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Time Management Tips


  • Create a to-do list
  • Having small tasks in the list rather than a big one. Therefore you can tick those taks off easier
  • Prioritise the tasks based on their “Importance” and “Emergency”.
  • Here is the suggested priority (ranked by Urgent then Important
    1. Urgent and  important
    2. Urgent but not important
    3. Not urgent but important
    4. Neither urgent nor important
  • Be flexible -> Plan for unplanned things. Don’t fill all the slot in the whole day, give some room for emergency.
  • A bit under-estimate yourself on how long it would take to finish the task. If you think the task would take 2 hours, you may put 2.5 or 3 hours on the list/diary.
  • Don’t forget the small things that relates to the task e.g., travelling time.
  • Pomodoro technique (Pamodoro = Italian for tomato) -> Working in blocks of 25 minutes.
  • More info in the Website
  • and the book as below (click the picture to see on Amazon)
  • Pomodoro technique suggests you to just focus on only one task in the slot of 25 minutes (or the amount of time that fit you).
  • Vitae Booklet “Balanced Researcher” (PDF)
  • Priority is moving around i.e., things getting more urgent or more important. Thus long term plan needed!
  • Know when you are the most effective and not the active. Allocate tasks accordingly.
    e.g., If you are a bit lazy during 3-4pm of the day, assign yourself small taks during that time.
  • Your head/brain is like a hard drive. Don’t put too much in there unless its processing will get slower and slower. Organise and Re-organise your data, information, tasks.
  • Dare to put unnecessary stuffs into the trash.
  • Create waiting list, next action with specific required time and deadline.
  • Using Calendar to organise … sync with your mobile device if you have or consider Cloud based application.
  • Email tip … if you can finish it within 2 minutes, then do it now and delete it. If it requires > 2 minutes, put it in the waiting list. Subject to how urgent it is.
  • Time wasters! -> You need to have your own time for things you love … hobby, sports, Internet or Social Network Site. They are not time wasters as they make your life more lively unless you overspend your time on them. Hence balance them with your duty, prioritising and stick with it.
  • Learn to say “No” to things that are not necessary or will make your life difficult or will mess up your schedule/priorities.
  • Don’t check your Email/Social Network first, do your planned task on the day first.
  • If you need concentration, create such environment … turn off distractions e.g., email notifications, TV if they are so.
  • Remember that it’s not always gonna be a perfect day, prepare for it!
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