How to Manage Time Effectively
A curious advert caught my eye recently: “Shorter deadlines, competing priorities, endless meetings, interruptions and even higher quality expectations are just some of today’s time challenges. And yet the number of hours in the day remains the same.” Question springing right from it: How one can manage time to cram more things into a unit of time, such as an hour?
“Nothing is ours except Time”
To manage time effectively is the single task we all share equally. I once watched a businessman say on TV that of the people he knew businessmen were worst for managing time and priorities in their personal and shop life. It has become a commonality that we all are misguided by the idea that ‘busy’ means pretty much the same thing as ‘making progress’.
Effective time management includes the following:
– knowing your objectives
– setting priorities
– making a time schedule
– progress analysis
– handling interruptions
– fighting procrastination
– teamwork stopwatching
In managing my time with efficiency I seem to have found some principles that guide me, as follows:
1. Good time management should become a habit
In essence, effective time management is about acquiring good habits. One habit worth developing is always placing emphasis on results. Setting objectives and going out of your way to attain them must become a habit for you. Before meeting a person next time, think—what am I to achieve doing this, or meeting this person? What outcomes would I like to get spending my time like I do? Learn to value your time above many other things. We choose among a billion things, meetings, books, people for what is of higher value. Learn to distinguish important things over not-so-much. This might sound a little too imperative and far-fetched, but if you learn to focus on outcomes while developing it into a habit, this alone will greatly help you give more focus to that how you spend your time.
2. To half get a good habit is to set an objective
While choosing good objectives, keep in mind a few things.
1. Write down your objectives. Research has shown that goals set out in writing are more likely to be achieved. An occasion quote: “A short pencil is better than a long memory.”
2. Break down your objectives using three categories: short-, mid- and long-term ones. It is best to have a stand-alone list for your personal, professional and life-time objectives. The personal list covers things, such as: personal relationships, spare time, personal development, reading, education, etc. Your professional objectives should focus on expanding your business, raising revenues, reducing costs, strategic planning, marketing, hired resource management, partnerships and useful business contacts. Your life-time objectives should cover things you want to accomplish in your life (or even something whereby you want to be remembered by by posterity).
“Everything requires time… All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique… resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.”
– Peter F. Drucker
3. How for Your Plans to Be a Success? Smart Pursue is the Key
Setting good objects needs planning and focused effort. Too many by far businessmen, although acting out of best intentions for their business, lack objectives specific enough to aid them in achieving success. Most business guys fail to reach their goals simply because they care not to set specific, or S.M.A.R.T. objectives.
S.M.A.R.T. method breaks down as follows:
Specific. Your aim should be as clearly worded or stated in as clearly understandable terms as possible. For example, ‘I will follow up on all my cold leads I met at my exhibition stand,’ or ‘Take a break from work for at least a fortnight this year.’
Measurable. To set a good goal is to allow yourself to quantify effort required for achievement. ‘I will increase sales by 2% next quarter by determining what my customers’ needs are and developing a sale to meet their needs top notch.’
Achievable. What you need is set your goal high, but not too high. “Meet three new partners this month (not 10!) and begin building a partnership with them to try to raise input from them in the next six months,’ or ‘Re-write three first chapters of my book till next week (not 5!) to include this new methodology I just learned about.’
Result-oriented. To have genuinely SMART goals, you need to focus on what you need, not what you do NOT need. For example, a goal of “I do not want my sales to go down” has focus on something you do NOT want. Here’s an example of SMART, “Increase income by 30% this year by signing up to new online marketing tools.” And, finally:
Time-limited. You need to put a specific deadline on your objectives and, preferably, ask someone to act as you mentor to check on your progress in reaching that deadline. ‘Finish the book by the end of next week. Ask Mary to refuse to go out with me if I procrastinate.’
CHECK LIST QUESTIONS
How many hours do you think you have in a week to make all those things big and small? Correct, 168 hours – tops. The way you spend your time and set priorities in your life tells volumes a lot about how successful you will be personally and professionally. Too many things seem to compete for our will to spend time: business-plans, bank operations, kids, fun, friends, pressing projects, and people that require attention. As somebody once say, if you don’t control your time someone else will.
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!”
– Anthony Robbins
While figuring out how to best manage your time, answer a couple of questions below:
– Are there things I want to accomplish on any particular day?
– What is success rate of my getting my daily tasks done?
– What do I do specifically to have my time successfully managed?
– What are my priorities?
– Does the schedule I follow draw on these priorities?
– When you succeed in managing your time does it give you pride?
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