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Effective Time Management is the key to success

Published:Friday | March 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Messam

There are only 24 hours in one day. How do we manage those hours? Do we use them wisely; make things happen? Or do things just happen to us?

It is important to manage the 24 hours of the day, and this can be achieved through time management, which is about managing your life, time, and resources.

"Time flies and draws us with it," once said French poet Nicholas Despreaux.

"You have to weigh the amount of work that you have to do," advises Cristen Jones, a student of psychology at the University of the West Indies, Mona. "The way you manage time depends on the amount of work you have to do."

She offers three pointers:

1. Manage your breaks, and you will not bump into obstacles.

2. Give your brain time to digest, assimilate, and process the facts.

3. Reward yourself for managing your time.




According to Paulette Dunn Pierre, educator and human resource consultant, time, like money, is a most valuable resource and must be spent wisely. "There will be many tasks that will seem to require your time and attention. You will be tempted to respond to many of them immediately," she says, adding that the more often you respond to things that are not part of your plan or priorities, the more often you will find yourself not accomplishing what you set out to do.

"I try and divide my time among all the subjects so I don't spend too much time on one subject and spend too little on another. I avoid watching television as it is very distracting," says Tedra Smellie, sixth-form student at Immaculate Conception High School.

If you follow some rules, you can manage your time easily and effectively:

- Every thought, feeling, and action uses time. Have a well-planned schedule.

- The key to successful time management is to do the most important tasks first.

- Goals and time are your keys to success. Use a daily 'To Do' list. Prioritise your daily list.

- A time log is a powerful tool for achieving control of your time.

- Schedule your study for the time when you work best.

- Have a definite period of study time reserved for each subject.

- Plan recreation, exercise, social activities, devotional time as carefully as you do your study hours.

According to Dr Hame Persaud, a St Andrew-based medical practitioner and author of A Renewed You, some of the benefits of effective time management include one becoming more efficient, more successful, and having a healthy mind, body, and soul.

He reminds us to:

- Set short- and long-term goals.

- Identify your top personal time wasters.

- Develop your personal action plan.

- Eliminate your top time wasters.

- Develop your ideal day.

- Plan each day before you start it.

- Identify your number-one priority and get it done first.

Here are some things that you definitely do not want to do

1. Believe that you are indispensable.

2. Have no time for the important work.

3. Attempt too much at once by never saying no.

- Paul Messam is a guidance counsellor at Mona High School.