BEFORE YOU BEGIN, SET A TIMER FOR 25 MINUTES! READY? NOW, GO!
What is Time Management?
Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you what time management is. However, ask any person who leads a very happy life, and they’ll tell you the actual truth.
“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”CHARLES DARWIN
We all know what it is, but we all are still unable to manage it. To understand it, let’s go back to the time before the COVID 19 outbreak.
Before the Outbreak
There was no lockdown and we were constantly busy. We were running a rat race without any rest. I’m sure you had millions of unfinished tasks in your to-do list. Everyday, we went to bed tired and guilty of not being able to finish something. We may have crossed a handful of tasks but there remained so much more left to do.
And then we’d wake up, feeling guilty, sleep deprived and ready to replay the cycle again and again and again. There were no actual vacations or getaways. You would work even during the weekends, the holidays, and even at home after work. You’d feel tired, disorganized, and lost. Eventually, this hurt your productivity and the quality of your work and personal life. Moreover, this led to stress and then increased anxiety. Such stress and anxiety used up your valuable time and energy. And this just would just go on and on.
However, you can actually break this cycle. It’s very simple. You just need to learn to manage time, instead of allowing time to manage you.
The Importance of Time Management
There are a number of advantages of time management. And this must be known from a young age however it can be learned later in life as well but after a considerable amount of miserable suffering of course. If a child doesn’t learn to manage their time, it may lead to persistent low performance and low self esteem. The child may even struggle later in life and find themselves a failure. Please, don’t let this happen.
Furthermore, Procrastination and Perfectionism are one of the leading blockers of time management. Read below as I explain how.
How to Realistically Manage Time
Perfect is the enemy of goodDr. Valerie P. Jackson
According to Dr. Valerie P. Jackson, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, there are some key steps for successful time management. They are as follows:
- set realistic goals
- get organized
- relax and recharge
- stop feeling guilty
According to her, procrastination and perfectionism hurts time management. When we put aside the most difficult tasks for later, our brain rewards us in the short term. However, pushing the task further leads to more anxiety. And anxiety consumes a lot of brain power. Further, when we try to be perfect at every task we just consume more and more time and energy. This looks like we are doing something great but actually we’re just minimizing the chance of actually finishing the work.
In fact, in the words of Dr. Jackson, “Perfect is the enemy of good”. Why? Because, If applying 80% of the effort produces 95% of the result, why waste energy to reach for that final 5%? Will anyone notice? Will it affect the outcome?
Time Management Tool
Everybody knows the importance of time. But, only a few know of time management tools to be more efficient. There is a simple technique called the POMODORO TECHNIQUE. Teach this to your children and see how things change.
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool made famous and developed by Francesco Cirillo in the later years of the 1980s. It’s very effective and will certainly help you and your children. Read further as I explain about it below.
THE 80/20 RULE
So, with the Pomodoro Technique you can teach your child to do a lot more with little effort. This is the 80/20 rule, 80 percent work with only 20 percent effort. This way your kid will stick to the work and will not abandon it. But how does the Pomodoro Technique work?
- Just do something
It can be something big, something small, something you’ve been putting off for ages: it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that the thing you are doing will need your full, undivided attention. Write what you are doing on a paper. Or even better find a suitable time to list down your to-do items. And remember, also put things that you must always do like eating, personal hygiene, sleeping, hobbies, traveling to office, etc. because these things can’t be compromised.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
Now, for 25 minutes, just let your mind focus only on this task. Promise yourself this: “I will spend 25 minutes on this task and I will not interrupt myself.”
It’s very easy! Because, it’s just 25 minutes.
- Work until the timer rings
Immerse yourself entirely to that work for 25 minutes and if something pops in your brain or something you need to do, just right it down somewhere, and do it after you finish this task. For now, just concentrate on what you are doing for 25 minutes.
- When the timer rings, put a tick mark on the paper
Now reward yourself for committing for the entire 25 minutes! You’ve done a great job so congratulate yourselves. And…..
- Now, take a short BUT much needed break.
Take a short 5 minute break. Let your brain rest and recover. This doesn’t mean going on Facebook or Instagram, that is tiring to your brain. Just relax, take a deep breath, grab a cup of tea, watch the sky, gaze outside the window, etc. Just let your brain relax and it will thank you later. Set a timer for 5 minutes and once the timer rings get back to another 25 minute session.
- After 4 times, take a longer break
After repeating the above task four times, take a longer break of 20-30 minutes. As you work more, your brain needs rest before another round.
This is the Pomodoro Technique.
There’s a clear science behind this. The human brain has an attention span of 20-25 minutes. After the 25 minutes, your brain becomes tired and will lose focus. So, use that 20-25 minutes. Work and then rest.
Now apply this technique with your child and yourself. See how things change! Tune in for more content.
Update: If you have tried the technique and found something useful or if you believe needs some adjustments do let me know! 🙂
Jackson V.P.(2009) Journal of the American College of Radiology, 6 (6), pp. 434-436.