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From Your Navigator

Personal Time Management

Time management is an important aspect of achieving goals. Here are some strategies for patients, survivors, and caregivers to keep in mind when planning how to manage their time.
Web Exclusives – December 14, 2017
Cheryl Bellomo, MSN, RN, OCN, HON-ONN-CG
Oncology Nurse Navigator
Intermountain-Southwest Cancer Center
Cedar City Hospital
Cedar City, UT

It has long been said that “Time and tide wait for no man.” We all need to understand the value of time for each of us to succeed in all aspects of life. Time management plays a very important role not only in business but also in our personal lives.

Time management is important not only in our personal lives when we are healthy but also for those who are affected by cancer, including patients, survivors, and caregivers. People who waste time fail to create or develop an identity of their own and fail to follow their personal goals and dreams.

The management of time should occur on a daily basis, and throughout the day. Ask yourself: Which activity is more important to you at this time, plan. Jot down the important activities that need to be done in a single day, and how much time you should allocate to each activity.

High-priority items should be on top of the list, followed by things that are not as impor-tant right now and don’t need much of your attention at this moment. Ask yourself: Which activity is more important at this time, and how much time should you dedicate to that activity?

The Limits of Time

Time management is more than just getting things done in a timely fashion. Time management refers to managing time effectively so that the right time is allocated to the right activity. It is the assigning of specific time to activities according to their importance: it is making the best use of time, because time is always limited.

6 Strategies for Time Management

Use the following 6 strategies to incorporate successful time management skills into your daily life:

  1. Plan effectively. If you want to achieve a goal, you have to plan how to do it. Plan your day well in advance. Prepare a “To Do” list or a “task done within a week, or a month, and so on. The tasks that are most important to you should be done earlier

  2. Set goals and objectives. Set targets every day for yourself, and make sure they are realistic and can actually be achieved.

  3. Set deadlines. Set appropriate deadlines for yourself for each task, and strive hard to complete each task ahead of schedule. Ask yourself how much time you should be devoting to a particular task, and for how ma4ny hours or days.

  4. Delegate responsibilities. This strategy is also known as learning to say “no,” or learning to ask for help. You can’t do it all by yourself, so delegate some responsibilities to others, and ask for help when you need it.

  5. Prioritize your tasks. Prioritize the tasks according to their importance and urgency to you personally. Identify which tasks should be done within a day, which should be and how much time should you dedicate to that activity? Decide which task or activity should be done earlier, and which can be done a little later, and then follow up on those priorities.

  6. Spend the right amount of time on the right activity. Don’t waste a complete day on something that can be done in an hour.

Mobile Devices

To be effective in time management, you have to be organized, focused, and aware of the time you spend on each activity. Remember that developing the habit of using time effectively will help you to achieve your goal. Using daily planners, organizers, calendars, and setting reminders on phones and other mobile devices can assist you in better managing your time and achieving your goals.

Key Points

  • We all need to understand the value of time for each of us to succeed in all aspects of life
  • Time management is more than just getting things done in a timely fashion
  • Time management means managing time effectively so you don’t waste too much time on an activity
  • You can’t do it all by yourself, so delegate some responsibilities to others, and ask for help when you need it

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Last modified: April 3, 2018

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