It is my opinion that the words ‘time management’ is misleading!
Have you ever tried to manage time? I don’t know about you but my watch stops for no one, not even when the battery runs flat! It ticks relentlessly and no matter how hard I try to manage or change this, I can’t!
It’s the same issue for you and for everyone else on the planet! So time management is not so much about controlling our time, but all about how we manage our tasks in the allotted time that we have available.
I have studied time management in books and audiobooks and I have come to the conclusion that you can always do better! I will never come to a place where I believe I have arrived with respect to mastering time management. Time itself, I have learned is the most limited resource available. It is scarcer than money and even water because money and water are replaceable. Once a period of time is used up, it is gone forever!
Here are ten tips for managing your tasks more effectively with your time:
1. Get organised – Ensure that your work environment is clear of paper, clutter and distractions. Every bit of paper should be in a working folder in a toaster rack on your desk, in a file, in a confidential shredding pile, or in the bin, but don’t have it lying around on your desk! Visual clutter just adds to stress and disorganisation and leads to tasks taking longer to complete!
2. Establish block-out time – Ensure that your day has a suitable block-out time where you can do your work away from the phone and door traffic. Commit to this time block as you would a very important appointment and ensure when you get to it, you quickly switch over to working on your tasks and let nothing else take over that task appointment priority.
3. Batch your tasks – When you complete the same type of task at the same time block you maximise your efficiency. This could include doing all repairs in one batch, doing all application processing in one batch, etc. Doing the same task repeatedly at the same time increases the speed at which you complete each individual task.
4. Never start without a list – Write everything you need to do for the day into a list, and then indicate what absolutely has to happen today! Then place a number ‘1, 2, 3’ etc against these high priority tasks and hit these tasks in this order until you are done.
As a bonus, here is my new look ‘Daily Task Manager’ that I used to plan my daily activities. Simply, list all your tasks, and phone calls/emails you need to do separately just for that day, placing your most urgent in the grey zone.
5. Get rid of distractions – The only way you can effectively and efficiently get these tasks done is to have a distraction-free environment. Any distraction will hinder and possibly stall your task workflow. If you do not have an office where you can be distraction free, perhaps establish some strict rules for those around that you cannot be disturbed during your set block out times. Ensure that they also understand why so that you have their back up and support in it.
The next 5 top time management tips in part two.