As a former teacher, time management was extremely important. I was a special educator working with students with multiple disabilities. These students thrived on a set schedule, routine, and consistency in their daily school day. I always posted the schedule for the day on the board and the expectations. By doing that, I was, for the most part, able to alleviate some behaviors that would be centered around the unknown. This was particularly affective for students with autism.
The definition for time management is “the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively”. It is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables us to work smarter, not harder, so that you get more done in less time. Failing to manage your time can damage your effectiveness and may cause undue stress.
Time management is an important part of the organizing process. Often, we get distracted while performing a task and thus the task is left not completed. This can get frustrating. Our lives are often “cluttered” with things we want to do and things we need to do. The first step in effectively managing your time, is to prioritize the projects or activities. By that I mean to list all the things that you need to do and things you want to do. Then determine what needs to be done immediately or later. Overplanning can cause stress as well. I would recommend limiting 2-3 needed tasks done daily and maybe 1-2 tasks you want to do. A person that does not have good time management skills may need to write down a daily “to do” list. Once a task is completed, you would check it off your list. This provides a sense of accomplishment. As you begin to develop your daily list and method of completing these tasks, it will become easier and you can see that your day will be more fulfilled!!
There are many strategies that can help one with using their time more effectively. Some people prefer to use their phones and some prefer paper and pen methods to manage their time. It’s important to always keep your calendar up to date with upcoming appointments, events and activities. Lastly, always start your day with a clear focus of expectations, minimize distractions, have a task checklist and focus on high-value activities! As my previous principal always told us, “and don’t forget to take time to smell the roses.”