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Top 10 Tips For Effective Time Management

by Pamela Dunn
High Performance/Business Coach, Professional Speaker

Inside this issue…
  1. Welcome Notes
  2. Top 10 Tips For Effective Time Management
  3. Quotable Quotes About Time Management
 
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1. Welcome Notes

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule -- 20 percent of all activities will produce 80 percent of the meaningful results you receive. What is your 20 percent? What kind of activities will produce the results you want? What kind of activities will take you in the direction you wish to go this year?

For many people, accomplishing the 20 percent of the activities that will produce the most results on a daily basis becomes a bit of a struggle. There never seem to be enough hours in the day…

How do you get your important activities completed on a regular basis? This is where good time management skills will help you to do just that.

It’s not your fault you don’t know how to manage your day as effectively as you like because in any given day there is more to do than you can possibly do. You must make choices, sometimes difficult choices. To operate at your highest performance level, it is imperative that you are doing the right things.

Below are some tips on how to manage your time better.


2. Top 10 Tips For Effective Time Management:

Time is a precious, unrenewable resource. You can never replace lost time or create more of it. That’s why you should treasure every moment, hour and day that you have. Don’t let time slip through your fingers. To help you use your time as effectively as possible, here are 10 time management strategies you can implement into your life.

1. AVOID TIME TRAPS.
Be careful to avoid these common time traps:

  • Spending more time in the offices where the most congenial people are, as opposed to where the most important issues are.
  • Wasting too much time getting daily updates on routine activities, instead of waiting for a more meaningful weekly summary.
  • Jumping too eagerly into the routine, more straightforward work and putting off the more complex and difficult work.
  • Not starting the most important work first thing in the morning.
  • Failing to make up a schedule for each day.
  • Scheduling each day so tightly that it is impossible to stay on track.

2. SET ASIDE UNINTERRUPTED TIME.
Every week you should make up a detailed time plan, which you modify each day as needed. Except in times of crisis, try to make sure day-to-day issues don't push your strategic time priorities off your schedule.

Generally your major strategic time priorities will involve activities like planning, thinking, and developing ideas. More so than day-to-day issues, these activities require big blocks of uninterrupted time.
Constant interruption kills any hope of effective time management. One way to avoid interruption is to make it clear that when your door is closed you are not to be disturbed. Another is to have regular meetings, such as every week, with the people that you interact with the most and insist on saving nonpressing issues for these meetings.

3. DELEGATE.
You should delegate anything that could be handled by someone else. If you view your time in terms of dollars you can compute how much your time is actually worth. Then, you may be more willing to delegate the more routine tasks, chores, etc. and free your time and energy for your top priorities and high-level work.

4. SET GOALS (HAVE STRONG INTENTIONS).
Establish specific goals on a daily basis to help you decide what you want to achieve with your time and to set targets that will lead you to achieving them more regularly. Setting goals may be very effective at raising your self-confidence by focusing on progress. Goal setting will also keep you more motivated and increase your performance level.

5. STRUCTURE YOUR DAY.
Everyone has peak performance times. Learn when it's your best time for greatest productivity, quiet thinking, exercise, etc. and arrange your day accordingly to maximize your personal advantage. Each person has an ideal work style that operates as a function of who they are, their body and personality type. Begin to understand and honor that style in you and you'll be more effective as a result.

6. REPLICATE YOURSELF.
Of course, you cannot actually duplicate yourself or add more arms and legs but the fact is, you can find someone who is just as good as you in a given task. You can also automate or systematize some of your routine tasks. Replication is about increasing your results without expending more time and energy.

7. GET ORGANIZED.
Have a place for everything both in your office and in your home; it pays off in less wasted time searching for something you just can't seem to find. Over the years, studies have shown that people working with a messy desk or work area spend an average of 1.5 hours per day looking for or being distracted by things (at just minutes at a time!). In addition, create a (centralized) list of what you want to get done. Manage the activities and projects you can control; clearly distinguish between what is and is not actionable. You can also group activities that can be done simultaneously or on the same trip out. The key is to focus on about 6 activities you wish to accomplish at the start of each day and to keep your list manageable.

8. BECOME FULLY FOCUSED AND IN THE MOMENT.
By focusing on what you are doing you permit yourself to get absorbed in the activity, be more relaxed and increase your creativity. Fact is, when you allow yourself to become totally focused on what you are doing at the moment, a freer flowing momentum occurs and you actually get the job done faster and easier. Be deliberate in how you use your time. Make the present perfect rather than splitting your attention.

9. PLAN.
Planning is critical to success. But it's often the first thing forgotten when things get hectic and busy. Planning magnifies time by providing direction and enhancing productivity. Life is simpler and easier when planned out.

10. ELIMINATE TIME WASTERS.
Yes, we all have them in our life--interruptions, distractions, poor planning, ineffective behaviors and attitudes, over-commitment, etc. Rather than letting time control you, take control of your time and your life by incorporating some of the tips listed above. Take personal responsibility for creating stronger boundaries and communicating them to your colleagues, bosses, significant others and family.


3. Quotable Quotes About Time Management

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." - Benjamin Franklin

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” – Henry Ford

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck

"I've wasted a lot of time, and time is life. Time is all there is." - Gloria Steinem

“You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

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