As Dr. Seuss says:
“How did it get so late, so soon?”
When I think of time management, I immediately think of the Bar-One chocolate. For a 25-hour day. It always seems as though there are just too few hours in a day. An 8-hour working day is only 480 minutes. This, however, is one issue that chocolate (unfortunately) cannot solve. Effective time management is the answer.
Time management is the process of organising and planning how much time you spend on specific activities. Being busy is not the same as being effective and spending copious amounts of time working on different activities throughout the day, often leaves you with little to show for it at the end of the day. Most of us are familiar with the phrase “work smarter, not harder”.
Time management is a skill that everyone can learn. Here are ten tips that I believe will assist you in developing the skill further:
1. MAKE NOTES. For me personally, this is one of the most important tasks. Make a note of everything you need to do, instead of trying to remember everything in your head. This will help you to plan your day.
2. ORGANISE YOUR WORKSPACE. A cluttered workspace creates distraction. Only keep what you need on your desk.
3. PRIORITISE TASKS. Divide them up into three groups, from most important, to moderate and least important. Always start with the most important, even if you can only complete a small part of the task.
4. SET TIME LIMITS. Setting time limits is very important for keeping focused on the task at hand, and to avoid procrastination.
5. KNOW YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS. Review your work on a regular basis to ensure that what you are achieving, is in line with your goals and targets.
6. DELEGATE. You can’t delegate everything and anything, however, if there is someone else with the necessary skills and time, they can assist you by taking on the task.
7. USE A CALENDAR. This is a useful tool for managing your daily activities. An online calendar tool, i.e. on your mail client, enables you to access your calendar from wherever you are. Use this calendar to mark out deadlines.
8. TARGET TO BE EARLY. When you plan to meet a target on time, you will either be on time or late. However, if you target to be early, you will most likely be on time.
9. KEEP THE BALANCE. It is important to manage your time so that you can include various aspects of your life into your day, such as work, family, friends and your health.
10. Last, but certainly not least, TAKE A BREAK. If you overwork yourself, you will tire yourself out and become less productive.
And so to end, I would like to leave you with the following thought:
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler