Time Management Ahmed Saeed / Madaveli 27th April 2005
Most people have lots of things to do. Time Management is the process of choosing the right thing to do next and the discipline of moving to the next task when you've spent enough time on this one for now well enough.
Often you have many things that need to be scheduled. Meetings with other people need to be scheduled ahead of time. Running to the store to buy parts needs to be done when the store is actually open. Sometimes it is good to do less-important but time-limited tasks before doing more-important but time-flexible tasks.
To make sure important but time-flexible tasks don't get delayed indefinitely, most people allocate time on their schedule for them as well. If they get free time before then (yeah, right), they can do them ahead of time, and use the original time slot for something else.
Task estimation usually creates long lists of things to do. Many people update their task estimates every day, and then immediately do Time Management for the day, picking and choosing the right things to do today.
When you work for somebody else, time management is easier. You punch a clock. Meetings are when the boss says they are.
But when you are your own boss, the responsibility falls upon you to make sure that things get done, and that you don't spend all day on the phone or waste. You have to manage your time in order to get paid.
Some self employed people set business hours and work during those hours, just as if they were working for somebody else. Some people are a little more laid back -- they set a work quota, and they start whenever it's convenient, but they don't consider themselves done for the day until they have reached their quota of work for that day. The quota could be some fixed number of hours or it could be units of work done."