It is considered that nowadays success can be achieved only with enormous efforts. But all you need is simply put your life in order, and the problems will solve easily, projects will move on and there will be no unresolved tasks poisoning your leisure time. This is what time management is for – to help us perform more tasks than usually and get tired less than ever.
Here’s 6 basic principles of time management:
1. Planning releases time. Everyday planning is vitally important in increasing your productivity and effective time management. Write down all your plans, - if the goal is not written down, it does not exist. By the end of the day prepare a to-do-list for the next day, so when you come to work you will definitely know what to start your day with. Be sure to expunge performed task, it will give you a feeling of completeness and satisfaction with yourself.
2. Multitasking kills your concentration – prioritize goals. There are no two tasks of equal importance, learn to identify the most important one. To prioritize tasks in your list you may use an ABCD method, where A marks the most important and D – of little consequence. Split tasks into groups, and do not move to B if you have A opened and so on. Use numbers to prioritize tasks in each group, thus the most important task in your list will be marked A1.
3. “Eat the frog”. An old saying goes that if you have to eat a live frog in the morning, the only reassurance is that it will be the worst thing that may happen to you that day. “A frog” is the most unpleasant and important task you have for a day. Mark it A1 and do the first thing in the morning, without any delays and considerations. It will boost your vigour for the whole day.
4. Eliminate time consumers. Learn to concentrate on tasks, and do not distract on talks, telephone, browsing your mail, news etc. But do not run it into the ground – study your performance and alternate intense work with rest. A simple timer can help you – set it for 20 minutes for example, and work on the task without any distractions until the clock rings. Then you may check your mail, talk on the phone or simply sit with your eyes closed for 5-10 minutes and again – get down to your task with the timer on. Try different time shifts in order to identify your personal most effective time for intense work and rest.
5. Keep your mind clear. No matter how good your memory is, you cannot remember everything. So, write it down. Any idea, thought, additional task, request from your colleague. It will release your mind from unnecessary thoughts and at the same time you will be sure that you won’t forget anything important. Clear workspace can also help you keep mind clear. You will be surprised how the waste basket can save your time and make you stay organized.
6. Learn to say “No”. It’s not only the skill to deny solving other people’s problems, but also getting rid of unnecessary and unimportant matters and clever delegating of tasks to the subordinates. Do it politely but firmly, concentrate only on things that will bring you closer to your goal.
The following tools will help you keep to the described principles and stay organized:
1. Diary. It can be either real or virtual, the point is that every hour of your time should be spelled out.
2. Calendar - an important tool to make both short-term and long-term plans.
3. Cloud storage. It’s a very convenient tool to keep your documents at hand, accessible everywhere.
4. Evernote – online notes. It’s a service that allows not only saving thoughts, pictures, notes, passwords etc. instantly, but it can also be accessible from any device.
So, manage your time efficiently and be successful. But remember, that neither of these principles is effective without self-motivation – your dreams will give you the goals. And all you need is to pursue them confidently and persistently.
See also: Effective Management with Coaching