Ever felt that the 24 hours day is not long enough?
Time management is an essential skill for effective people in all walks of life. When you master this skill, you will start controlling your workload and be free from the often intense stress of work overload. So…… to start with,
“Concentrate on results, not on just being busy”
The Pareto Principle or the ’80:20 Rule’ is applicable while quantifying your jobs too. When you apply the rule, typically 80% of effort goes towards 20% of results. Vice versa, the balance 80% results are through 20% of effort.
Apply the time management tips and skills that follows to optimise your effort and to ensure that you spend adequate time and energy on the high payoff tasks. Please remember that available time is finite, hence the need to optimise.
Time Management Tips
Write things down: Do not underestimate a simple “To-do” list. Carry and use a small note-book to write everything that you need to do.
Prioritise: Apply the Pareto Principle mentioned above and prioritise the things that are important; weed out the non-essential things.
Plan a Day / Week / Month: Spend some time to plan a days work, extend it to a week and then to a month. Monitor progress at the end of each day and re-plan if necessary. Time spent in planning reduces the unknown elements in our day-to-day work and related stress.
Set Goals: Write down and set short and long-term goals for self. Align these goals with those of your supervisor and the organisation. If you have subordinates, make them set their own goals, aligning with yours and the organisation.
Monitor Goals: Monitor the short-term goals frequently till logical completion. Monitor long-term goals at set intervals, to ensure progress in the right direction.
Be Flexible: In case you hit road blocks while progressing with goals, apply course correction as required. Have alternative plans to achieve the ultimate goal.
Identify bad habits and distractions: List out bad habits (long coffee breaks, frequent smoking breaks, urge to check mails or SMS frequently etc) and other distraction; try to minimise these.
Do not over-commit: Commit to what is achievable with available resources including time.
Delegate: All the work need not be done by you individually. Delegate work to subordinates as per their capabilities. Train them in their jobs. It is better to teach them fishing than supplying them with fish perennially.
Streamline and organise: Organise your work groups and streamline work flow.
Learn the value of saying “No”: On many occasions, we would like to say “No” as an answer, but would answer “Yes”. This adds to our work load and stress; it also eats into available resources and time. If “No” is the most appropriate answer for a given situation, make sure that you say “No”.
Keep things simple: Keep the time management system simple; complicated systems could be confusing and counterproductive.
Enjoy your available time