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What are the top 10 time management tips?
10. Use Meetings WiselyIn both large companies and small businesses, communication is essential to ensure both efficient delivery of service, and progressive methods of doing so. But having meetings just for the sake of having routine meetings, is a pointless time-waster. We have all been involved in organisations where we know before we get to the meeting that it will be unproductive, and a waste of time. Going into that meeting we are then less creative and attentive. Never let this happen to your staff.
Make meetings a progressive and creative forum. A opportunity for everyone to push the limits and brainstorm. Do not feel compelled to conduct the meeting in a rigid structured form, but instead be flexible. Use shorter, more compelling discussions to capture everyone's attention.
9. Admit That Multitasking Is The EnemyComputers are excellent at multitasking. We are not. Focus all of your attention on one project. Eliminate distractions so that your concentration can be on the one task at hand. By concentrating on a single task our brains are able to process information more efficiently than distributing our concentration on multiple problems or stimuli. Although we may think we are doing the right thing by multitasking at work, think again. It is best left to technology.
8. PrioritiseSimple. Do the most important things first. If we organize our schedule with the most important and pressing assignments first, then we are able focus all of our fresh energy on them. After completing the important tasks then we can use the remaining time for the less significant tasks. If you are not sure how to prioritise efficiently, find someone who you perceive to be very effective, and study how they prioritise their day. Do not rigidly copy them, but glean what principles work for them and apply them in your schedule. There are many methods of prioritising, but remember that simple is best.
7. Use All Tools AvailableThere are countless tools available to help us manage our time. What ones are you using? If you are not using them, it is high time you investigated which tools will save you time. The internet is full of applications which will help you schedule your day, launch programs quicker, manage your appointments and generally organize your life more productively.
One great resource we can recommend is our free online time clock. This invaluable tool allows you to keep an accurate record of how long you spend on a task and it is readily both at home and work, as all you need is access to the internet. It is a simple version of the many time clocks we stock.
6. Delegate EfficientlyDelegating is an excellent way of managing your time. But if you delegate a task to an individual, only for you to worry about if that individual is able to accomplish that task, are you really managing your time productively?
The goal is to delegate wisely, to individuals that you are sure can complete the delegated assignment, without any extra input by you. If you need to oversee the task once it is finished that is acceptable, but you do not want to squander your time analysing how your colleague is completing their task. Think about the strengths and weaknesses of the person you will delegate the task to, and adapt the task to suit their individual skills.
5. Plan For Tomorrow TodayDo not even think about procrastinating this one. Instead of arriving at work and wondering how you will go about the day fresh from sipping on your takeaway latte, have your day planned from the day before. Studies have shown that the morning is the period of the day when our brains are most effective. Have tasks ready from the day before to focus on while you still have that caffeine buzz.
4. Be a goal setterSet for yourself specific, measurable and realistic goals everyday. Ensure that you write every goal down, and keep it in a visible location. When you write a goal, endeavour to include subjective features, specifically a timeframe to complete the task. If you verbalise these goals to others, then you are more likely to accomplish the goals.
3. Never handle a piece of paper twiceHow may times have you opened an email, read it, closed it and come back to it after. No, no, no. If you are able to complete the task then and there, do it. Why increase your workload by double handling simple tasks like this. By completing the task right away not only will you save yourself the trouble of having to open up the email again later on (and potentially forgetting to reply), you will also have a sense of accomplishment in completing a task.
2. Say "No" SometimesWhenever you go to an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord, how do you load your plate up? There is only so much you can fit on. Likewise with your schedule and workload. If you are taking on tasks that you will not be able to manage, you are setting yourself up for spilling that overloaded seafood plate in the middle of the boardroom.
Be honest to yourself. Are you able to complete this task and give it the effort that it requires? Do you have the time management skills to fit in this assignment along with your current workload? If the answers are no, then respectfully decline the commitment; your colleagues will appreciate your honesty. They may also recognise how much work you are putting in and you may receive those accolades that are long overdue.
1. Do Not Sacrifice Your Family Or HealthTime management is about achieving maximum productivity, but there are constraints. No matter how efficient we are we only have twenty four hours in a day. You may think 'if I work one longer every day, I can gain an extra work day in just eight days'.
Easy there tiger, is it really worth it?
It all comes down to priorities (step 8): why are we working? What is your motivation? If your goal is to provide a safe comfortable home for your family, then they need you with them. The goal of time management is to allow you to accomplish as much as you can in your work time, so that you can give quality time to your family, hobbies and other interests.
Of course it all depends on you. But remember, if you burn out from too many overtime slaughterings at work, there is only so much your body can handle, and without your health there is not much you can accomplish. In essence, be balanced, apply these ten suggestions, and enjoy that extra round of golf you can fit in on a Friday afternoon.
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