Time Management in Research

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A time management system is a designed combination of processes, tools, techniques, and methods. Time management is usually a necessity in any project development as it determines the project completion time and scope.

Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, or productivity. It is a meta-activity with the goal to maximize the overall benefit of a set of other activities within the boundary condition of a limited amount of time. Time management may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects, and goals complying with a due date.

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Time management

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(estimated time to complete the task: half an hour)

Think of an actual or past research project you participated, and elaborate a one-day time management plan, considering the following tips of effective time management:

  • Plan well: Plan your day according to your most productive times. If you are a morning person, schedule tasks that require more concentration early in the day. Create a to-do list in accordance with your plan.
  • Manage interruptions: Assign a fixed time during the day to deal with interruptions such as emails, phone calls, instant messages, and social media rather than allowing them to interrupt you throughout the day. You could waste up to half an hour of your time regaining your focus after you have been disturbed.
  • Use spare time effectively: Always keep something to read with you. A reading task can be done while waiting on a bus or in a queue.
  • Go Digital: Use a project management software to help you organize and keep control of all your tasks.
  • Avoid postponing: Needlessly postponing unpleasant tasks just delays completing them.
  • Practice self-discipline: Lack of self-discipline is a serious impediment. Stick to the plan.
  • Time buffers: Schedule an extra 50% of the time as a buffer when you schedule time for a task. If you do not use this buffer, you can use the time to tick off a quick task. But at least you won’t eat into the next task’s time slot