7 Time Management Strategies

Time is a very valuable resource and as such it should be managed in a proper manner to ensure that you make the most out of the 24 hours that are in every day. Time management is therefore a skill that can be learned by any of us provided we are willing to make some changes in the way we perceive time and how we make use of it. Most people say that the best way to get rid of bad habits is to replace them with good ones and in the sections that follow we look at some of the ways in which you can make good use of your time by making use of time management strategies.

wasting time

1. Know yourself

Carry a list of the tasks you need to accomplish and your goals for the day. Get to know your current level by noting down your thoughts, actions and conversations for let’s say one week. This is very helpful in determining the amount of work that you can get out of yourself in a day and where important time goes to. This will enable you to see how long you spend on productive tasks and the time spent on useless tasks that siphon away your time.

2. Schedule appointments

Any activity that has a direct effect on your success should be assigned some time. Having a to-do list may prove futile when it gets too long such that it is impossible to execute it properly and becomes overwhelming to look at. In these scenarios, an appointment book is very helpful. Plan appointments for when you should carry out tasks that are of high priority scheduling when they will start and when they will come to an end.  Part of this will require differentiating between urgent and important tasks.  Important tasks are things such as spending quality time with your family or even upgrading your skill level to finish your job more efficiently.  Urgent tasks are things like telephone calls, projects near deadline, etc.  Try to schedule important, yet not urgent activities so that you’ll build up a habit of taking care of important tasks that warrant attention before they become urgent.  When you take care of important tasks more often rather than running around to put out fires (urgent tasks), you’ll find more time to enjoy life.  Have the self discipline to carry out these appointments to the letter and avoid procrastination.  This is part and parcel of putting the big rocks (important/urgent tasks) into a jar first before filling it with the smaller ones (less important ones) afterwards.

3. Maximize your productivity

It is very beneficial if you plan to spend at least half of your time taking part in activities, thoughts and interactions that bring about the best results. This is a very good way of making sure that the active time is well utilized and that no time is wasted on non-trivial tasks that do not have a significant effect on your success.

4. Plan your day before starting it

You should take the first half hour of each day to make plans for the rest of the day. It is never a good idea to start the day without planning how the time will be used up. Wherever possible, plan the night beforehand.  The time which you spend on planning the rest of the day is the most important time of the day.  It also gives you peace of mind that you know what results are expected from your day.

5. Set aside time for communications

You should practice to avoid constantly checking your channels of communications and answering to emails and instant messages just because they have shown up. These constant distractions have a profound effect on productivity and you take a lot of time to get back to the task that you were carrying out before the interruption. Learn to set aside a chunk of time for replying to correspondence. This way, you get to accomplish a lot at a time and avoid the constant distractions that eat into your productivity.

6. Keeps your goals in mind

Take some time before carrying out a task to decide what exactly you want to accomplish and the goals you want to attain. This way, you will have a picture of the end result in mind before you even start. You will also be able to work fast without slowing down to look at what you have done and what needs to be done. After each task, set aside another slice of time to determine whether the time was well spent and whether you accomplished what you actually wanted to achieve. This way, you can be able to re-factor and improve your work and improve on the next task on the list.

7. Block out distractions

When quality time is of the importance and productivity is required, it is necessary to bock out all kinds of distractions by closing the door to your office and putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign in order to concentrate on the task at hand. It is also good to block out distractions such as social networking sites unless your work involves using these tools.

Having looked at the above time management strategies it is now upon you to decide which ones to use and how to go about it. For more actionable time management tips, check out our Kindle ebook here.