MANAGING TIME 1 – LIFE IN GENERAL
The majority of students complain about time and we are the ones who always misuse “this little time” we have by sitting around complaining about the accent of that lecturer and that the lecturing pace is really fast, but I’ve learnt that complaining about it makes it even faster because I’ve lost time while I was complaining. (First-year student, Wits University).
Time is like money – you only have a limited amount of it and you have to decide carefully how you are going to spend it. You have to budget your time, just like you budget your money.
The first step to budgeting your time is finding out what you spend your time on. Keep a detailed diary for a week, writing down exactly how you spend every minute of your day.
You will quickly see where your time goes to!
Now start taking control. How do you decide what is important, what should be done first?
The top two quadrants of the time management matrix are where you have to focus.
Quadrant A is the urgent and important stuff, which needs to be done NOW. You don’t really have a choice. If you spend all your time in A, however, you function in crisis mode. It could be that you are not planning your time well, or perhaps you are procrastinating.
Quadrant B is what we often overlook or postpone, because it is not urgent – but it is important. This is what Covey calls the “Quadrant of Quality and Personal Leadership”. These activities require planning and initiative. They also require time to reflect. If you find time for Quadrant B, you are a time manager, not a crisis manager.
Quadrant C is filled with things we get into because we can’t say no. Learn to do so (i.e. say no).
Quadrant D contains the things we do because they are easy, mindless, and help us avoid the hard stuff. Social media, binge-watching series … These are the REAL time wasters!
So, when you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do:
Proper time management ensures that you do not waste this precious commodity. Energy management ensures that you get more done in the time available.
To stay happy and healthy, you need all of the following:
The time you allocate to each of these will vary from day to day and week to week, but you have to make time for all of them. Sleep seven to eight hours a night. Make sure that you get some exercise. Spend time with your friends. If you plan your schedule, it will all be possible.
Listen to: Managing Stress
There is no doubt the world we live in will continue to change – ongoing technological advancements will keep us needing to evolve and adapt. Plus, most of you will want to try your hand at various career paths and possibly even jump at the opportunity to work aboard. To manage these constant changes successfully, one needs to be adaptable. Being adaptable allows you to respond appropriately and quickly to new ideas and procedures, changing responsibilities and expectations as well as fresh strategies and visions. To do so you need strong interpersonal skills.
If you struggle with adapting to the world around you, consider working on critical soft skills such as you communication skills, creative thinking skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, the ability to work well in teams and organisational skills.
These skill bases are fundamental in assisting you manage changing landscapes with ease and adjust accordingly. However, one also needs to be open to change to be adaptable. To be open to change you need to be:
✓ Willing to learn
✓ Say ‘Yes’ more than ‘No’
The art of being adaptable
Adaptability is a soft skill that we all need to master. In fact it is a critical value sought by most employers. It highlights your ability to manage changes and new situations with ease and success. An adaptable person is resourceful, has strong analytical skills, and learns new skills to meet evolving needs and circumstances.
Given the speed of change in the current world, the explosion of new careers and skillsets, the need for business to evolve and adjust to changing consumer and market demand; simply means change is inevitable and here to stay! How adaptable are you?
An adaptable person will:
• Be able to manage challenges better as they are not hamstrung by boundaries and thought limitations.
• Be a better leader as they welcome and adjust to change, are open-minded and seek new solutions and paths.
• Be able to remain relevant when many fall out of favour, simply as they think laterally, adjust and re-engineer themselves, staff, and operation to stay with the current and future market needs.
Certainly, in nature, adaptability is key to survival but this rings true to business and employees too. Being adaptable will make you more valuable as an employee, provide greater leadership opportunity, allow you to try different career paths more easily, move to and work in a new location or overseas with greater ease of transition and tackle difficult situations with greater finesse. Read more...
Like self-awareness, self-motivation is a critical life skill. Strong self-awareness certainly is a solid driver to improve one’s self-motivation. Being motivated helps drive us forward, achieve our goals, allowing us to feel more fulfilled and improving our overall quality of life.
However, it is not always easy to feel motivated or to find the energy to drive yourself forward, especially when life is busy and there are a lot of “tasks” to be completed.
There are four key steps to help create a clear pathway before you focus on improving your self-motivation.
1. Try and stay positive and keep your negativity in check. Don’t despair or avoid the issue but try keep calm and move forward.
2. Focus on you. You are what matters. Do not compare yourself to others or their situation. It is wasted energy and a distraction from what matters – you.
3. Include motivating moments to every day – always. Include something you love doing and that you can look forward to each day. Meeting a friend, going to gym, or seeing family.
4. Place yourself in a motivating environment. This relates to both people and places. You will naturally feel better and more motivated in a sunny, light location with a great view or buzz. As you will when you are around upbeat motivated people...read more.
As the world of online study evolves in leaps and bounds and the complexity of the COVID-19 world demands more online work, it is imperative for us to master our ability to work independently. Similarly, remote work is a real possibility these days and companies investigate potential employees’ abilities and skills to work effectively remotely – even part-time.
Working independently is the ability to study or work for long periods without supervision and interaction. It requires a strong sense of responsibility and self-reliance to complete assigned tasks.
Studying online is convenient in many ways but it can also be difficult as you face many daily distractions, find yourself lacking motivation some days and procrastinating. Working independently requires you developing a work routine and style that works for you and ensuring you stick to it...read more.
7 tips on how to master studying remotely
1. Set a beginning and end time
Make sure you consider the task and allocate sufficient time to complete it. Set a start time to prevent procrastination. Also make sure you set an end time each day, so you know what you are working towards, and the end is sight. This helps to keep you focused through your study time.
2. Take regular structured breaks.
Schedule work time and break time and only break in your scheduled break times. Remember, taking a break is crucial so set an alarm so you don’t forget. Breaks help you stay focused and energised and work best if you are active. Don’t work more than a couple of hours without a break and ensure you break for at least 15 minutes. Take 30 to 45 minutes minimum for meals.
3. Reward your efforts
A great tool is to conclude every study/work allocated session by rewarding yourself. End on a positive note by rewarding yourself - go to meet up with friends, or for a run, or to watch a series...read more
What is self-awareness?
This critical life skill stems from the ability to tune into your feelings, thoughts, and actions. Too often these just form part of our daily existence without us paying any real attention to them. Simply by actively paying attention to what you are feeling, how you are thinking and your actions you will begin to better understand the reasons behind them. This action will allow you to better recognise your strengths and weaknesses and provide you more opportunity to change certain aspects of your life and create the life you want.
A person with a high level of self-awareness is better able to understand their emotions and feelings and channel their thoughts and actions more effectively. They have more self-control, a higher level of self-esteem, better able to make decisions and are more proactive in their life journey. Good self-awareness also improves your communication skills. With better self-awareness, you have greater clarity on the reasons behind your feeling, thoughts, and actions. This makes it easier for you to communicate more effectively with those around you, which directly leads to improving your relationships.
Equally a person with low self-awareness is often not able to regulate their moods as easily as they are unable to affectively understand their feelings, thoughts, and actions. Often this leads to defensive communication, and interactions with those around them. If you are unclear on what you believe in, your feelings and associated thoughts, it is difficult to make decisions and find realistic solutions. Bottom line – this all leads to procrastination and a poor level of productivity and heightened stress levels.
Being self-aware is without doubt one of the most important psychological traits you can develop and there are some useful daily tools and exercises to help you do just that. Read more...