Whether we put a pound (£) sign next to it or not, time is valuable to us all, yet we only have 24 hours in a day, so why is it that for some there is never enough time in the day to get stuff done, whilst others seem to achieve so much more during the same period?
Those of us that can manage time effectively, reap the benefits, such as more time for hobbies or family life, so whether you want to rise through the ranks, exceed client expectations or spend more time with loved ones, we all can benefit from good time management.
Time is a limited resource and we must find ways to manage it better, being busy doesn’t mean to work effectively, spending your day switching between different tasks often achieves less, good time management allows you to work smarter, so you can get more done in less time. You could say that it is counter-intuitive to read my blog on time management, instead of getting on with your work, but if you can change just one thing after reading this, it will be well worth it in the long run.
What is time management?
Time management is all about how you organise and plan your days and how long you spend on specific activities, the benefits of managing your time effectively are huge, here are just a few:
• Higher productivity levels and efficiency.
• Less stressed.
• A superior professional reputation.
• More opportunities for advancing your career.
Here are five tips to help you manage your time effectively.
Tip 1 – Organise yourself
Plan your days and use your calendar for long-term time management. Take notes for project deadlines, as well as individual tasks that are required to finish the project. Look at your diary and find the best days in which to dedicate to specific tasks. An example would be to plan a meeting around finances on a day that the CFO is around.
Tip 2 – Prioritise tasks
Always prioritise tasks based on how important and urgent they are. Take a look at your daily tasks and decide which are:
• Urgent and important: Do these tasks as soon as possible.
• Important but not urgent: Book a time to do these tasks.
• Urgent but not important: These tasks should be delegated where possible.
• Not urgent and not important: These tasks should be set aside for a future date.
Tip 3 – Set a time limit between tasks
When you set time constraints for completing tasks, it helps you become more focused as well as efficient. Making efforts to decide on how much time to assign to each task, can help you recognise potential problems before they arise.
Tip 4 – Remove non-essential tasks/activities
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, we all have 24 hours in a day, its therefore imperative to remove excess activities or tasks. Determine which tasks are significant and deserve your time, remove those non-essential tasks/activities, this will then free up time to spend on ‘quality’ tasks.
Tip 5 – Take a break between tasks
Staying focused is hard when performing lots of tasks without a break, it also takes a swipe at your motivation too. Allow some breaks in-between those intensive tasks to clear your head and refresh yourself. Ideally taking a short nap would be optimal, second to that a short walk, or even just re-hydrating will have significant benefits.
To conclude, when you start to manage your time well, it will lead to more opportunities, and less time wasted on trivial activities. Start taking control of your time, and improve your ability to focus, and with that comes enhanced efficiency, and the more you practice, the more self-discipline you will learn, such a valuable skill that will impact your life for the better.