Effective Time Management
Time management is a set of principles, practices, skills, tools and systems that help you use your time to accomplish what you want. It is important in one’s personal life and professional career. Time management teaches you how to manage your time effectively and make the most of it. Time not well used cannot be retrieved. Through right time management, one can “create” the time they need, and not just wait for it to come. By planning your time wisely, you will have more time to do more things.
Good time management is all about working smarter and not working harder. It enables you do more in lesser a time period. Efficiency, success and health are the benefits of good time management. Bad time management damages level of efficiency and results in anxiety and stress.
Many of us feel that there is never enough time for the things at hand. However, it is strange that while some people accomplish so much more within the same 24 hours of a day, others are always struggling to meet targets? The answer to this puzzle lies in effective time management.
The leaders and the greatest achievers of the world manage their time outstandingly well. In this blog, we have listed the best time management techniques following which one can improve his/her ability to operate more effectively – even under pressure and time constrain.
Key points to remember while managing time
Clarify your goals and priorities achieve them with proper planning
Carefully handle people and projects that waste your time
Be better at delegating work
A number of obstacles exist in our life which hinders proper and effective time management. What is required to be done is to recognize the obstacles that exist, identify them and employ strategies to overcome them.
Obstacles to time management
Inability to say ‘no’
Periods of inactivity
Too many things at once
Stress and fatigue
All work no play
Data and statistics available suggest that people waste about two hours of time every day.
Here are the signs that indicate or lead to time wastage –
Messy desk and cluttered files
Not finding things when required
Missing appointments and rescheduling them
Being unprepared for meetings
Volunteering to do things, which others are responsible for
Lack of energy
To make effective time management one must be sure of his/her goals, priorities and plan accordingly. Set goals that are specific and measurable.
Ask yourself these questions
Why am I doing this?
What is the goal?
Will I succeed?
What happens if I choose not to do it?
Time management experts now speak of SMART Goal Setting –
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
T = Timely
Prioritise by doing, delegating, delaying and deleting –
Address the urgent
Accomplish what you can at the earliest
Attach deadlines to the things you delay
Learn to say no
You cannot do everything. Concentrate on the work and hand and focus on your goal and tune out interruptions.
Don’t undertake things you cannot complete on time
Remain consistent to your goals. Segregate work by following format given below –
Use your waiting time effectively by taking care of your correspondences, letters and emails or by reading books –
On public transport
At the doctor’s chamber/clinic
Waiting for your flight at the airport
It is also very important to find out your personal prime time. Is it morning? evening? Or late night?
Make a to do list
Break things down into small steps
Do the ugliest thing first
Do things on time, doing them at the last minute often turns out to be detremental for your good
Deadlines are really important; establish them yourself
All our day to day activities need efficient time management. Following are some of the key tips for most important activities of our life –
Time management in doing paperwork
Clutter is death, keep desk clear
A good file system is essential
Touch each piece of paper once
Touch each piece of email once, your inbox is not your To Do Lust
Time management in handling phones
Keep calls short; stand during call
Start by announcing goals for the call
Don’t put your feet up
Have something in front of you that you will need to finish soon
Time management in making conversations
Cut things short by saying –
“I am in the middle of something now”
Start with “I only have 5 minutes”
Stand up, stroll to the door, complement, thank, and shake hands
Watch clock, preferably on the wall behind the ones you are conversing with
Time management in delegating work
No one is an island
You can accomplish a lot more with help
Remember delegation is not dumping
Grant authority with responsibility
Concrete goal, deadline, and consequences must be attributed
Treat your colleagues, people working under you, well
Time management in handling meetings
Lock the door, unplug the phone
Maximum one hour per meeting
Prepare – there must be an agenda
1 minute minutes: an efficient way to keep track of decisions made in a meeting- especially who is responsible for what/when?
Time management in handling emails
Save all of it; no exceptions
If you want somebody to do something, make them the only recipient. Otherwise you have diffusion of responsibility. Give a concrete request/task and a deadline
If you really want somebody to do something, CC someone powerful
Nagging is OK; if someone doesn’t respond in 48 hours, they probably never will. (True for phone as well)
Author: Baishali Mukherjee
Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, Scrabbl.com and Stoodnt.com. Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.
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