"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're pilot." - Michael Altshuler
Time is lifeís most valuable asset and everyone is allotted same 24-hour day. How is it that some people can accomplish two or three times more in a single day than others? The answer is simple; theyíve mastered time management skills.
Have you ever noticed how much you can get done in a few hours when you really have to? Letís use day before your vacation as an example. You make a list of chores that must be done before you can leave for airport: -Take dog to kennel -Go to bank -Pick up dry cleaning -Gas up car -Clean litter box -Water plants -Take out trash -Run and empty dishwasher -Mow yard -Cancel newspaper -Cancel milk delivery You have only 3 hours to complete all these tasks, yet when finished, you had time left over. How did this happen? You were organized and motivated. This is essence of time management.
Learning to use your time productively can reduce much of stress and frustration in your life, leaving you feeling more content. Not only that; but youíll have more time to spend doing things you enjoy most.
Think-Plan-Organize-Execute-Reevaluate. Time management simply put, is working smarter. The first step in developing an effective time management plan is to determine where you need to spend time and where you do not. Below are just a few basic principles to get started:
1.Determine what time of day you are most productive. Are you more productive in morning or in afternoon? Schedule your most important daily tasks during this period. Save your more mundane chores like attending meetings, answering emails and phone calls for later.
2.Use technology to your advantage. Donít return phone calls if sending emails can accomplish same thing. Return phone calls during noon hour and leave voice messages. This saves you many minutes of idle chitchat.
3.Get a clear picture. Donít begin a new project until you have all of details and you completely understand projects goals and requirements. Get all your questions answered before you begin as thereís no sense in doing it twice.
4.Develop good decision making skills. Understand consequences of each decision you make; will it produce desired results?
5.Create an action plan. If you neglect to take time for planning, you are setting yourself up for failure. Spend time analyzing every project. Create a ďTo DoĒ list and outline each task required to reach your desired goal. Be sure to break down larger tasks into smaller ones. Specify due dates, and priorities. Cross off each task as itís completed, this will help you keep organized and prevent you from forgetting anything. Take a look at your plan, are there ways to simplify it further? Keep your list updated.