“If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the world and everything that’s in it, And – what is more, you’ll be a man, my son”
These are the closing words of J. Rudyard Kipling’s famous and striking poem “If”. What perhaps Kipling had in mind when writing this was a reference to not giving up when it is so easy to do so. We all have moments of frustration, not least with deadlines and just making things happen. Health and well-being consultant Samuel Furse looked into it in more detail for us at relaxedworkplace.com.
Time is a great leveller. It is something none of us can destroy or create (despite what your boss may tell you), though surely all of us can have our time wasted. Time is the same for all of us – although our perceptions of it change over time (ironically) and as a result of external stimuli, it is the first thing about our awareness of the world around us that is compromised on suffering stress or indeed any other emotional upset. Something of which we are all aware is the importance of meeting deadlines and the effect of missing these – diminished productivity, dangerous effect on morale and even cash flow as well as the reputation of your firm or department.
What can we do about this? Well, three things can help with effective time management:
Step 1 – Planning. Tedious though it sounds, knowing what you need to do and by when and writing all this down so you can see it all at once on a piece of paper can only help.
Step 2 – Prioritisation. This is often more of a challenge – how important and/or how urgent are the things you must complete. Knowing the difference between important and urgent is crucial here.
Step 3 – Know your limits. This means do not be tempted to take on too much. Stick to what is achievable, but at the same time ensure that you have enough to maintain optimum productivity and intellectual engagement – don’t get bored!