Monday, December 12, 2011
Tip #359: 7 Tips For Effective Time Management
Everyone has heard the adage, "Work Smarter, Not Harder." And because this rings true for many businesses, CEOs and leaders seek programs that will enable their employees to do just that. Why? Because they are acutely aware that time is money.
Effective Time Management Skills Will Create A Less Stressful Work Environment For You.
Happy bosses make happy employees and happy employees make a work environment fun and rewarding. To help you keep your boss happy with your performance, we suggest evaluating your time management skills and then seek ways to make improvements.
To help you improve your time management skills, you will find listed below seven tips to aid in your continuing growth.
But first, click here to take this simple time management quiz (and help you identify areas that are in need of improvement).
7 Tips For Improving Your Time Management Skills:
Tip #1. Set Your Priorities: People with highly effective time management skills have the ability to differentiate between tasks that have a high priority and those that can be completed later. Creating to-do lists and highlighting (yellow markers work best) tasks with imminent deadlines will help them stand out from the rest of the list. Crossing out completed tasks not only looks like you have been productive, but also minimizes confusion regarding what still needs to be completed.
Tip #2. Set Tangible Goals: Goal setting is a skill itself that requires discipline. You can set multiple goals, but if you do not maintain fidelity in reaching them, the goals are pointless. Make sure your goals are realistic and relevant to the task. For example, checking your e-mail is necessary but it can also be time consuming. To help you manage your e-mails, set a goal to minimize the time spent reading each piece and flag or print the messages that need immediate attention. It is also recommended that you focus on your e-mail writing style as most readers prefer to read an e-mail in a bulleted format (versus a lot of copy with many sentences and lengthy paragraphs).
Tip #3. Establish Routines: Daily routines for completing certain tasks will foster effective time management skills for you. Plus, studies have determined that people work more efficiently when they know what to expect - both from you and you from them.
Tip #4. Focus On The Task At Hand: When presented with multiple tasks, choose one and focus on getting it done. Pull out your to-do list and start crossing out completed tasks one by one. That way, your workload will not seem so overwhelming and you will see your accomplishments as you cross them off your list; in turn, you will become motivated to continue working. Remember, prioritize to get those important, time-sensitive tasks completed first.
Tip #5. Delegate Or Outsource When Possible: Learn how to say "No" to certain time consuming projects. Simple tasks can be delegated, and some huge projects can be outsourced. For example, your secretary can make certain phone calls to clients to follow up on proposals or update information; or you can outsource your advertising to a company that specializes in marketing. Be conscientious, though, when delegating as you do not want to overwhelm anyone else, either.
Tip #6. Organize Your Workspace: Almost unnecessary to state, an organized workspace minimizes time spent locating documents, templates, materials or lists. Some people can work among chaos, but most need orderly surroundings to avoid distraction. Use folders or a binder with clearly labeled tabs to organize projects. Spend time at the end of your day preparing for the following day by updating to-do lists, filing papers and using sticky-notes on projects for quick references.
Tip #7. Use Wait Time Effectively: Many people do not consider the amount of work they can accomplish while waiting - waiting in line, waiting on hold, waiting for a download, etc. Short of beginning a completely new project, you can review lists, contact clients, organize your computer desktop, brainstorm - the minute tasks that can be completed while waiting are endless. Additionally, be ready to work while you wait by taking certain materials, like your Smartphone or notebook, with you when you leave.
Executive Summary: Time management is often a problem for many people. Put a little thought into your to-do lists by prioritizing the ones that need to be done sooner rather than later. Doing so will greatly reduce wasted time and improve your efficiency. Another point, take advantage of the skills a co-worker or secretary possesses and delegate some tasks to them. With some practice, your time management skills will become refined, and surely your boss will notice.
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