Most Efficient Way of Studying - The 4 Ds of Time Management

Education Education
12-14 12-14
Mehnaaz Khan
7 months ago
The 4 Ds of Time Management

Voiceover by Tanmay Tandon.
You can find more voiceovers on his Instagram.


"Time and effort can get you anything you want in the world. But nothing in the world can get you more time."


Time management is the way of organizing, planning, and executing activities, especially the important ones and to be more productive and punctual. Every other person has an issue with the lack of hours in a day.

Good time management skills make a person realize that time was never an issue. It is always the procrastinating and delaying nature of humans that makes them fall short of time.

Check out: The Importance Of A Routine For A Child

Time management importance

People usually don't value the wonders proper time management techniques do to their daily life until they have themselves witnessed the changes and results of being particular with time. There are so many benefits of time management:


  • Helps in accomplishing the desired goals
  • Habituates us to work within a deadline
  • Helps in putting off procrastination
  • Instills in us a sense of responsibility and punctuality
  • Brings in a disciplined lifestyle
  • Makes us more productive
  • Prepares us for future endeavors


It is said that the only thing more worth thinking about than time is where and what we decide to spend our time on. To analyze and enact any activity, the 4 Ds of Time Management which is also known as the 4Ds of productivity, is the most distinguished technique. In simple words, it can be said that this strategy helps in determining whether the activity or the task is worth our time and efforts or not.


What do the 4 Ds of Time Management stand for?


  • Do
  • Defer
  • Delete
  • Delegate


These four are not mere words but can frame your entire day, week, and even life!

They have the potential to instantly decide whether the task is worth it or not, whether it should be completed at the earliest, or can be done later.


This is, most probably, the most effective time management skill. Here's what the 4 Ds exemplify:


  • Do - The most straightforward of all the Ds. This aims at completing the task at once and at the earliest. Once you have processed the necessity of the task to be done, doing it as soon as possible is the simplest way to avoid a last-minute rush that leads to missteps and blunders.


Time management


  • Defer - To defer any task is to delay it. In other words, it means fulfilling the task at the ideal time and not hurrying into it. It postpones the activity that is considered less urgent and enables one to stay focused and complete the tasks that need immediate attention.

Time management


  • Delete - The name is sufficient to state what it means. To delete is to drop the task from your to-do list provided that it was of low to no importance and would not impact your productivity in any way. Deleting must not be equated with deferring.


Time management

  • Delegate - Delegate means to assign your task to someone who you believe can do the task as efficiently as you would have done. With too many Dos, the chances of delegating increase. But it also requires you to supervise the person you have assigned the task to.


Time management


Tips for students on how to implement the 4 Ds of time management in their activities.


  1. Personally analyze and go through your to-do list and mark the stuff you think is important and just do it at the earliest. Usually, the simplest tasks get piled up and turn into a burden at the end.

Tasks like submitting your assignments before the deadline, arranging your school bag, buying the school supplements, revising your lessons, completing your syllabus must be done as soon as possible.


  1. There are many activities that students give undue importance to and end up messing with the ones that needed attention the most. So postpone tasks that can be done afterward when you are free.

For example: Assume you have your boards examination in a month but you are busy preparing for your Farewell, after boards party, or even working on your other entrance exams which is no doubt useful but these don't stand on par with the level of attention your Board's examination needs. So it is important to understand which activity is the need of the hour.



  1. Some tasks can be done with the involvement of others. Asking for assistance and help is better than stacking too many tasks and failing to finish them efficiently at the end.


In group projects, assignments, holiday homework, and other similar activities that are valid enough to get done by others must be delegated. It is okay to focus more on things that require your time and effort and would impact your academics and results.



  1. The activities that need to be dropped and deleted flood a student's to-do list. Some of these are also the activities that are advised to be deferred because students would find it rude to delete them. But there are also lots of activities that students perform under peer pressure and have the full authority to discontinue or quit.


The simplest task like decorating an assignment with lots of effort which will not be assessed on the very same criteria or regular activity like unwillingly attending any extracurricular classes because your parents want you, can be and should be deleted. 


NOTE: Any activity or task that a student genuinely finds mentally draining should be dropped or deferred immediately. Do things that make you happy and not anxious. Ask for help when needed. Things you invest your time and efforts in need to make you feel active and cheerful and nothing less than these. 


Let us know in the comments how else do you implement the 4 Ds in your time management.


The role the 4 Ds play in time management itself signifies their advantages but like every coin has two sides, there are also several cons of the 4 Ds of time management:


  • When people decide to do a task, they are obliged to complete it immediately and are left with less to no time to think, plan and execute which sometimes leads to less efficient results or mistakes.


Time management

  • Deferring continuously may promote the habit of procrastination and delaying things. In some cases, it may create a delusional irrelevance of the task for that moment which may be regretted later.



  • Delegating may not completely make you free from the task you assigned to the person. It may lead you to invest more time in supervising and guiding the person and may also make you anxious about the lack of control and insecurity of the outcome.


Time management

  • Deferring, deleting, or dropping any task from your list can make you regret it later. The task may prove to be vital later on. The continuous dropping of tasks may also give your mentor or the person who assigned you the task, a negative notion of your professionalism.


Time management


So speaking of the overall effectiveness of the 4 Ds of time management, it can be concluded that it is undoubtedly the best way to plan, sort, and execute the tasks and manage time but its misuse, even out of naivety, can deteriorate one's professional as well as personal pursuit.

Also read: Helping Your Kid With First-Time Exam Pressure

We need to realize the value of time, the necessity of getting our work done, and foremost the expectations the task provider has from us. The 4 Ds of time management must be used wisely and strategically so that it makes our tasks smoother and easier rather than making things more difficult.

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
• exams
• time management
• Board exams
• lifestyle