A definition of Time Management:
“Time Management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities – especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.”
That’s simple then!?!
Strictly speaking, we cannot manage “time”. We can only manage ourselves, what we do with our time and how we do it.
The following 10 tips will help you to do just that.
As always though, not all methods, practices and techniques will work for everyone. We are all different and need to learn or teach ourselves what works for us.
For at least one week (or if you really want to go for it – a month), carry around a “Diary” to record all your thoughts, conversations and activities.
This will help you to see where you are investing your time at the moment and how much you can get done during a day. It will give you a good idea of how much time goes towards producing results and how much is wasted.
This can be a physical diary, making notes on your phone, a printed schedule or a journal. You should choose how you are going to do this that best suits you, otherwise, you won’t do it.
You will be amazed what you find out about yourself and your activities.
USE MANAGEMENT TOOLS
You can’t manage Time itself but you can use tools to help you manage what you do with it.
Look at Management Tools in different Categories:
Stop saying “not enough time” or “it’s not the right time”.
Focus on results.
Spending more time on something doesn’t necessarily mean you achieve more. Spending an extra hour on something at the end of the day, when you are tired, may not be the most effective way to manage your time.
Take a break when not at your best.
SCHEDULE. SCHEDULE. SCHEDULE!
Schedule project work.
Schedule research and development.
Schedule time for interruptions.
Schedule time to schedule.
You get the picture.
Put up a Do Not Disturb sign, a physical one if you can.
Switch off your phone, log out of Facebook and Twitter,
disconnect any other messaging app,
when you absolutely have to get stuff done.
DON’T BE AN ANSWERING MACHINE
Don’t answer your phone just because it is ringing.
Unless it is a call you are waiting (or hoping) for, don’t instantly give people your attention.
Schedule a time for returning calls.
LEARN TO SAY NO
and avoid saying “We’ll see” or “I’ll get back to you”, you’ll only have to deal with the request again at some point.
ON A DEADLINE
If you don’t have a deadline, set one for yourself, don’t pressure yourself unduly but if you were the kid who never did your homework until an hour before it was due, you will work better with a deadline.
as much as possible.
Categorise tasks as:
- Urgent and Important
- Not Urgent but Important
- Urgent but not Important
- Neither Urgent nor Important
When you first start using these categories, you will need to address and tick off your URGENT AND IMPORTANT tasks but thereafter concentrate on the NOT URGENT BUT IMPORTANT tasks to minimize the chances of these tasks ever becoming urgent and important.
This will reduce your stress levels and make you more productive all of the time.
DELEGATE AND GET SUPPORT
When you delegate activities to others, you free yourself to focus your time and efforts on the tasks where you can make the best contribution.
Look at your tasks and activities and ask yourself:
- How important is this?
- Do I need help to do it?
- Does it need my personal attention or can someone else do it just as well, or better?
- Who is the best person to do it?
- Is the best person to do it available at the right time?
There is a lot more to delegation and there is a bit of an art to it but these questions should set you off in the right direction.
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Please feel free to comment on the post to let me know what you think of it, and if you want to suggest future topics or want further clarification on anything above then comment about that too.
Thank you for your time today.