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Urgent vs Important: How To Better Manage Your Time

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Quick guide to Time management

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There never seems to be enough time specially when you've got various projects to complete, properties to manage, tasks to do and places to be.

In order to get numerous things done, accomplish more and have time for what is most important to you, time management is crucial and it's a skill that can be developed with planning and determination.

After interviewing some of our staff, we have shortlisted the most important tools when it comes to best managing your time.


What is Time Management?


First, let's define what time management is.

Time management is the process of aligning and organizing your tasks and objectives into a timed schedule in order to increase productivity and efficiency. It helps you achieve your tasks and objectives on schedule by setting a designated time for all tasks to be done.


What are the benefits of time management?

Learning to manage your time well can lead to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Time management can also support with:


  • Reducing stress

  • Achieving goals more efficiently

  • Having a better work-life balance

  • Increase free time

  • Increase levels of productivity

  • Develop greater focus

  • Reducing procrastination and distraction

If you're looking to improve your lifestyle you can start today. Remember: Time management is a skill that can be learnt.


Tips for Time Management


Analyse Your Time

The best way to know where your time is going is by analysing how you are currently spending your time. You will need assess where you spend most of your time, this includes the time you spend doing certain tasks, replying to emails, in meetings, even the time you spend on social media and commuting. All this information will help you determine where most of your time is being spent and evaluate whether changes can be made.


Urgent vs Important

The key to good time management is to be able to tell the difference and separate that which is urgent from that which is important. Urgent are the tasks that need immediate attention, things that need to be done now, which may have a deadline. Important tasks are those that are important and valuable in achieving a long-term goal. The right balance will lead you to spend time on the important tasks not just on the urgent ones.


The Eisenhower matrix it's a tool that can help you define whether an action is important or urgent, when it should be done and who could complete it. They also correspond with the 4 D’s of execution: do, defer, delegate, and delete.



A grid graphic showing what is urgent and important and what is not

Break It Up

After you have identified what is important and urgent you can then start breaking each project into smaller tasks. You can set a certain amount of time to complete each task with the intention to fully dedicate the assigned time on this task.

For example if your task is to clean the house you can break it down by rooms.


One Thing At A Time

It's important and effective to focus on one task at a time, don’t try to multitask as this will only lead you to divide your time without fully completing one task. Fully focus on one task in the designated time and avoid all distractions. You will be surprised by how much you can accomplish in a certain amount of time when you focus.


Remove Distractions

When sticking to your schedule avoid all the unnecessary distractions, this requires you to intentionally remove those things you know will deviate you from focusing on the task ahead. Distractions can include devices, social media etc. You can spend time on these on your free time.


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It's also important to consider removing any task that you don't have time for. If cleaning is something that you cannot fit into your schedule or if untidiness is a distraction we can support you.


Take Breaks

Doing too much at once can be counterproductive, this is why it's important to ensure you take small breaks between each task to allow yourself some rest. You can take 5-10 minutes break between each task to avoid mental fatigue, this will also help you stay focused and motivated for the task ahead.


Plan Ahead

Knowing what your time will be spent on the following day is part of time management. Plan ahead so you're aware and prepared for what the day will look like and what you aim to achieve. If possible, try and plan a week in advance this will give you a clear picture of what to expect in your week ahead but if this is not possible you can try planning the next day at the end of each working day.


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Delegate

If possible, delegate some of the tasks that can be done by others, this will free up your time to do the most urgent tasks. For example, when it comes to cleaning, you can delegate each section of a room to other house members.


Conclusion


Time management takes dedication and practice but once you get the hang of it you will see major improvements. You may need to change things as you go along and that's completely fine, it's about planning, executing, assessing and learning so you can maximize productivity, control your time and achieve your goals.


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