing productivity and efficiency. It is all about focusing efforts and other resources so that goals can be accomplished within the allotted time. Goals could be either short-term or long-term goals. They may take several hours to several years, even a lifetime, to accomplish.
The most common application of time management is in the daily routine tasks at work. Effectively managing time at work sometimes seems difficult if the tasks are overwhelming. However, the routine tasks can actually become less overwhelming if time is managed effectively.
Managing time can be classified into several main categories. These main categories can be further subdivided into several strategies.
Prioritizing: It is crucial to know what is important and urgent as opposed to what is unimportant and not urgent. Prioritizing is always about putting emphasis on the most urgent and important tasks. It is a matter of focusing effort and resources based on the hierarchy of needs.
Planning: This should be based on priorities. It should involve the program or sequence of tasks that need to be accomplished. All types of unimportant and non-urgent distractions must be avoided or totally eliminated.
Streamlining: Eliminating unnecessary distractions and unimportant tasks is essential in streamlining. Optimizing resources and minimizing waste are the main points of streamlining. It could also involve the eradication of redundancy or duplication of tasks.
Saying no to additional obligations or tasks can also help in streamlining the time that is needed to be invested. It is unwise to be overwhelmed by additional burdens that cannot anymore be accommodated. Hence, saying no is sometimes necessary.
Delegating: One does not need to be the boss to learn how to delegate. Oftentimes, delegating does not require authority or ascendancy. It could simply be about asking help from other people who are more knowledgeable or skillful. Hence, it is about specialization of tasks and division of labor.
Subdividing tasks: Difficult tasks can be made lighter if they are subdivided into smaller tasks. Milestones can be assigned, making the tasks easier to manage. Smaller tasks are psychologically less daunting to do. These tasks can be performed by either a team or by an individual depending on the necessity.