4 Principles of Time Management and Organization
Many of us are enthusiastic about time management tricks such as journals, notebooks, organizers, post-its etc. Even if we manage to keep up with our schedule, this is not really what brings us satisfaction on our time. The tyranny of the “to do list” has the ability to paralyze us sometimes when there are too many tasks to accomplish in our daily agenda. Yes, organizing and prioritizing ARE important, but need flexibility and adjustment to our energy and needs. Tasks to be performed should be seen as a choice than as something imposed from the outside. Let us therefore consider what really has an effect on three aspects: how well we use time, how satisfied we feel about our time and how much we control our time.
• Time use, like everything else in our lives, begins with motivation. How well you use it will depend on how motivated you are to engage in certain activities. Therefore, liking what you do and seeing your activities as being worth the time represent the firs principle of time management. This principle draws our attention to the congruence between our goals and the activities we are involved into, as well as on their correspondence to our intrinsic motivation. It is important to make sure that you get involved into activities you either like doing, or, if you don’t like them so much, you really know why you are doing them. If you do not see your own values reflected in your actions, it would be beneficial to reconsider your choice of activities.
• The principle of balance reflects a balance between bound and freely chosen activities, between different areas of your life. A balanced use of time does not necessarily mean equal time allotted to either work or leisure or investing more time in leisure activities. The sense of balance is subjective and varies significantly from one person to another. For example, spending one hour a week for an activity which is your favorite hobby may be sufficient, while, for somebody else, one hour a day might not be enough. There are two more issues that deserve our attention. The first one would be granting time for yourself on a daily routine – time that could be used to stop and reflect. Researchers insist on this idea – people who are satisfied with their time make time for themselves on a regular basis (can be anything from yoga or going to the gym to meditating or pottering the house in peace). The second issue concerns the boundary system adopted by each of us. We tend to believe that it is essential to make a strict demarcation between work and home, work and leisure, etc.
• The responsibility and achievement principle means approaching a proactive rather than reactive attitude in relation to time, in order to prevent the feeling that you are over-stressed. This can be achieved by prioritization and making choices that you will create a feeling of accomplishment. When we talk about time, we talk about achievements – completion, respecting deadlines and feeling progress. It can be difficult to have a sense of accomplishment on a daily routine, especially when working on a long term project. To compensate, it is important to finish something every day – it can be something as simple as cleaning the office or help your child with homework.
• Time anxiety and lack of control is an upside-down time management principle reflecting something that needs to be conquered. It’s about that feeling that you are running out of time and you are not able to exercise any control over it. It is a general problem of people who are not satisfied with their time. This can be counteracted by developing an internal locus of control.
This list does not cover all aspects of time management principles, but it is what Ilona Boniwell, author of “Positive Psychology in a Nutshell. The Science of Happiness “, recommends on the basis of her research in the time management field.
IlonaBoniwell, “Positive Psychology in a Nutshell. The Science of Happiness “