Managing your time means to be in position to dominate the time and your work rather than being dominated by them. Your time is your life. Every thought and every action you make takes time. Therefore the way you use your time automatically determines where and how to use your life.
The great paradox is that nobody has enough time, and yet everyone has as long as there is.
Many of the time consuming factors affecting people cause stress and anxiety, so these factors must be identified and limited.
It is very important to manage your time successfully because:
- If you have more time for work you have more chances for success.
- If you have more time to think you can utilize your mind better.
- If you have more time to play, you can enjoy your life better.
- If you have more time to read, you can gain more knowledge.
- If you have more time for being friendly, the happier you will be.
- If you have more time to love, you will feel more joy.
- If you have more time to enjoy, the better is for your health and soul.
Do not forget Murphy’s law:” Nothing is as easy as it seems. Anything to be done needs more time than you think and if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. “
7 Quick ways on how to manage your time better
1. Set your goals, priorities, plan…plan…plan…
- Clarify your short term-goals and priorities on a daily basis, as well as your long-term objectives.
- Allocate enough time for planning. One hour of actual planning can save you three to four hours of work.
- Write your daily and weekly activities in a schedule with priorities and the time required for implementation. Place your schedule somewhere where you can see it all the time.
- Avoid the tyranny of urgency. Concentrate on the most important issues of your work.
Without goals, you cannot know what to do. Without a schedule you cannot know, when to do so.
2. Minimize meetings and interruptions
- Avoid Meetings (as much as you can)
- Before accepting a request for a meeting try to look for alternatives. If you have to attend, do so for a limited time
- During the meeting, make sure that the meeting starts on time. Use a meeting schedule with a predetermined period.
- After the meeting, record immediately accurate meeting minutes. Check the progress at predetermined intervals.
- Minimize interruptions by phone or visitors.
- Delegate phone calls and visitors to someone else if possible.
- When you are searching for someone, try to setup a predefined time to call him/her.
- Use a voice mailbox.
- During a phone call, try to use various tricks to stop unnecessary debates.
- Close the door of your office. The policy of «open door» means you are accessible for passers-loafer.
3. Organise your office
- Remove from your desk everything except the things you need for your specific job.
- Create folders (binders) where you can keep the documents for each task until you need them.
- Only put the file(s) that you need in your desk. Discard the rest.
- Delegate to others, if possible, all the «paperwork».
- Do not leave your tasks unfinished. If possible finish completely a task you have started.
4. Delegation of work
- You must understand that the time you will invest to train someone to do a job will benefit you many times in the future.
- Do not do anything you can assign to others.
- Find the most appropriate person, if possible, for the work you do not want to do.
- Provide clear written (if possible) instructions.
- Give greater importance and emphasis on results rather than methods.
- Get a freelancer to do the work for you. Visit Freelance Writing for Beginners to get some ideas.
5. Understand that you cannot do anything your self
- Make the most important jobs first. Those you cannot do are automatically second priority.
- Appreciate your time realistically.
- Start the job on time and try to make it right from the beginning. Try to avoid mistakes so as to win the time of recurrence.
- Keep your selfishness balanced, your excessive ambition and your confidence too.
- Consider that if you restrict your workload, you will do your job better.
6. Learn to say NO
Why you are afraid to say NO:
- Unclear priorities
- Fear of insulting others
- The need to be a «good man»
- Willingness to be privileged by your manager
Learn the four steps of denial:
- Listen carefully and make sure that you have understood the task
- Learn to say “no” (do not say “maybe” or “possibly”)
- Explain the reason or the reasons for saying NO (if appropriate)
- Suggest alternatives (if possible)
Saying, «yes» in various requirements would rather lose and not win the respect others have for you.
7. Track you time
The best way to improve your time management skills is to first identify where you spend your time on a daily basis. One of the ways to do that is to keep a calendar and take note of every action. You can do that for three days and at the end of the three days you can analyse the results and take the necessary actions. In your calendar you need to have the following items:
- Write date and targets.
- Record everything during the day. Include all the breaks and interruptions.
- Use symbols and abbreviations for repetitive actions such as telephone calls etc.
- Put priorities in all tasks. At the end of the day check how much time you spend on each high priority task.
- Add comments on every task on how this can be improved in the future.
- Keep your calendar for at least three days. Allocate time at the end of three days time for analysis