Successful people have effective time management skills, so they work smarter instead of harder. Good time management is an essential skill and it offers several key benefits.
Keep your time management plan simple. You can follow 7 easy steps to start practicing effective time management today.
- 1. Start your work day the right way!
Start your work day early and you will get more work done before your phone rings and colleagues arrive at the office for a chat. Eating the right breakfast and getting some exercise in will help you maintain good energy levels through the day too.
- 2. Plan and prioritise
Set your personal goals, so you can make the best use of your time. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time specific. These goals will help you decide and prioritise what is important, while setting a benchmark for your performance.
Once you have set your goals you can see what needs to be done monthly, weekly and daily to achieve your goals in the specified time.
- 3. Get organised
Set your work agenda based on your goals. Avoid distractions like email, phone calls, social media and news sites until you have already set your ‘to do list’ for the day. If you’re not careful, these distractions will interrupt important tasks and you will find yourself working on someone else’s agenda.
- 4. Automate, delegate, outsource or dismiss
Find a way to automate repetitive tasks; for example you can create an email rule to delete or file items from a specific sender.
When there is no way to automate a task; decide who the most relevant person is to complete that task and forward it to them.
If it turns out you are the most relevant person; you must decide if the activity is aligned to your goals. You should seriously consider dismissing any item that serves someone else’s agenda instead yours.
- 5. Take action
Make sure you set some time aside to complete your agenda. Keep big tasks simple by breaking them down into clear manageable steps. Focus on a single task at a time, stop procrastinating and start ticking off your ‘to do list’.
- 6. Take control
Keep tabs on how you use your time and compare that to the plans you made earlier. Measure your results to see if you are on track to achieve your goals.
You might choose to try a new approach if your activities aren’t getting you the results you need.
- 7. Finish your work day the right way!
Plan the next day before you leave the office, so you don’t wake up in the night trying to remember what you have to do. Some people believe by writing down your problems (in this case your agenda) your subconscious will start finding solutions while you sleep.
Now for the part so many people get wrong. At the end of your work day you need to wind down, relax and get a good night’s sleep. Learn how to switch off and leave your work back at the office; where it belongs.