Effective Time Management Tips
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Are you managing your time efficiently? Do you meet the deadlines as planned or not? Do you often say I am busy and I don’t have time to work on something? Are you able to spend time with your family and friends?
Please read below some of the time management tips prepared from experiences in my professional life. Hope this will help you achieve a better work life balance and manage your time efficiently and with control.
1. Analyze how you are currently spending your time
Auditing your time spending. Start logging your activities and how you are spending your time. Logging your daily routine activities will really help you understand how much you are spending on unproductive activities.
For e.g. you may be frequently looking at your mobile phone for notifications or looking at your personal emails, social media etc. This type of actions will distract your work and destroy the productivity and focus.
2. Plan your day Make it a habit to plan your day. Document your plan using tools like Microsoft To-do or any other available tools and set priority. Try your best to stick to the plan and review the plan at intervals and see if you are following the daily plan. It is advisable to plan the day before. If it is difficult then make the plan the first thing in the morning
3. Set your Daily Task priority There may be N number of tasks in your list. Some tasks can wait, and some tasks are to be done urgently as they are important. The best way is to set a priority for each of your tasks and focus on urgent and important tasks
Evaluate your to-do list and make sure you organize it based on the importance of a task rather than its urgency.
You can use one of the time management tips for work found in Stephen Covey’s book First Things First. He offers the following time management matrix as an organizational tool for prioritizing tasks based on these ideas of importance and urgency.
Important and urgent: These tasks have important deadlines with high urgency—complete them right away.
Important but not urgent: These items are important but don’t require immediate action and should involve long-term development strategizing. Strive to spend most of your time in this quadrant.
Urgent but not important: These tasks are urgent but not important. Minimize, delegate, or eliminate them because they don’t contribute to your output. They are generally distractions that may result from the poor planning of others.
Urgent and unimportant: These activities hold little if any value and should be eliminated as much as possible
4. Set Time limits to your tasks When organizing your tasks, set a time limit. For e.g. Finish Task A by 10AM, Task B by 11:30 AM and so on. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.
5. Avoid Multi-tasking If you are fan of multi-tasking, then please note that you are wasting lot of your time daily. Your productivity will be heavily impacted if you do multi-tasking. So, make it a practice to focus on one task at a time and finish it.
6. Delegate tasks as and when possible If some of the tasks in your lists can be handled by others in your team, then try to delegate that work. Don’t try to keep all tasks with you. Delegating work not only free up you time but also encourage your team member to learn new things. You will then be able to work on some other important and urgent task.
7. Avoid distractions, try to focus Did you get distracted by instant messages, phone ringing, social media communications? As a best practice, do not use social media or chats in your mobile phone when you are doing priority tasks. Try to mute all the alerts and focus on your work. This will really increase your productivity. One recommendation is switch off the phone if you are working on a very important and urgent task. By being proactive, silencing technology, working a more flexible schedule and letting people know, both passively and actively, that you are b-u-s-y, you’ll be less distracted and more productive.
8. Take breaks in between tasks After finishing each task, take a short break, stretch yourself, take a small walk, have some drinks. This will refresh your mind and body and make you motivated and energetic for the next task. We suggest having casual talks with colleagues and listening to them or sharing your experience will really help you charge up for the next task.
9. Use Technology to organize your tasks There are many applications and online systems available in the market to help you get organized with your tasks, set priority, set reminders, set deadlines. I have personally used applications life iOS reminders, Remember the milk. The one I really liked is the new To-Do system from Microsoft. It comes with apps for iOS, Windows, Web. This way you can enter tasks and reminders and as and when it comes to your mind.
10. Learn to say No You might be working on an important urgent task and someone come and ask you to do another task. What will you do? Politely decline the request or ask to schedule it after your current high priority tasks are completed.
11. Final word – Health is wealth and have a work life balance!! Please take care of your health. Our health is our wealth. Do not work too hard, get enough sleep every night, do some exercise to keep you healthy and energetic, spend time with your family and friends, play sports or enjoy your hobby, spend time on what makes your mind happy, spend time with kids (spending time my kids helped relax my heavy loaded mind), talk to your beloved ones, go out for dinner, have parties, get togethers, socialize, meet new people and talk to them.
We are sure these will help you refresh yourself and come to work fully charged!!
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