If you are a business owner or an executive moving up the corporate ladder, or a student trying to juggle school, work & a social life, time seems to be very limited. On the other hand you find yourself with seemingly unending tasks you have to complete on a daily basis. Without proper time management you can easily end up bogged down, distracted, inefficient and ultimately unproductive. This can seriously affect your chances of success and the pace at which you make progress. Here are tips you should use to effectively manage time and stay ahead of all your important tasks.
- Work with far shorter deadlines than you are used to and stick to them
One thing that fuels procrastination is the illusion that you have more time in your hands to work on activities. To avoid this, create shorter deadlines to create a sense of urgency on the various tasks you need to complete. You should not struggle with perfection, as when you get the tasks done you will have adequate time to brush through the work. Shorter deadlines also allow you to fit more tasks in your daily schedule.
- Schedule major tasks in your calendar well ahead before it gets crammed
Major tasks and events should always be scheduled before everything else. This will ensure smaller and unimportant tasks do not fill out your calendar and daily schedule. Waiting for a space of free time is an illusion especially for someone with several things to attend to. You should take charge of what you are doing by planning for the important and highly productive tasks first.
- Avoid multi-tasking
Unlike what is generally ascribed to, multi-tasking has been found in numerous studies to be inefficient and highly unproductive. You use more time and do not complete any of the tasks to the required quality levels. This is because you are hardly concentrating but only dividing attention across all tasks.
- Learn to delegate
You need to have a great talented team around you and empower them to be able to function with minimum support from you. Micro-managing the team highly affects your time schedules and the productivity of the whole department and business. Delegate all tasks that do not require your direct personal input and those outside your area of expertise. Learn how to effectively delegate to free up much of your time for more demanding tasks.
- Save unimportant but time-sucking activities for the end of the day
All activities that need to be done but take most of your time should be set towards the end of the day. This allows you to focus more on the valuable and more productive tasks during the peak business hours. You can deal with social media and mails as well as return personal calls at the business end.
- Establish a regular schedule for taking care of yourself
You need to discipline yourself to have enough time to unwind, eat well and exercise. To function at your optimum and be able to take control of the time you have, you should be mentally, physically and spiritually at ease.
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Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates