So many people say that they have no time, that there are no enough hours in the day and yet often, when they are really busy, are amazed, incredulous at how much they actually manage to get done. The saying, ‘if you want something doing ask a busy person’ rings true. A busy person tends not to waste time procrastinating, mulling over where to start or considering what steps they need to take. They simply get on and do it.
With this in mind, let’s look at five top tips for better time management:
It can be all too easy to instantly react to other people’s emergencies and demands and, on occasion, that might be appropriate. However, as a general rule try to identify your own immediate requirements, followed by prioritizing them into a reasonable order. That way you can see clearly what you need to do. If new, unexpected items crop up you can modify your list, but you will have more control over how you allocate your time. A list of some kind can help you to organise your thoughts and time more effectively.
2. Be aware of how much time you fritter and waste.
It’s a fact that many people fill their time with what needs to be done, so a simple task may take thirty minutes or half a day, dependent on how much time is available. Some people fritter time by watching TV; they may want to catch up with the news and then start watching other programmes or decide to take a break and watch a programme over coffee or lunch. Others will make repeat journeys to the supermarket for single items when being organised and making a shopping list for one larger shop would save them lots of time.
Focus fully on each task in hand.
Giving your full attention to one task at a time and remaining undistracted allows you to concentrate properly, stay present, focussed, be more efficient and achieve a better use of your time and efforts.
Some tasks or parts of a task can often be done satisfactorily by another person. It may mean that initially time has to be taken in training others or writing out processes and procedures but that use of your time can clarify procedures in your own mind and benefit you well in the future. Delegating tasks gives others a feeling of responsibility, potentially makes their job more interesting and teaches them new skills.
5. When you leave a piece of work make clear notes as to what you’ve already worked on, the actions that have been taken, where you’re up to.
It is time-consuming to return to a file weeks or months later and have to start wading through lots of notes to determine exactly what’s been done. A clear summary at the front of a file can save a lot of time, effort and potential embarrassment at looking inefficient. Nothing wastes time like disarray and messy systems. Also neat and tidy systems help you to organise your work in the most efficient way. De cluttering, archiving old, outdated files away from relevant operational information pays dividends in efficiency, productivity and clarity of focus.
Time management also means allowing yourself time for fun, a break, relaxation. Diary in valuable time for yourself in the same way you would for a respected, valued client. Also be sure to stop and give yourself credit when you’ve completed an important task or project. Enjoy each achievement rather than swiftly moving from one job to the next. Give yourself credit along the way.