Implementing Time Management Strategies
Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and everything takes longer than you think it will.
How often have you reached the end of the day and realised you have barely touched your to-do list (if at all)? Take a moment to reflect and write down how you actually spent your day, a “did-do” list if you like.
Chances are that your day was spent in a whirlwind of small interruptions and distractions or doing tasks that really should have been delegated to team players.
By implementing a few simple time management strategies, you can take back your day and move forward in your business.
Tips to better time management:
- You are the source of your own time wastage. If you choose not to accept wasted time, then act to eradicate it.
- Accept control of yourself and your time- you have no one but yourself to monitor how effectively you are using your time – you must be your own watchdog
- Complete important jobs within the necessary time constraints. Keep Murphy’s law in mind when setting timeframes.
- Do not procrastinate and put off tasks until they become urgent.
- Eradicate tasks that do not contribute to the achievement of your goals or objectives.
Parkinson’s Law: Work tends to expand to fill the time allotted.
You’ll find you have more success with your list of priorities if you plan for the next day each afternoon prior to knock-off, rather than first thing in the morning. You’ll be in a stronger head-space knowing what is required for the day before you even get to work and that can be your singular focus rather than the multitude of challenges that will usually cloud up your thinking.
You will also find that you’ll be in a better position to delegate where need be and to defer the non-urgent tasks to a later date. This is particularly beneficial if you have team players who like to monopolise your time as soon as they get to work.
A visual checklist helps to organise your mind ready for activity. Cross completed tasks off your list so that you can actually see what you have achieved.
Prioritise tasks/ objectives in terms of usable results — purpose. Break large goals into small achievable steps. In this way the enormity of a task will not overwhelm and each milestone crossed off motivates you to conquer procrastination and start the next.
Do not postpone important matters that are unpleasant. Jobs rarely get more pleasant by being postponed. Get it over and done with now.
Include a time-based safety margin in your list. This ‘sanity zone’ allows for all the unexpected things that can happen over a period of time: everything from getting sick to not receiving necessary documents etc. A minimum of 30% – up to 50% over the initial estimate is common.
Do not fall into the trap of making lists for the sake of making lists – they are there to use.
Involve your team:
In order to be in the right mindset to stick to your daily plan, your team need to follow the same methods. Having clear position descriptions and checklists/procedures for each role will ensure your team players know their priorities. KPIs will align their thinking towards achieving an end goal.
Have a scheduled weekly meeting where short-term goals are set and each team player (yourself included) commits to the time-frame in which they will achieve these goals. This is the best opportunity for anyone on the team to address “roadblocks” that may prevent them from ticking things off their to-do list.
For more information on time management strategies and personal productivity, contact PROTRADE United today.