Time management is the ability to plan your time productively and manage your assigned tasks in an effective and efficient manner. Effective time management strategies support efforts in scheduling your time, prioritizing your responsibilities, planning and accomplishing goals, and working toward project or assignment deadlines. Poor time management can produce problems with procrastination, over-extending yourself, and self-control. Time management is directly related to project management. Good time management is necessary for successful project planning and scheduling.
Attention management is the idea of examining the amount of attention given to certain tasks and distractions. The purpose of attention management is to help individuals stay focused on the essential tasks while attempting to avoid distractions in order to increase their efficiency. Some believe there is no way to manage time; however, you can manage where your attention is focused within a particular set time frame.
We can’t always control the amount of time resources we have available to us, but how we focus our attention during that time is a commodity we can control. First, we need to clearly understand our priorities. There is a difference between concentrating your attention on completing priorities, or goals, as opposed to just checking items off a list. You may need to fight the natural urge to focus all your attention on doing the fun or convenient task because usually your real and authentic goals don’t fit into those categories of fun and convenient. When determining where your focus should be, ask yourself, “If I could achieve one thing today, what would it be?” How you answer this question should help identify your most important priority, or one of them, and that is where your attention should be focused.
The animation below is about a professor presenting an analogy about time management and how we balance our daily responsibilities.