Personal Effectiveness & Managing Your Time
The term ‘time management’ is misleading, creating a false impression that time can be managed. Time is constant. Every day is the same with 24 hours, 60 minutes in an hour and so on. We can only manage ourselves and our use of time, which is our most valuable resource, so let’s master it!
KNOW YOUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
You wouldn’t get in a car without knowing where you’re driving – so take the time to consider your end goal and how you will get there by setting smaller realisable objectives.
PLAN YOUR DAY
First thing in the morning (or even the night before) but definitely before you tackle your emails, set the realistic priorities for the day: your ‘To Do List’. Rather than feeling stressed by a list, be empowered by it and look forward to feeling productive when you review all you’ve achieved at the end of the day.
What’s important is not always urgent and vice versa. Even unimportant tasks have to be dealt with first if they are urgent. The degree of urgency and the level of importance have to be decided before you can prioritise effectively.
Procrastination is common and often comes down to a fear of failure, but in real terms, the only ‘failure’ is the failure to participate. So adopt the ‘do it now’ approach and tackle those tasks you have been putting off by breaking them down into bite-size chunks. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself when you’ve completed them.
UNDERSTAND WHEN YOU WORK BEST
When considering your daily schedule, it’s a good idea to keep your energy cycle in mind. Some of us are at our peak in the early morning, while others work best in the afternoon. To get the most out of your day, you should aim to align your tasks and your work patterns to suit your period of best concentration – especially when factoring in your least favourite tasks.
Learning how to delegate effectively can also create time as well as save time. Delegation is a balancing act. You need to reach an agreement that both you and the individual receiving the task understand exactly what needs doing and when, clarity on authority and what support may be required.
Do you realistically have time to fulfill this commitment properly? Before you agree to a new task, think carefully about your schedule and whether you’ll be able to fulfil the task to the best of your ability. If you don’t, you run the risk of disappointing people.
DEVELOP YOUR OWN TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
Whether it’s writing your ‘To Do’ list or making a note on a handheld device – always use a system that works for you. There are a huge number of ‘Apps’ to help you, but it will always come down to actually taking action and managing yourself.