School’s just started but you feel like you can’t keep up? Well, you’re probably not alone! In this edition of Get Skilled 101 with yours truly, I’ll be sharing some tips on how to practice good time management skills (so you can attend some RF server events again)!!!

WHAT is time management?

By now, most of you would have some idea of what time management is. As the name suggests, it is about how you manage your time.

WHO is time management suitable for?

If you’re a super flexible person who does things on the fly, you may think, Guinz, time management is not for me, I don’t like to plan! Well, let me say, please bear with me and read on before deciding if time management is really for you or not.

In my opinion, time management is suitable for anyone and everyone. You don’t have to use it only in a school setting but you could also use it when you are planning your discord activities (like joining RF-affiliated server events) or planning how to fit going to 10 parties in one night.

WHY do we need time management?

Have you ever thought about how you spend your time? Well I have!! Take a look at the breakdown of how I try to spend the hours in my typical day:

Image 1: A breakdown of Guinz’s day

Unfortunately, we only have 24 hours in a day and on a typical weekday, I spend more than a third of my day at work, another third to sleep and I’m just left with the last third of my day either eating or carrying out other activities like cooking, showering etc. That leaves me with just 15% of my day to relax.

With time management, it is possible to maximise the amount of time I have to relax each day while still getting my 8 hours of beauty sleep (I know I need it).

WHEN do we actually practice time management?

Well, there are many opportunities for you to actually practice it. The question is whether you want to.

Ideally, time management can be practised all the time. However, I do feel that during a time when we find ourselves stressed and pressed for time with deadlines, time management is my best friend. 

WHERE do we actually use time management?

Anywhere honestly! Personally, I like to take some time off to really sit down and start applying some time management techniques so that I do not feel too overwhelmed with my tasks on hand.

HOW TO MANAGE ONE’S TIME [My top 5 picks]

If you search up “time management” or “time management techniques” online, you will find yourself lost in the many search results. This may not be so helpful since you may be reading repeated articles or techniques that may be trivial and not very helpful. Thank you for reading so far on the basics of time management! As a reward, I’ll be sharing my top 5 picks of useful time management skills.

1. GOAL SETTING

Setting goals may seem trivial but are actually one of the most important things you should do before starting your tasks. You may have seen many people using it before, but there are many people who use the SMART method.

‘S’ – Specific.

You want to set specific goals, like, I want to earn 100,000 rebel cash by 1 December 2021. Being as specific as you can is good because you have a definite aim to work towards. Compared with just saying, I want to be rich with rebel cash, you can see that having a specific goal gives you a milestone to look towards. The definition of rich can be different for everyone and compared to when you had 0 rebel cash, 1 rebel cash makes you 1 rebel cash richer than you were.

‘M’ – Measurable.

You must give a definite “value” for your goal. If it can be quantified, by all means please give a number to it. Otherwise, it could be as simple as saying you want to finish a task or a subtask.

‘A’ – Attainable.

Do not set goals that you know will be impossible to achieve in a certain timeframe. It defeats the purpose of goal setting! We want to be able to see ourselves checking off the boxes in our ‘to-do’ list and the more we get checked off, the more confident we feel about accomplishing our tasks.

‘R’ – Relevant.

You want to be able to set goals that align with your long-term objectives. For example, if you want to be a marathon runner, you would want to set relevant goals like improving your stamina in preparation. It wouldn’t make sense for you to set goals such as being able to eat 100 hamburgers in under a minute since that has nothing to do with helping you be a marathon runner!

‘T’ – Time-based.

Last but not least, one of the most important elements in goal setting is identifying a reasonable timeframe for your goals! Ideally, it should be realistic yet ambitious as we want to motivate ourselves to achieve goal after goal. 

2. PRIORITIES

Getting your priorities right is a key step in time management. Not all tasks will be due at the same time or require the same amount of effort to accomplish them. Hence, we need to be able to prioritise which tasks should be completed first and which tasks could be done at a later time.

3. THE ‘RIGHT’ AMOUNT OF BREAKS

While it may sound counter-intuitive, taking sufficient breaks between tasks helps boost your productivity! When you take a break, you re-energise yourself and allow yourself to be a better problem-solver. However, procrastinating and having too many breaks is counter-productive. We want to avoid this so getting the right amount of breaks may be challenging but definitely something to remember.

4. PLANNING AHEAD

By now, you would have probably gotten the gist and everything – PLANNING, PLANNING AND MORE PLANNING! But you may ask, how far ahead should I plan? Well, it really depends on how much you want to plan. Having an overall plan of what you want to do or where you envision yourself to be in 5, 10 years time is alright but don’t expect to be able to plan every single detail up till then. 

Be reasonable in your planning. Find out what are the long-term objectives you’d like to achieve, and decide on a suitable time-frame for you to look at. From there, you would have a clearer understanding of how far you could probably plan for.

5. USING THE RIGHT TOOLS

Depending on your needs and how you’d like to go about with your plans, there are various tools available to assist you. I personally would recommend using the free version of Trello as a start. You can use it to create different phases for your project or task, like ‘To-do’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Completed’. 

Other tools include daily/weekly schedule charts to help you plan meetings, classes and even allocating the time you want to spend for each task. You could also use Gantt charts to help you plot your progress/’to-do’ in a timeline format.

Conclusion

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading! I hope you are now SMART-er and can manage your time better! Time management is a very useful skill and the best thing about it is that there is zero to low cost being involved!! With good time management skills, you are definitely on track to being a more productive person!

Feel free to DM me (Guinz) if you have any questions or would like some cool free tools/templates to help you out!