Time management is all about the way you organise and plan your time. This may seem obvious, but for many it isn’t. We’ve all had days when we feel we’ve worked continuously but achieved very little. This can often be due to poor time management.
Dedicating time to time management training may feel a waste of time in itself, after all you could be getting on with actual work! But understanding time management and learning how to apply it to everyday work and tasks can be hugely beneficial. And save enormous amounts of time in the future.
Good time management with result in:
- Your work being more productive and efficient
- Less stress
- A greater awareness of goals and how to reach them
- Others knowing they can rely on you
Alternatively, bad time management can result in:
Missing important deadlines
Always feeling like you are behind and failing
A bad reputation
Poor work quality
It is never too late to learn about time management techniques, regardless of your position. We all pick up bad habits, by applying time management techniques you can ensure you are working to your greatest ability.
Time Management Tips
Setting goals is essential. It gives you a plan and an aim. They should be achievable and measurable, ideally the SMART method – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Which tasks are the most important? Which the most urgent? Always categories your tasks using the following formula:
- Important and urgent – to be done first
- Important but not urgent – next on the list
- Urgent but not important – delegate to others if possible
- Not urgent and not important – to be kept for quieter times
3. Set time limits
A time limit will help you be more focused and efficient. By calculating how long tasks should take you will recognise quickly if they are taking longer than usual and help you manage this. For example, if you have to make 5 cakes for an event but one cake goes wrong and takes longer than usual, you know immediately that this means you may miss the deadline. Knowing this will focus your attention on solving the problem – either delegating the task to someone else who can help you reach your target, or using the time you have left effectively. If you know how long it should take you can more accurately solve a problem.
4. Take breaks
This is essential and very often forgotten. A break allows you to clear your head and refresh your mind. This will ultimately help you to stay focused and motivated.
5. Organise yourself
Use your calendar. Give attention to long term and short term projects. Be clear on your deadlines. Think about what days you will dedicate to which tasks, link these to your deadlines so you allow yourself plenty of time to complete projects, delegate where possible, and solve problems.
6. Identify and remove any non-essential tasks
Spend time thinking about your day, your week, your month. What is important and deserves your time? What isn’t important? By identifying this you will free yourself up to focus on the things that make a difference, to your work and yourself.
7. Plan ahead
Begin every day with a clear idea of what you will be doing. A great habit is to start and end each day with a to-do list. Look at it in the morning and amend it at the end of the day, ready for the next morning.
The highest achievers always manage their time well. By understanding and applying time-management techniques, you can improve your ability to work more effectively, reduce stress and feel in control.
Our Time Management course online can be found here