1. Goal Setting
Time management is not a standalone skill. You can only manage how you use your time and how you use your time should be driven by effective goal-setting. The most fundamental of time management skills is the ability to use your time in a manner which serves your goals.
When making decisions about what to focus your time on, you should always be cognisant of your goals and how each action is aimed at bringing you closer to achieving those goals.
As strange as it may sound, prioritising should not begin with a focus on getting more work done. Prioritisation should always begin with avoiding/eliminating the tasks which you should not be performing. Once this has been done, you can switch your focus to completing the most valuable work you can with the time and resources available to you.
3. Make a list
The thing about making lists is that you actually have to use them. You may want to set reminders on your phone and diary lists work if you use them. One of the most important things is to make sure your list feels attainable.
4. Set deadlines
There is no point in setting deadlines if you make executive decisions to always push them back. Set a deadline and try your best to stick to it. Set your deadline a few days before the task absolutely must be done. This allows for the possibility that other things will get in the way, but also allow for you still to get the task done.
5. Stop multi-tasking
Multitaskers often seem to think they get more accomplished, but it’s not always the most productive or efficient route. Let’s face it, our minds work better when we are truly able to focus and concentrate on one thing.
6. Delegate responsibilities
For those of us who like to be in control the very thought of this is likely to provoke a bit of anxiety.
The truth of the matter is that no matter how good we are, we can’t do everything. Sometimes we take on more than we can handle. Delegation is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of intelligence.
Find competent, reliable people and share some of the responsibilities. It will allow you to be less stressed and more productive.
7. Use your downtime
This tip requires some balance. Using all your downtime for planning and prioritizing is bad and can lead to increased stress and burnout.
However, if you find yourself sitting in early morning traffic, this may be a good time to start prioritizing your day or making plans for dinner.
If you’re waiting in the dentist’s office, this may be a good time to write the grocery list.
If you have opportunities like these make the best of them, but also remember to use them for relaxation as needed.
8. Reward yourself
When you accomplish something, celebrate it. My word of advice is to keep whatever you choose to do healthy, make sure it’s something you enjoy, don’t do it in excess
9. Learn to say No
Politely refuse to accept additional tasks if you think that you’re already overloaded with work. Take a look at your ‘To Do’ list before agreeing to take on extra work.
10. Avoid Distractions
Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and e-mails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don’t instantly give people your attention unless it’s crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls.
Block out other distractions like Social Media/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker
Finally, Please Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also, remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results – PARETO Principle. Focus and attention will result in good decisions and good Personal and Time Management.
The person that chases 2 Rabbits – catches neither
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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