People who practice good time management techniques often find that they:. Finding a time management strategy that works best for you depends on your personality, ability to self-motivate and level of self-discipline. By incorporating some, or all of the ten strategies below, you can more effectively manage your time. Analyze where most of your time is devoted — job, family, personal, recreation, etc. Keeping a time log is a helpful way to determine how you are using your time. Start by recording what you are doing for minute intervals for a week or two.
Evaluate the results. Ask if you did everything that was needed; determine which tasks require the most time; determine the time of day when you are most productive; and analyze where most of your time is devoted — job, family, personal, recreation, etc. Identifying your most time-consuming tasks and determining whether you are investing your time in the most important activities can help you to determine a course of action.
In addition, having a good sense of the amount of time required for routine tasks can help you be more realistic in planning and estimating how much time is available for other activities. Managing your time effectively requires a distinction between what is important and what is urgent MacKenzie, Experts agree that the most important tasks usually aren't the most urgent tasks.
However, we tend to let the urgent dominate our lives. Covey, Merrill, and Merrill categorize our activities into four quadrants in their Time Management Matrix: urgent, not urgent, important and not important. While activities that are both urgent and important must be done, Covey et. Focusing on these important activities allows you to gain greater control over your time and possibly reduce the number of important tasks that do become urgent. One of the easiest ways to prioritize is to make a "to do" list. Whether you need a daily, weekly or monthly list depends on your lifestyle.
Just be careful not to allow the list-making to get out of control and do not keep multiple lists at the same time. Rank the items on your "to do" list in order of priority both important and urgent. You may choose to group items in categories such as high, medium and low, number them in order, or use a color coding system. Keep in mind that your goal is not to mark off the most items; rather you want to mark off the highest priority items MacKenzie, Having a prioritized "to do" list allows you to say "no" to activities that may be interesting or provide a sense of achievement but do not fit your basic priorities.
Time management experts recommend using a personal planning tool to improve your productivity. Examples of personal planning tools include electronic planners, pocket diaries, calendars, computer programs, wall charts, index cards and notebooks. Writing down your tasks, schedules, and memory joggers can free your mind to focus on your priorities.
Auditory learners may prefer to dictate their thoughts instead.
The key is to find one planning tool that works for you and use that tool consistently. Some reminders when using a planning tool are:. Capabilities of PDAs vary by the model and some users include WiFi or cellular technology on their handheld device. Some suggestions for using your PDA to its capacity are:.
Most people find that disorganization results in poor time management. Professional organizers recommend that you first get rid of the clutter. A frequently used method is to set up three boxes or corners of a room labeled "Keep" — "Give Away" — "Toss. Immediately discard items in your "Toss" box. Your "Give Away" box may include items you want to sell, delegate, or discontinue so find a method to eliminate these items such as a yard sale, charitable donation, or gifts to friends or family members outside your home. With the clutter gone, the next step is to implement a system that allows you to handle information e.
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Basically you have 5 options for handling information:. Block out time for your high priority activities first and protect that time from interruptions. Even the busiest people find time for what they want to do and feel is important. Scheduling is not just recording what you have to do e. Good scheduling requires that you know yourself. Using your time log, you should have determined those times during the day when you are most productive and alert.
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Plan your most challenging tasks for when you have the most energy. If you know you will have waiting time or commuting time, schedule small tasks such as writing a letter, jotting down a shopping list, reading or listening to educational audiotapes to capitalize on the time loss Lakein, Delegation begins by identifying tasks that others can do and selecting the appropriate person s to do them. Delegation means assigning responsibility for a task to someone else, freeing up some of your time for tasks that require your expertise.
Delegation begins by identifying tasks that others can do and then selecting the appropriate person s to do them. You need to select someone with the appropriate skills, experience, interest, and authority needed to accomplish the task. Do not wait for your superiors to ask you everytime. Learn to take ownership of work.
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One person who can best set the deadlines is you yourself. Ask yourself how much time needs to be devoted to a particular task and for how many days.
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Use a planner to mark the important dates against the set deadlines. There are other people as well. One should not accept something which he knows is difficult for him. The roles and responsibilities must be delegated as per interest and specialization of employees for them to finish tasks within deadlines. A person who does not have knowledge about something needs more time than someone who knows the work well. Prioritize the tasks as per their importance and urgency.
Know the difference between important and urgent work. Identify which tasks should be done within a day, which all should be done within a month and so on. Tasks which are most important should be done earlier. Develop the habit of doing the right thing at the right time. Work done at the wrong time is not of much use.
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Also keep some time separate for your personal calls or checking updates on Facebook or Twitter. After all human being is not a machine.
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Organized - Avoid keeping stacks of file and heaps of paper at your workstation. Put important documents in folders. Keep the files in their respective drawers with labels on top of each file. It saves time which goes on unnecessary searching. Concentrate on your work and finish assignments on time. First complete your work and then do whatever you feel like doing.