Gain more time in your day by following these top tips for managing your time more effectively:
1. Draft a quick daily plan – Plan out your tasks for the next day so you know exactly what you are doing when you arrive at the office. we can loose a lot of time by trying to get our head around what we should be doing first thing on a morning.
A better time to do your planning is when you feel most awake and motivated. Knowing that you are going home soon will make you feel good and therefore should be a better time to plan for the next day.
2. If you start a task finish it – If you are not a completer finisher then this one may be difficult, but you need to be more disciplined. If you start a task, see it through to the end. We can loose so much time starting a whole host of tasks then have to try and figure out where we were up to when we pick it back up again.
3. Delegate Effectively – Be sure to use delegation as a time saving device as well as a development tool. Delegate out the tasks that your team have the skills do to. This will keep them motivated and will give you the time you need to lead them effectively.
4. Say No – If you are asked to do a task that you know you don’t have the time to do you have to say no. Be Assertive and not aggressive. Calmly explain the reasons why you can’t do it or negotiate a compromise where the priority of other tasks are reduced to make way for the new one.
5. Have a detailed plan – Spend some time building a plan that looks at daily, weekly and monthly tasks that you have to carry out. Then, write a SMART objective for each point. This will make it clear in your mind what you have to do. It can also be used to influence others when you have to say no.
6. Don’t Procrastinate – Get started on tasks, don’t leave them until the last minute. This is something we are probably all guilty of but its behavioural and therefore can be overcome. The trick is to find out what the cause of your procrastination is and deal with it.
7. Prioritise effectively – Use effective methods to prioritise tasks. A look at Stephen Covey’s Urgent/Important matrix is a goof place to start.
8. Find out who is wasting your time – Fill out an interruptions log each time you get interrupted from your everyday tasks. Capture information such as who interrupted you, at what time, how long was it for, why did they interrupt you and did they really need to.
Use this data to understand if it is always the same person, if interruptions are for the same reason, is it a particular time of day etc and then put things in place to reduce them i.e. training.
9. Take action to reduce unwanted emails – Block spam emails coming into your mail box, un-subscribe from newsletters that are not relevant and have yourself removed from company mailing lists if you don’t feel as though they are not relevant. Be careful who you give your email address to as they may well begin to spam you.
10. Promote the use of collaboration tools – Promote the use of on-line diaries and document sharing tools to reduce the amount of time looking for things and finding out who is available. There are some great free tools out there that will do the job.
Need help with procrastination, prioritising, saying no and everything else time management? Our Time Management Training Course will help with all of these things and more. Take a look at the Time Management Course Overview for more information.