Time management is planning your time allocation for specific tasks and executing the same with control, which increases your productivity and improves your efficiency to achieve set goals.
Why Time Management is important?
- Builds professional reputation.
- Improves your effectiveness.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Better work-life balance.
- Increases career prospects.
- Better opportunities in work and personal life.
- ·Good work quality.
Failing to manage time effectively leads to:
- Missed deadlines.
- Poor work quality.
- Bad professional reputation.
- High stress and anxiety.
- Career decline.
- Inefficient workflow.
- Ineffective work-life balance.
Time management is an essential skill to WORK SMART not HARD.
Ways or strategies to improve your time management:
- 80 20 PARETO PRINCIPLE:
80 20 rule or Pareto principle affirm that 80% of the results are outcomes of 20% efforts.
Let us see an example:
All of us have phone smartphones, we have N number of Apps, but often use only 20% of those apps.
We regularly visit few games or social media apps, right!
Mr. Pareto believed that in the entire world, almost everything goes by this 80 20 rule.
20% of your efforts will be the reason for 80% of your success.
You are working the entire day without a break or rest, still find yourself missing your deadlines, crucial assignments, unhappy boss.
So what can we do about this? How can we apply this rule in your time management?
The first step is to try finding causes or factors to achieve the desired outcomes; focus on the vital tasks that need to be completed, delegate or delete the rest.
Once you have identified the vital tasks start scheduling them.
2. SCHEDULE YOUR WORK:
Time management is not scheduling each task you are responsible for, but being clear on what you want to accomplish within a specified time to you on the right track to success.
3.CREATE A TO-DO LIST:
- Buy a planner or diary write down your tasks for the day or week.
- Schedule your work consistently.
- Note down the deadline for each task.
- Check it off from the list once done.
- Be regular.
4. PRIORITIZE YOUR TASK:
The right way to schedule your tasks is to prioritize them. Divide your to-do list into smaller parts and determine the urgency and prioritize accordingly.
Let us see about Eisenhower Matrix.
It’s a productivity tool that helps you with this.
· Important and urgent – Tasks that need priority.
· Important but not urgent – Plan these tasks.
· Not important but urgent – if possible, you may delegate these tasks.
· Not important and not urgent – you can skip tasks falling into this category.
With a matrix like this, you will easily spot tasks that need your attention and focus on them first.
5.CONCENTRATE ON ONE TASK AT A TIME:
Trying to do too many things at the same time does more harm than good.
Focus on one task at a time, complete it, move on to the next based on a priority basis.
Take required breaks in between work, it will help you to refresh your brain, giving you more focus when you take on new tasks.
6. MINIMISE DISTRACTIONS:
We talked about focusing on one task at a time; It will work when you complete them within the scheduled time. If you slack off or are distracted with your phone or unnecessary chats with colleagues, it will hinder your productivity.
Some tips to overcome distractions:
- Fix a specific time to check your emails in a day.
- Avoid personal conversations during work hours.
- Snooze notifications and put your phone out of sight to avoid checking it compulsively.
Start setting goals; Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Have a five-year plan or ten-year plan. But make them SMART.
8. ORGANISE YOUR WORKPLACE:
It is crucial to create a proper work environment, to manage your time, and be more productive.
- De-clutter your desk and desktop.
- Ensure you have a place for everything on your desk and desktop.
- Set up an effective filing system or tracker.
- One of the challenging task is retrieving data when required; An Effective filing system resolves this issue.
Use the right tools or applications to accomplish your tasks.
9. DELEGATE AND ASSERTIVENESS:
Delegation is a powerful way of getting things done at a faster pace. Try to delegating non-critical works or recurring works.
- Know when to say NO.
- Instead of making false commitments be realistic about your deadlines and accept assignments only if you can finish them within the stipulated time frame.
- If you feel overwhelmed about your WIP tasks and unable to accept a new task, highlight them to your manager politely and ask for an extension or request them to assign to another team member.
Do this only when required. This is not your license to be rude or avoid your responsibilities with your boss or subordinates.
10. REVISIT YOUR SCHEDULE OR GOALS:
Keep track of your tasks, whether they are pertaining to your goals, do a small revision on your daily schedule:
It helps you to be in alignment with your set goals and manage your time efficiently.
- Find out whether you completed them on time.
- If not, analyze the reason why you have to accomplish it on time.
- Create an action plan.