Six Highly Effective Time Management Tips

Here are six tips to help you save time. Implementing a few of these techniques can greatly increase your productivity and in turn morale. The key to organization and time management is balance.

Life consists of seven areas:

  1. Health
  2. Family
  3. Financial
  4. Intellectual
  5. Social
  6. Professional
  7. Spiritual

Although you will not spend equal amounts of time on each of these areas, neglecting any of them will jeopardize your success in all of them.

1. First, write things down – whether in a Day Planner or a Palm Pilot. The actual process of writing down a task helps you remember to complete it. You are also able to see the big picture and evaluate where the new task fits in with other tasks you have already been assigned.

2. Plan each day’s work and then stick to your plan. If you do not have a plan, you will be easily distracted and therefore, less productive. You will spend your work day responding to others, their requests and crisis situations, rather than completing your own tasks.

3. When you are planning a day’s work, prioritize. Your list of things to be accomplished will include those that are crucial and those that can wait. Make sure you do not spend all your time working on tasks that really aren’t as important just because they are smaller and easier to complete. Work your list in order of importance. Do no procrastinate. If you are tempted to put an item off, break down the task into smaller manageable pieces.

According to surveys, the average person gets 50 interruptions a day that take about five minutes a piece. This means that we spend over four hours each day dealing with unplanned events. Sorting through the deluge of paper that crosses your desk in a single day can be exhausting.

Between email printouts, telephone messages, mail, memos, advertisements and faxes, your work area can quickly become overwhelming. Try to stick to the rule of handling each item only once. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. If you can’t handle it in a few minutes, consider delegating it. If it is your responsibility and will take time to address, schedule it on your calendar and put it away.

4. Get into a routine. Good routines can increase energy and save time while mindless routines can curb creativity. Make sure any routines you use are serving a purpose other than just to fill up time. Plan times to accomplish certain tasks every day.

Repetitive tasks, such as answering email or completing paper work, can be scheduled to be completed during a certain time period each day. This will allow you to devote your full attention to these tasks once a day, instead of partially addressing them several times a day. Set start and stop times for all major tasks during your day.

5. Make sure you do not take on more than you can handle. You may want to impress your clients but it can be a mistake to say yes to too many things. You can only accomplish a finite amount of work during the day and taking on more than this will result in the parts of your life becoming imbalanced. Every time you take something home from work that you said you would do but just didn’t quite finish, some area of your personal life is suffering.

6. Do not put extra effort into tasks that are not worth it. Some tasks will require your full attention and should be completed to the best of your ability. However, there are other tasks that just have to get done. Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of completing less important tasks quickly so that you have more time to devote to those projects that really deserve it.


Comments are closed.