Time is the only resource which is equal for all people, while its flow cannot be changed, or cancelled. This phenomenon, sometimes regarded as time equity (Cameron 2008), is a resource which can be invested into various spheres of life: career, study, friends, family, hobbies etc. In order to spend time efficiently and place proper priorities, it is necessary to practice time management. Principles of time management are simple, yet quite successful ideas which help everyone to organize time in order to provide structure to life, and help reach a better quality of life (Cameron 2008). The 21st century with its intensive pace of living has created an environment where knowing and applying the principles of time management is vital for everyone.
In my opinion, one of the most important principles of time management is elaboration of time management strategies (Martin 1996). For building a strategy for effective time management it is necessary to assign priorities to tasks; common practices for this principle are giving numbers to tasks and arranging them by these numbers, or by assigning each task one of three priorities (low, medium, high) and then arranging tasks inside these groups (Kriel et al. 2005). Also, building a successful time management strategy requires understanding that time periods should also be arranged and prioritized. For example, for each individual there are hours of maximal productivity, hours of recession and hours which cannot be used for working or can be used with minimal efficiency. Tasks have to be set to certain hours with respect to productivity of these hours. In general, I have noticed that many people do not realize the importance of these principles or do not apply properly strategies of time management. I believe that it’s important to use these strategies to the fullest all the time, since such approach allows to reach more in life, and to approach to personal goals faster.
The least favorite principle of time management is procrastination, in my opinion. One of the important principles of managing time is reducing and avoiding procrastination (Martin 1996). Procrastination is a process that takes a lot of energy and does not lead to any positive result; moreover, the longer work is procrastinated, the harder it is for the individual to start it. At the same time, there is one neat issue about non-procrastination approach: energy of an individual is also limited, like time, and when energy is on the low level, trying to fulfill a proper task may result in a failure and total decrease of motivation and productivity (Ries & Murphy 1999). Thus, at periods with low energy level procrastination can be useful in order to retain the balance of power; however, this action should not be estimated as procrastination but rather than a rest period. In my opinion, this principle is one of the most difficult principles of time management since it requires a high level of self-understanding and demands to feel the exact border between idleness and low energy as well as between procrastination and reasonable breathing-space.
The importance of time management can hardly be overestimated nowadays: on one hand, the number of possibilities for growth and development is increasing as well as informational load; on the other hand, the amount of hours per astronomical day remains the same. In my opinion, everyone wanting to live a successful and fruitful life should understand and constantly apply principles of time management.