A survey conducted by Proudfoot Consulting a few years back reported the huge significance and opportunities in time management that covered 2,500 businesses over four years and 38 countries. It indicated that wasted time costs UK businesses £80bn per year, equivalent to 7% of its GDP. We can’t control time but we control ourselves and what we do each moment. Thus, time management starts with the license to change our self.
So, let me enumerate some tips for effective time management:
1. Implement a suitable plan to manage your time: There’s a saying, “Failing to plan is all about planning to fail.” Planning in advance helps organize the work in hand. It’s been rightly said, “Plan your work and then work your plan.” Planning gives a focus to your priorities, thus indirectly enhancing your productivity and profitability.
2. Learning to prioritize: Prioritizing is all about segregating your task. It can be treated as doing important tasks first and then following them up with the less important ones. This helps in accomplishing work better.
3. Apply the 80/20 rule: The 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle states that 80% of all results come from only 20% of the effort that you put in. In this way, we prioritize our time accordingly.
4. Maintain a to–do list: No matter how organized we are, we all have 24 hrs at our disposal. Knowing this constraint, we have to segregate our work into four categories:
- Not Urgent but Important
- Urgent but Important
- Urgent but Not Important
- Not Urgent Not Important
This will help us to focus our energy and time, based upon their priority of work.
5. Scrutinize where we waste time: Often, time management problems stem from poor work habits. Thus, a detailed analysis of this will help you to come up with a list of major time wasters’ activities. Identify time wasters and eliminate them as quickly as possible.
6. Learn to delegate: Although it seems tempting to do the job yourself, it has been proven that for better productivity, more output in lesser time is wiser.
7. Avoid procrastination: The probable cause for procrastination is that we don’t like doing the work. Thus, it is necessary to impart “productive procrastination,” else it will hamper the work process. This problem can be solved by fragmenting the entire work process into small units. Taking one at a time, we will be able to finish the work.
8. Manage information: It is necessary to be organized while managing information. We need a strategy for the documentation of information as well as its retrieval.
9. Avoid multi-tasking: Though we may be fond of multi-tasking, it may well erode the quality of work.
10. Use time management tools: By using time management tools effectively, we can schedule events and set up reminders for future events. These tools may be software programs (Outlook) or a diary or activity planner.
Our next blog will cover 10 more tips. In the meanwhile, I will be interested to know your views on the subject. Do share your thoughts on the same.