Techniques on how to manage your time
By: Shanly A. Salahid
Everyone has the same exact amount each day and time is a special resource that you cannot store or save for later use. We have to manage and use our time wisely to help us set our priorities. Most people blame lack of time for their poor performances, stress, unachieved goals and bad relationships but the truth is we can’t blame time. But ourselves for we are the ones who use or time. This is when time management comes. Wise time management can help us find the time for what we desire to do or need to do.
Time management is very important not just in your personal life but in your career as well. Wise use of time will teach you to manage your time effectively. By planning your time wisely you will have more time to do more things.
But anyways a lot of us find it difficult to manage our time wisely because of so many distractions. That is why I would like to share to you some techniques on how to manage your time at work or elsewhere.
- Start with the simple techniques of stress management above.
- Managing time takes practice. Practice asking you this question throughout the day: “Is this what I want or need to be doing right now?” If yes, then keep doing it.
- Find some way to realistically and practically analyze your time. Logging your time for a week in 15-minute intervals is not that hard and does not take up that much time. Do it for a week and review your results.
- Do a “to-do” list for your day. Do it at the end of the previous day. Mark items as “A” and “B” in priority. Set aside two hours right away each day to do the important “A” items and then do the “B” items in the afternoon. Let your answering machine take your calls during your “A” time.
- At the end of your day, spend five minutes cleaning up your space. Use this time, too, to organize your space, including your desktop. That’ll give you a clean start for the next day.
- Learn the difference between “Where can I help?” and “Where am I really needed?” Experienced leaders learn that the last question is much more important than the former.
- Learn the difference between “Do I need to do this now?” and “Do I need to do this at all?” Experienced leaders learn how to quickly answer this question when faced with a new task.
- Delegate. Delegation shows up as a frequent suggestion in this guide because it is one of the most important skills for a leader to have. Effective delegation will free up a great deal of time for you.
- If you are CEO in a corporation, then ask your Board for help. They are responsible to supervise you, as a CEO. Although the Board should not be micro-managing you, that is, involved in the day-to-day activities of the corporation, they still might have some ideas to help you with your time management. Remember, too, that good time management comes from good planning, and the Board is responsible to oversee development of major plans. Thus, the Board may be able to help you by doing a better themselves in their responsibilities as planners for the organization.
- Use a “Do Not Disturb” sign! During the early part of the day, when you’re attending to your important items (your “A” list), hang this sign on the doorknob outside your door.
- Sort your mail into categories including “read now”, “handle now” and “read later”. You’ll quickly get a knack for sorting through your mail. You’ll also notice that much of what you think you need to read later wasn’t really all that important anyway.
- Read your mail at the same time each day. That way, you’ll likely get to your mail on a regular basis and won’t become distracted into any certain piece of mail that ends up taking too much of your time.
- Have a place for everything and put everything in its place. That way, you’ll know where to find it when you need it. Another important outcome is that your people will see that you are somewhat organized, rather than out of control.
- Best suggestion for saving time – schedule 10 minutes to do nothing. That time can be used to just sit and clear your mind. You’ll end up thinking more clearly, resulting in more time in your day. The best outcome of this practice is that it reminds you that you’re not a slave to a clock – and that if you take 10 minutes out of your day, you and your organization won’t fall apart.
- Learn good meeting management skills. Meetings can become a terrible waste of time. Guidelines for good meeting management are included later in this section.
There are so many things you can do to manage or use your precious time effectively. All you need to do is to think that the times wasted each day can be put to better uses if we use our time effectively and wisely.