Sometimes I wonder what if, I was given more than 24 hours a day, say an addition 6 hours, would I still need more time to accomplish my daily tasks and have a good night’s rest/sleep? I do not forsee the miracle of a 30 hour day anytime soon, so I had better focus on making the most and best of the 24.
How do we go about managing our time effectively and what is time management all about?
Time management involves working efficiently and achieving more whilst spending less time at tasks. Working smarter and not harder to increase productivity should be ones goal.
Below are my keys to effective time management:
1. Focus on results
Very little would be achieved when ones effort is placed on the tasks or activities that are least important. People find themselves in situations where they are so busy but are not getting positive outcomes or results.
2. Set goals (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly)
You cannot be effective without having a vision, setting goals let you know what you want and where you are going in life and also where to concentrate your effort. Even if you do get distracted, revisiting your goals will get you right back on track.
3. Stop procrastinating
Everyone procrastinates but if you find yourself in a position where your relationships, career and business suffer because you are putting important things off and they build up to where one begins to feel overwhelmed. Hope is not lost, you can start over today! Decide to have a positive attitude about the tasks that you fear the most as they are mostly the things that support our development and success both personal and professional.
4. Have a to-do list
A very sensible activity in dieting is to keep a food journal. You never know how much you are eating until you write down everything that passes through your mouth. Having a to-do list is your road map to personal time management. Being realistic is an important factor in effectively managing your to-do list. Are the tasks overly ambitious or is every task thrown into the list? You have to decide what and when a task is included in a to-do list.
5. Have action plans
A concise definition found in Best for Business:
“Action Plans are detailed lists which not only lay out the main things to do in order to carry out a specific task, but also explain in detail how to carry out each individual action. Use them to plan your tasks and inform the process.”
Having action plans for short and long-term projects supports the achievement of goals.
How does a business owner know what and when to delegate? The “what” can seem fairly challenging except for when the cost of delegating a task is significantly lower compared to performing other tasks that are central to business growth. The “when” could be tasks that continue to be overlooked but are critical to achieving ones goals.
Effective time management is about identifying and focusing on the tasks and activities that will give you the most satisfying return. We don’t have to be overworked and stressed out.
Using the 80/20 rule
The Pareto Principle reminds us to focus on the 20 percent that matters. Of the things that we do during our day, only 20 percent really matter. Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of our results. Identify and focus on those things.