There is no question that effective time management can make everyone more productive.
But actually utilizing time management skills is much easier said then done. The question is simple, “Do you really want to make better use of your time”? Time management really is about managing yourself, making a commitment to be more organized, maintaining your focus and using your time to your best advantage. It is much like eating healthy or getting the right amount of exercise, it needs to become something you manage every day. One book we would recommend is Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
While you are searching for the book, here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction:
1. Understand the difference between urgent and important.
- Urgent= fulfilling a clients emergency request
- Important= opening mail
2. Realize that total time management is a myth.
- There is only so much time in the day and there will be days when an urgent task takes most of your time.
3. Identify time wasters.
- Reading junk mail
- Surfing the web
- Long lunches
- Many trips to the break room
4. Refrain from scheduling meetings on Mondays.
- Use Mondays to get things done, plan your week and follow-up on last week’s issues.
5. Use your calendar on your computer and sync it to your phone.
- This will keep you on track wherever you are.
6. It is ok to say no.
- You can’t be everything to everyone.
7. Determine your most productive time.
- Are you a morning person? If so get to work early.
8. Budget your time by following these suggestions:
- Schedule meetings in 15 minutes increments
- Figure out how much time you usually spend on your activities and then create a weekly schedule to follow.
9. Maintain a to-do list.
- Make it a habit to continually update it. Include urgent and non-urgent items so you’ll never forget or overlook anything again. Carry your list with you at all times in your phone.
10. Schedule time
- Schedule some uninterrupted time each day to concentrate on important tasks, even if you have to take refuge in a conference room or the library.