If you are one of those people who start work religiously on the hour every morning, work well past closing time and sometimes take your work back home only to realise you’ve still not achieved what you had set out to; then, there’s a high chance that instead of you controlling your time, you have let time control you. You need to regain control over your time and how best to do that? Apply some TIME MANAGEMENT practices.
What is time management?
Time Management helps you manage your time strategically. It teaches you how to achieve optimum output within an allocated time and for a specific period.
Let’s look at some tips to help you effectively manage the use of your time:
Record and review. For one whole week, record all of your activities (time spent working on your computer, talking on the phone, chatting, social networking, etc.), in an online calendar (eg. Outlook) or a journal. At the end of the week, review those activities. Doing this, will uncover how much time you actually spend on achieving results and how much time is spent on unproductive things likes thoughts and conversations. Take a close look at this list and assess what you need to change in order to be more efficient.
Plan your day. Use the first 30 or 45 minutes of your day to plan the rest of the day ahead. It may seem like a futile task, but this can actually make you more efficient when you have a time plan in place and you stick to it. When you see the to-do list in front of you, you will know what you specifically need to accomplish in that day, which should help you to focus only on those items listed and hopefully prevent you from being distracted by other things.
Prioritise your work. So you have a long to-do list and you keep on adding more to it. It is not workable. Get smart about prioritising your list. Think about those that are more important and time critical and try to get those done first. Work on the rest as and where you can. Chipping away at the other items on your list will mean you have less to do later!
Learn to delegate. Many managers have a problem when it comes to delegating their work. They keep themselves engaged in tasks which can be easily done by others. Learn to delegate. Trust that others can do the job and only step in where needed. It will free you up for tasks that are more valuable and need more of your attention.
Learn to say no. Many of us find it difficult to say no when it comes to helping others. However, if we let it this can come at a cost in terms of us being able to achieve our own objectives and results. When someone asks us to do something we often feel the need to say yes. We want to help others and see them succeed also. Of course, we should try to help others where we can but we should be mindful that this does not come at the cost of our own priorities and delivering on our own goals. Learn to say no to tasks which take you away from working effectively on your priorities.
Block out distractions. At the end of a hard working day, we’re sometimes left wondering ‘where did the time go?’ If we stop and apply some serious thought to this question we can sometimes end up being quite surprised. Most people don’t account for distractions like idle water cooler gossip, logging onto social media, etc.
Block out distractions for being time efficient:
- Put up a ‘Do not disturb’ sign while working. This lets people know very clearly that you are busy and do not wish to be bothered.
- Do not entertain phone calls or e-mails. Assign separate time for them.
- Turn off all device notifications.
- Shut down social media like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn while working. You can check these during your breaks.
Change in lifestyle. How you manage time can depend a lot on your lifestyle. Lifestyle changes like sleeping early, eating healthy, exercising and meditating daily can help you focus better. Consequently, it can help you to manage your time better.
A day is made up of twenty-four hours. It’s not humanly possible to change that. But, what we can achieve and how we achieve it in those twenty-four hours is totally within our control.
At Cegos Asia Pacific, we offer a blended training program on Time Management. This course is specifically designed to help individuals (to):
- Focus on the essential, deal with priorities and rank urgent situations
- Optimise the effect/effort ratio to enhance efficiency
- Switch from feverishly reactive mode to poised proactive mode
- Stay ‘on the ball’ in intense working conditions
- Strike a healthy work–life balance
Inquire with us today to learn more about this course at http://www.cegos.com.sg/contact-us/