10 Tips for Effective Time Management
I don't have time for ___________.
What is filling in your blank?
Have you ever thought to yourself that there aren’t enough hours in the day, or felt overwhelmed at the tasks facing you? If you have, this article can help you! Remember you do make time for things that are important to you. It is hard to get started to reprioritize your life. I have compelled a list to help get you started. let me know what works for you and what doesn't. I would love to hear from you.
1. Clarify your goals and strategy
Be very clear about your aims and ambitions, both short and long term. Write them down. Once you know what you really want to achieve (and why) it’s easier to make decisions about what needs doing, and to plan accordingly.
2. Focus on your top priorities
You’ll be more productive and profitable if you identify and focus on the areas most important to your business. Work on the fundamentals first. The Latin word ‘fundamentum’ means foundation – so take action, build strong foundations and the rest should follow.
3. Schedule time
Literally write an appointment in your work planner (you do have one of those, don’t you?) to set aside a realistic block of time for your priority actions. This reduces anxiety over not having enough time and keeps you focused.
4. Say no!
Consider Jim Rohn’s suggestion. “Learn how to say no. Don't let your mouth overload your back.” Always check your schedule before committing to anything new. Don’t allow others to divert you from your objectives.
5. Create supportive systems
This includes systems for filing, management information and communication. Checking email in the am is the norm, but a lot of time is waisted on this. I'm not saying don't check your email. Save it for later in the day. Most people are the most productive first thing in the am, this is the time to get to work on your project not help others with theirs. Then you feel overwhelmed with so much to do the rest of your day. If you check emails after lunch or at the end of the day you have created time for what is on your plate to be completed and time to help others. (There are always exceptions to this ie: emergencies or higher priorities.) Give it a try and see what you can accomplish in your day
6. Take a reality check
Will your current activity have a positive outcome, or are you doing it to avoid something else? Ask yourself – will doing this take me towards my goal? As Peter F Drucker observed “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
It’s tempting to do something yourself when you think you can do it faster and better. But consider the long term – delegation now will save time in the future, and if done appropriately can motivate your staff, boost their confidence and help them develop their skills.
8. Repeat your success
Remember the last time you went away on holiday, and how you got so much done in those few days before you left? What strategies and techniques did you employ that made you so effective and focused? Can you repeat them? Alternatively, imagine you are going away tomorrow and work through today accordingly.
9. Balance your life
Formally schedule personal activities too, so you make time for family, friends, your health and fun because having a balanced life reduces stress and increases energy levels. Time management is really about life management! Schedule in that pedicure this week or that lunch with a friend you have been putting off far too long. This is a great reset.
10. End the day
At the end of the working day, tidy your desk, make notes about what needs doing tomorrow and prioritize those tasks. You’ll worry less that evening and be prepared and focused the next morning.