Let’s face it – we’ve all used the term ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘if I’d more time’. Ask yourself why you have used these terms. Nowadays people are very quick to tell us how busy they are – busy with meetings, client functions, social networking or attending conferences.
Fred Allen put it ‘A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done’
Before you even starting to think about time management first of all we have to think about Time. A dictionary defines time as “the point or period at which things occur”. Simply, time is when stuff happens. How productive are you with time?
There are a number of different ways we choose to spend our time each day; conversations, actions and thoughts. We know in our day to day working life that there will be times when we are pulled in different directions. While we cannot stop these distractions occurring we can work on how much time we spend on them. We decide on how much time is given to our conversations, actions and thoughts.
Here are a few tips to managing time;
1) Most important things first. It doesn’t matter how many items are on the ‘to do’ list it is of the most importance to handle the important aspects first. Completing the most important task first gives you a great sense of achievement early in the morning. All other tasks will fall into place afterwards.
2) Don’t start your day without an action plan. This can be completed the day before or first thing in the morning. The most important time in your day is planning and working on the tasks that make you successful.
3) Decide on what you want to achieve and plan accordingly for the day. Take a few moments before each task and find out what you want to achieve as the result. If it’s not achieved – ask yourself ‘why not’ or what stopped you from achieving the result.
4) Reduce the number of distractions – Social Media and Facebook have become a must for most people in the work place – illuminate this until it is revenue generating for your business.
5) How quick are we to get caught up in emails and phone calls that could be actioned in non-productive time. By saying ‘Yes’ to a particular task what are you saying ‘No’ to?
6) It’s OK to have time allocated to ‘Do not disturb’ when you absolutely have work to complete. Have the discipline to keep these times.
It is the little changes that will make the most significant changes.