In today’s fast-paced world, time management is more important than ever. Here are ten tips to improve your management of your time.
1) Plan goals a week in advance. The key tasks you need to accomplish each week should be worked out in advance so that you know where you need to focus your energies in the coming week.
2) Make sure you have a clean and tidy desk. It has been proven that one of the biggest business time wasters is a desk that has less than 80% of its surface area free from clutter. If you maintain a clear and clutter free desk, you will maintain your productivity at its maximum.
3) Learn to use your email program’s filter system. Set up a priority email folder and have all of the emails from your most important clients and contacts routed to it automatically so you don’t have to wade through a mountain of email manually to get to them.
4) Program in some ‘me’ time into every day. No matter how busy you are you should always make time for yourself to do something entirely non-business related. Recharging your batteries in this way will help you to deal with your work commitments at maximum efficiency.
5) Tackle the task you dislike the most first. Putting this task to the bottom of your to-do list will lead to a lot of wasted time fretting about it. If you get this task out of the way as quickly as possible you will feel such relief that the other tasks on your list will be a breeze.
6) Don’t think you have to be totally accessible all of the time. When you have important tasks to complete try to make sure you switch off your cell phone and stop checking your emails for the duration. This will allow you to make optimal use of your time by focussing entirely on the single task at hand without time-wasting distractions.
7) Allow time in your day for the unexpected. If you give yourself a task list that takes up every second of your day, an unexpected event will throw a complete spanner in the works. But if you allow time for the unexpected, when it occurs you’ll be able to cope.
8) Have an agenda for each meeting. Make sure that you have a clear list of everything to be discussed at every meeting and that every attendee gets that agenda ahead of time. During the meeting make sure that you keep from becoming sidetracked so that you waste the minimum amount of time.
9) Get used to saying ‘no’. If you get asked to do something that doesn’t fit into your schedule then learn how to refuse to do it. This can be hard to do at first but will get easier when the benefits become apparent.
10) Try to reduce the number of meetings you attend to the absolute minimum. Excessive meetings can be the biggest business time wasters. Try to only attend essential meetings to avoid this drain on your time and energy.
Of course, there are many more time management techniques you can use but the above will be a good starting point to help you manage your time more effectively.