Do you find yourself working hard but not getting everything done? Are you constantly feeling pressured by time?
Do you feel pulled in different directions? That’s been my modus operandi for awhile now and I’m a little tired of it. So I dug around in my blogosphere files and came up with this:
These 13 time management tips can be implemented today to become more organized and productive, supposedly.
These tips on time management were pulled from numerous sources and include some of the most important time management skills to stay organized, focused and productive.
Hey…it’s YOUR time. Make the most of it.
1. Use time management tools
Whether it is a software planner or a personal organizer, using time management tools gives you the tools to organize your time and plan ahead.
For example, most email programs such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Outlook allows you to schedule events and set reminders.
2. Email tips
Did know that on average we spend 2 hours a day reading and responding to emails. Most of them aren’t really that important. This one is…but most? Nah….
So getting control of the Inbox is an important time management tip!
Email has the potential to dwarf other forms of communication.
3. Find out how you are wasting time
Often a first indication that time management skills could be useful to you is that even though you are busy, yet feel that you have not accomplished much.
Does this sound familiar?
If so, then knowing how you spend your time is an important time management skill to develop.
I find that when I can get someone to do a time log, they are very surprised at how much time they are spending on activities that could be done better.
In short, keeping a time log will highlight your time wasters.
Managers may find it easier to analyze how much time is spent on certain tasks. The results could be used to improve the time management of staff.
4. Develop time management goals
There are only 24 hours a day and we all have the same amount to work with, so time management is not about creating more time, but using that time more effectively.
So time management skills are about changing behavior, not about changing time. If you have filled out a time log, then you may notice some time wasters.
Make a goal to reduce these time wasters, such as reducing time on the phone or email, or setting goals to beat procrastination.
With goal setting, it is important to have a long-term vision and to set specific goals.
A recent study from Harvard University concluded that it was not so much education, family background or intelligence that was the key component of success - but rather taking the "long-term perspective".
Knowing your goals is a key to taking this long-term perspective and saving you time in your life.
5. Plan your projects
A project is generally a one-off piece of work with a fixed time frame.
Planning your project, whether it is an assignment, a work report, or a complex assignment with many people across different sites, requires project planning.
Project planning increases the chances of on-time project success.
6. Adopt a personal time management plan
Busy people have many demands on their time. Being effective is about prioritizing your time ruthlessly.
If you want to get off the treadmill of putting out fires and jumping from one crises to another, then coming up with some rigid personal time management rules for yourself could be beneficial.
7. Use these tips to delegate effectively
Delegating is one of the most talked about, yet underutilized time management tips.
Delegating effectively is an important time management skill that does two things.
First it frees up your time for more important tasks.
Second, when delegating is done well, I have found that it develops the skills and potential of the people around me.
If you are often working late, yet unable to get things done then learn how to delegating effectively.
8. Organizing tips!
Are you wasting time looking for that phone number on a post-it note, or a file on your computer.
If so, then this could be costing you in time and money.
Organizing your information can give you greater control of your time and reduce your stress. Set up folders for emails, an in/out box on your desk, a reference file, etc.
9. Learn to speed read.
In the last 20 years the amount of information that we need to take in and comprehend is more than any other time in history. Think of it! We’re living in amazing times. No wonder we feel overwhelmed.
Learning to speed read can help you to manage this information explosion. There are numerous courses both locally and even online that will help you do that, and it’s not hard to learn.
10. Plan your day
Research suggests that every hour spent planning saves 3-4 hours in actual execution – and gives you better quality output.
This means that daily and long-term planning can be beneficial for you. It’s especially noticeable and critical in what we do. You should never leave the office without an idea of how you’ll start the next day.
11. Know your prime time
Knowing when you work best means that you can schedule your day around your natural productivity cycles.
Taking account of nature's cycles in your body can improve your time management.
For example, if you know your prime time, then you can ensure that you are doing your top priorities when you are most focused and alert.
12. Use planes, trains and automobiles to your advantage
Traveling, whether it is the daily grind to work, or travel for meetings, can be a drain on your time.
However, with planning you can use this travel time more productively. Many of the airlines now offer Wi-Fi in cabin. Thumb drives allow you to take large files along with you easily….etc.
Rather than sit there and read the magazine in the pouch 5 times, make use of static time when you’re not able to do anything else.
13. Manage your phone calls effectively
Is your telephone a tool or a tyrant? I call mine a leash, most of the time.
The phone can eat up a lot of your productivity, either because you spend too long on the phone or the phone is a constant interruption.
Choose the calls you take or make carefully. You need to gauge whether you really have time to take that call now or follow up later.
There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging a call and telling the person that you’re tied up and will call them back.
Ultimately, you may find that you spend more time being “busy” than being effective with your time and in today’s world, time really is money.
How much of it do you want to spend doing things that waste it?
Oh, and thanks for taking the time to read this.