For many, it seems that there’s just never enough time in the day to get everything done. Are you one of them?
Did You Take the Time Management Quiz in Part 1?
What was your score? What elements of time management do you need to work on? Here are the top five with suggestions on how to master them.
1. Goal Setting (Questions 6, 10, 14, 15)
To start managing time effectively, you need to set goals. When you know where you’re going, you can then figure out what exactly needs to be done, in what order. Without proper goal setting, you’ll fritter your time away on a confusion of conflicting priorities. Yes, it does take time and effort initially. Isnât it worth it if it gets you on the right track and not get sidetracked?
2. Prioritization (Questions 1, 4, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15)
Most people have a “to-do” list of some sort. The problem with many of these lists is they are just a collection of things that need to get done. There is no rhyme or reason to the list and you go from one task to another. Furthermore you may be working on the wrong things – the in the face urgent vs. the strategic important. So how do you work on To Do List tasks â top down, bottom up, easiest to hardest?
3. Managing Interruptions (Questions 5, 9, 11, 12)
Having a plan and knowing how to prioritize it is one thing. The next issue is knowing what to do to minimize the interruptions you face during your day. As a manager you get phone calls, information requests, questions from employees, and a whole host of events that crop up unexpectedly. Some do need to be dealt with immediately, but others need to be managed to minimize your interrupted time.
4. Procrastination (Questions 2, 10, 12)
“I’ll get to it later” has led to the downfall of many a good manager. After too many “laters”, the work piles up so high that any task seems insurmountable. Procrastination is as tempting as it is deadly. The best way to beat it is to recognize that you do indeed do it. Then you need to figure out why. Perhaps you are afraid of failing? (And some people are actually afraid of success!)
5. Scheduling (Questions 3, 7, 12)
Much of time management comes down to effective scheduling of your time. When you know what your goals and priorities are, you then need to know how to go about creating a schedule that keeps you on track, and protects you from stress. You have to create a schedule that reflects your priorities and well as supports your personal goals plus leave room for the unexpected. Control your time and keep your life in balance by reading.
Smart Moves Tip
Time management is an essential skill that helps you keep your work under control and keeps stress to a minimum. Listen to Dana Phillips on The Business Edge and get great tip, tools and techniques to “Take the Pain Out of Time Management!”
Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge on the Voice America Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.