effective time management
Time management includes tools or techniques for planning and scheduling time, usually with the aim to increase the effectiveness and/or efficiency of personal and corporate time use.. The common denominators of these strategies are a to-do-list, setting priorities and goal management . Time management for personal use is a type of self-management . In a corporate setting, time management software can satisfy the need to control employees, make it easier to coordinate work and increases accountability of individual employees .
The 80:20 Rule This is neatly summed up in the Pareto Principle, or the ’80:20 Rule’. This argues that typically 80% of unfocussed effort generates only 20% of results. The remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort . While the ratio is not always 80:20, this broad pattern of a small proportion of activity generating non-scalar returns recurs so frequently as to be the norm in many areas. By applying the time management tips and skills in this section you can optimize your effort to ensure that you concentrate as much of your time and energy as possible on the high payoff tasks. This ensures that you achieve the greatest benefit possible with the limited amount of time available to you.
There are common time wasters which need to be identified
In order for a time management process to work it is important to know what aspects of our personal management need to be improved. Below you will find some of the most frequent reasons for reducing effectiveness in the workplace. Tick the ones which are causing to be the major obstacles to your own time management. These we refer to as your “Time Stealers”.
Identifying your time stealers
• Interruptions – telephone
• Interruptions – personal visitors
• Tasks you should have delegated
• Procrastination and indecision
• Acting with incomplete information
• Dealing with team members
• Crisis management (fire fighting)
• Unclear communication
• Inadequate technical knowledge
• Unclear objectives and priorities
• Lack of planning
• Stress and fatigue
• Inability to say “No”
• Desk management and personal disorganization
Time Management Techniques
Use a daily planner. This is the most basic of time management tips. Whether paper or electronic use a planner that gives you at least one page per day.
Throw away your to-do-list. Do not continue using this most ancient of stressful and frustrating time management tips. Before you throw your to do list away, however, ask yourself a simple question about each item on the list. “When am I going to do this?” Then transfer each item off the list to a specific day you will do it. This relieves stress and gets important items completed in a much more timely fashion.
Keep your planner with you at all times so you can immediately write down commitments. These types of key time management techniques keep your promises from falling through the cracks.
Group phone calls and email. Pick a specific time each day to return both. Early morning gives the other person the balance of the day to get back to you.
Leave detailed voice messages. Encourage the other person to leave the information you need on your voice mail, if you are not available.
Do Not Multi-Task when in a phone or face-to-face conversation. Focus on the other person and the conversation. This speeds up the communication and makes sure key information is conveyed, reducing time delays in the future. Multi-tasking is a counterproductive time management technique when dealing with people. People are not tasks and resent being treated as such.