Time Management Tips
One of the important and challenging areas of managing any business is to ensure what needs to get done ... 'gets done'! Easier said than done yes?
Having a task list for the day is a great start. This task list should be usually drawn from the major goals and objectives that you need to achieve. These may be the goals for the business, or simply something urgent that needs to be done today.
Here are some great time management tips for you to use to increase your productivity!
Keeping Things in Perspective
It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day day issues or business-as-usual (BAU) as I call it. You come into work with grand plans for achievement of the bigger goals and you start to sift through the papers on your desk or in-tray, or what's on your PC.
All of a sudden you are engrossed in getting things done! But guess what? These BAU items will not drive you towards your own professional (business) or personal goals. After maybe an hour or so of completing these items, you feel like you are getting things done, so you keep going.
Before you know it, its lunchtime or close of business time and all you've done all day is push papers around or surfed the Internet (and handled the odd interruption) looking at websites that have nothing to do with the goals that you wish to achieve.
Not a good example of effective time management! Sound familiar?
And Think About This ...
Remember we all have 86,400 seconds per day (think of this as money) and you should spend this wisely. Calculate what your time is actually worth in terms of dollars (or whatever your currency is) per hour. Then on those days when you know you should have got more done to achieve/move closer to your goals, calculate the value of that unproductive time. This will put things in perspective for you!
Using the time management tips on this page can help you achieve more, and move you towards a process of focusing on your priorities.
Here's What You Should be Doing!
You MUST take the time to plan your day!
Now think about what is best time to plan your day?
For some people they plan the next day at the end of the previous day, for others its the morning of the work day. This is a great start, have a brain dump and write down all the things you need to do that day. You may end up with 10-15 items to do, any more than that some re-scheduling may be required.
The key is not to keep it all in your head, some people say "I don't need a to do list because I carry it around in my head". These are the people that wake up at 3:00am and cannot sleep because they forgot to do something very important that day! Having a to do list therefore creates peace of mind!
A Simple Process to Follow
Once you have completed you daily to do this you can then transfer this to whatever diary system you use, paper-based or PC-based (Outlook etc), if you prefer, or you can work directly from your prioritized to do list. Some people prefer to work from a list and have it someplace visible so they can cross-off each completed task.
I would suggest that your day is planned/allocated no more than 80%. This then leaves time for BAU or any unexpected crisis. If these do not take too long and you find yourself with more time in the day, then use it wisely and spend more time working on the A category business goals.
Even if you only apply these principles for 50% of the time in your week, at least you will be inching towards achieving what you want to achieve. You will also have a continual focus on what is important, and less important, in the grand scheme of time management. Just get back in the saddle and re-write the steps I have outlined here. Yes it is a discipline, however if you are committed to achieve then this should be your mission!
Also remember when you are at your best, are you a morning or an afternoon person? Plan your important tasks to be done when you perform best during the day for effective time management!
Circadian rhythms are an interesting way to view when you typically perform best in a day. Have some fun and check out your own circadian rhythm here.
Remember if You Want Something to Happen Make a Space for it!