Are you usually punctual or late? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?
If your answer is ‘NO’ to any of these questions, then this article is a timely one for you.
Before you can even begin to manage time effectively, you must learn what time is. A dictionary defines time as “the point or period at which things occur.” Put simply, time is when stuff happens.
Time management is a popular topic these days. All kind of books, tapes and seminars are offered to a public that is hungry for information on how to use time more productively.
How you manage your time determines what becomes of your life.
There are two types of time: clock time and real time. In clock time, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. All time passes equally. When someone turns 50, they are exactly 50 years old, no more or no less.
In real time, all time is relative. Time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing. Funny enough, two hours at the department of motor vehicles can feel like 12 years. And yet our 12-year-old children seem to have grown up in only two hours.
Which time describes the world in which you really live, real time or clock time?
Here are some time management tips you can use to help you get more effective, efficient & productive as well as become the master of your own time:
#1. Have a Goal
Unless you have goals, it is impossible to manage time effectively. It is that simple. This is why writing goals down on paper is so important. Develop the habit of being goal oriented.
#2. Create a Daily Plan
The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time. Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.
#3. Value Your Time
Value your time and other people will do the same. Use your time for the things that are worth it. You mustn’t be everywhere all the time as invited. Time is precious, be stingy with it.
#4. Learn to Say “No”.
Don’t bite more than you can chew. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or better still, defer it to a later period.
#5. Take 5 Minutes Before & After Every Call and Task
Invest 5 minutes to decide what kind of result you want to achieve before every call and task. This will offer you a foresight of what success looks like at the end. Then after every call and task, ensure you invest another 5 minutes to determine whether your desired result was achieved. If not, find out what was missing and fix it.
#6. Know You Deadlines
#7. Batch Related Tasks Together
For similar work, batch them together. For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups: (1) writing (articles, tweets) (2) coaching (3) personal development (4) business development (5) blog promotion. I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamline the process.
#8. Schedule Social Media Updates
If you’re using social media for business, schedule some of your updates. You don’t have to be there all of the time. Below are tools you can try out:
You can’t do everything. That’s the truth. Learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest. Apply the Pareto Principle (80/20) which is a key principle in prioritization. 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.
#10. Develop Routines for Repetitive Tasks
Routines such as checking of mails, paying bills and writing articles or blogs should have a laid out routine.When we create routines it helps us form good habits for time-management.
#11. Find Out What Drains Your Time & Energy
Limit the things that drain your time and energy. Then, with the time you do have you’ll get more done in a focused and energised way.
If there are tasks that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.
#13. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before
Most calendars have a reminder function. If you’ve an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.
#14. Be More Organized
Organize your working area so that everything you use on a regular basis is visible and within reach. This will save you whole lot time for better tasks.
Do you have any tips to be a better time manager? Feel free to share in the comments area!