None of us like the feeling of being out of control of our work and life situations. We all need to understand and prioritize the important tasks so that we can be more productive, achieve more, and generally make the most of our time. It is therefore important to learn the principles of effective efficient time management so that we can effectively take control of our problems. By doing this we will make our lives much easier to run so that we can concentrate on determining the correct course of action each time that we are presented with a challenge. People who practice effective efficient time management will be much more productive and will generally get more value out of life and usually advance quicker in their careers.
Tips on time management: Effective Efficient Time Management
Here are some key tips to developing an effective efficient time management plan…
Personal prioritizing is key to developing your personal time management plan. With personal prioritizing you need to ensure that you are doing all within your powers to get tasks completed within established timescales. Once you learn to set clear priorities you will feel a sense of release and your worries about getting things done will start to diminish. You will start to feel a sense of achievement and pride as you start to deliver task after task according to your personal prioritizing plan. People and co-workers around you will soon start to notice and comment on how effective your performance has become.
So how do we develop our own personal prioritizing plan?
Clear Out All The Clutter
Well the first step to getting organized is to get into the habit of getting all of the clutter out of your head and recorded on whatever tool you prefer. Some people prefer to make long lists whilst others benefit from having a card or note pad sheet for every single task. The key is to get everything listed including all of your work, social and family commitments. You may prefer to use time saving tools like appointment diaries, email calendars, fileofax, cards or just plain paper – it does not matter as long as you get all your tasks recorded so that they can be ordered and prioritized.
Prioritize And Order All Of Your Tasks
The next step is to prioritize your tasks using a rating system based on the relative importance of each task. This is your personal prioritizing system. Again you can choose whatever rating system you prefer be it numerical (1, 2, 3, etc) or letter (A, B, C, etc) to rate the importantance of all of your outstanding tasks.
The next step I use in my efficient effective time managment plan is to group together the tasks based on importance level and then determine whether the taks are short (S), medium (M) or long (L) term.
Whatever system you use needs to be simple and flexible so that you can easily update new tasks and lose the taks that you have completed. My personal preference is to use the single sheet method put forward by David Allen in Getting Things Done, where each task is written on a single sheet of paper. I then order tasks in terms of priority and then determine the timescale for each task. Once the ask is complete, the sheet of paper is thrown into the bin. It is also easy to add new tasks this way.
The trick is not to become overloaded. Estimate the length of time each task will take and divide each day up so that you spend part of the day clearing as many of the short time scale tasks as possible, whilst leaving other blocks of the day to move forward some of the longer term but equally important tasks.
Delegate As Much As Possible
If you have responsibility for a team in the workplace then effective time management techniques in business mean that you DELEGATE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Do not retain tasks that others have the ability and time to do for you. If your staff cannot do the task then if it is possible and the task needs undertaking on repeat occasions then TRAIN THEM HOW TO DO IT.
Make Time For Your Social Life
Remember to save time in your schedule for things that you enjoy doing including regular meal times, entertainment, family time, sports and exercise. I know that we all live busy schedules but your new efficient effective time management plan needs to include time to boost your physicla and emotional well being, as this is an important part of the strategy for getting things done.
Finally, there is a simple word in the dictionary that we all need to learn how and when to use. The word is NO and you need to use it when necessary so that you do not become overloaded with tasks, particularly if they are either not important or they can be handled by somebody else in your work team or family. If the task has to be taken on by you then you need to take a close look at your other pressing deadlines and either negotiate time scales or look to delegate less important tasks to others.
Develop Your Own Efficient Effective Time Management Plan
An efficient effective time management plan needs to be flexible, however it is important that you develop effective influencing skills to alert others to provide assistance so that your goals and tasks can be effectively delivered.