How to Manage Your Time the SMARTER WAY
When you are redundant, it is imperative you manage your time wisely, if you don’t, you run the risk of:
- Overworking, making yourself stressed out and becoming unproductive.
- Underworking, not achieving enough, thereby becoming disheartened and lacklustre.
Time Management is about learning how to manage your time more effectively, so what you plan to do works in practice. It is about learning how to organise your time more productively, so you achieve more as a result and feel better because of it.
Time Management can be simplified into four stages:
- Break it down into manageable pieces using S.M.A.R.T
- Reward your achievements
Stage 1 Prioritise
Make a list of all the things you want to achieve:
- Within the week
- Within the month
- Within three months
- Within six months
- Within a year
These will be your goals.
If you can visualise what you want your long-term future to be, you will feel more motivated and able to define what is most important to you now in obtaining those goals.
For example, I write my immediate goal is to get a job, within six months move home and within a year get a new car. I know my priority is getting a new job, to pay the deposit for a new home and to buy a new car.
Breaking down your goals in this way is helpful in understanding what your focus should be on at present. The next step is to break your priority goal down into manageable pieces:
Stage 2 Using S.M.A.R.T. tasking
S.M.A.R.T tasking is often used as a management tool in the workplace.
I have adapted it for our specific purpose:
Be specific about what your aim is and how you are going to achieve it: I want to get a new job. I am going to do this by applying for 5 Jobs a week.
I am going to measure my progress through monitoring my performance.
Assessing what is realistic within a given timescale. Is 5 jobs a week achievable? If not, what would be?
Stage 3 and 4 Monitor and Reward
When recording your progress in a table, remember to:
Break down your immediate goal – Applying for a job – into stages:
- Read the job description and person specification
- Research the company and job
- Create a cover letter
- Type a CV
- Post it
- Set your timescale for each stage
- Record if it has been achieved within that timescale or not
- Record how it has been achieved – For example, researched on the internet or by going into the shop
- Record the outcome
Another way to see your progression is to use checklists. This won’t give you a timescale and therefore isn’t S.M.A.R.T, unless you create a checklist incorporating times and outcomes into it.
Evaluate each step closer to your goal and reward yourself for your achievements.
Remember, rewarding yourself is a must. Do not skip this vital stage. It is essential to acknowledge you are one step closer to obtaining your goal, as it will motivate you to continue working hard to get what you want.