Everything you need to know about time management

Do you ever feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland who said “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get”.  That you feel like you are rushed off your feet, so busy, always a full calendar and you just aren’t making any progress?  Are you always saying that you don’t know where the time went? Do you think about time management and wish you were better at it?

If you were proficient in time management then you wouldn’t have to feel this way.

Time management is a skill that you can learn.

What is time?

The question what is time could be a very philosophical question that is not going to be discussed here.  A physicist would say that time is a basic concept, but is one of the most difficult properties to understand.  But you are going to find out that it isn’t difficult, and you can understand it and use it to your benefit.

To put time into a more relevant context, time is used to sequence events; it is also a fixed moment for something to happen.

You cannot create more time, but you can use it wisely.  You can manage it better.

What is time management?

Time management is the way that you organize and plan how long you spend on specific activities.

Time management allows you to be more effective when there is little time and deadlines are near.  It helps you shift your focus from activities to results.  You can achieve more with better time management.

How to achieve better results with good time management?

Some pros and cons of good time management:

Benefits Drawbacks
Greater productivity and efficiency Missed deadlines
Better professional reputation Inefficient workflow
Less stress Poor work quality
Increased opportunities for advancement Tarnished professional reputation
Achieving important goals More stress

 

With this in mind, before you get started on that long to do list, spend 10-12 minutes planning your day.  This will save you up to two hours in wasted time and effort throughout the day.

Read on for more time management techniques.

To do list

Prioritize the items on your to do list.  Ensure that the items on your list are written in such a way that they are clear and actionable.

Personal goals

Something else that is crucial to managing you time well is setting personal goals.  Setting a goal gives you that final destination to work toward; you can manage your priorities, time and resources to reach the goal.  Goals also help you distinguish between a distraction and what you want to spend your time on

Prioritize

This will help you to stay focussed on your task at hand.  Don’t just drop everything you have spent the last hour doing just because another distraction has reared its head.  Determine if the task is high importance or low importance to decide what to spend your time on first.

Distractions

It is easy to get distracted by emails, instant messaging chats going on, phone calls – yours and others in the office.  Distractions do just that – they distract your flow, your progress in the task at hand.  So turn off your instant messaging, let people in the office know you are focussed and close your email inbox while you complete your task.

Procrastination

Don’t keep putting off what you should be doing right now.  Instead of avoiding the task because it seems overwhelming, break it into bite-sized pieces that seem more achievable to complete.

Just say no

This time management technique is a difficult one if you have a hard time saying no to people.  By always saying yes to people results in taking on too much and having more on your plate than you can actually handle.  Learn to decline to demands that do not contribute to your effectiveness.

Focus on one task at a time

Multitasking is not an efficient way of working, in fact you are more likely to both tasks poorly, and end up wasting time when you have to fix errors due to lack of concentration.

Rest

It is impossible for anyone to focus and produce really high-quality work without giving their brains some time to rest and recharge.  Having a break will allow you to think creatively and work effectively.  Take a quick walk or get a cup of coffee.

Schedule

If you know you have more energy and are more productive in the morning, then  make best use of your time by scheduling high-value work during the morning, and schedule low-energy work (like returning phone calls and checking email), during your “down” time.

 

Work SmartHR, not harder

SmartHR Time Management offers a unique, single platform for Time and Attendance to measure shift employees, and Employee Timesheets to record project timesheets for salaried employees. With the SmartHR leave engine, scheduled and unscheduled leave can be managed for all employees, regardless of how it is accrued, and compared against time recorded for a complete picture of time spent.

Up to 70% of operational costs in your business are spent on salaries and wages. Are you making sure that time is accurately and fairly measured, reported and analysed to ensure optimum efficiency?

Since SmartHR Time Management is part of the SmartHR suite, it provides rich analytics on the productivity in your organisation to ensure less waste and higher efficiency.

 

More for less

There are numerous techniques you can use to improve your time management skills, but remember you need to shift your focus from activities to results.  Spending your day being busy isn’t necessarily being efficient.  So work smarter to get more done with less time.

Don’t be like Alice and turn down the offer for a cup of tea because you just don’t have the time.

 

Sources

 

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