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5 Keys to Effective Time Management

5 keys to success

Effective time management means you must try to reduce the impact of time wasters you encounter, as well as employing effective strategies to carry out the tasks you wish to accomplish. In other words, what you really need to be doing is managing yourself in an appropriate manner, in order to enjoy a productive day. Effective approaches will enable you to remove or defer the distractions and inefficiencies that are hampering your work process; thereby preventing you from achieving your goals on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.

Time management teaches a number of techniques that aim to increase the effectiveness of a person in getting the things done that need to be done. So bearing that in mind, let us begin with five helpful tips.

Below are 5 key principles of effective time management that you might wish to consider.

1) Planning

Good time management starts with a careful well developed plan. Strategic planning is essential if you wish to accomplish tasks in the best possible way. You therefore need to plan in advance how you want to proceed before jumping into action. A few hours of proper, creative planning will save you many more hours of frustration when you find you have to revisit jobs or elements that were not completed as necessary or even in the right sequence.

Here are a few strategies to help you complete your plan in a timely manner:

  1. a) Carefully list the required and specific tasks.
  2. b) Set attainable goals to avoid frustration and disappointment.
  3. c) Keep your schedule flexible to allow for contingencies and unexpected or unavoidable problems.
2) Prioritizing

Prioritizing those listed tasks is equally important when you want to manage your time effectively. Prioritize the various tasks based on their importance in moving you closer to your desired outcome. When you understand the best order for the tasks, you will be able to make the most effective utilization of the time available.

Here are a few strategies to help with this key item:

  1. a) Schedule the various tasks based on their priority in terms of reaching your pre-determined outcome day by day.
  2. b) Be a productive, even “outside the box,” thinker who is not afraid to be innovative when setting up your plan.
3) Focusing

Once the tasks have been prioritized appropriately, it is now important to focus on each individual task, so that each one is completed at the highest level of performance. Focusing on the individual tasks will minimize the chances of making mistakes and helps to make better use of your time.

Here are a few strategies for this part of your plan:

  1. a) Do not start more than one project at a time as multi-tasking is actually a myth and you may end up having to redo some of your tasks which is not efficient.
  2. b) Do not work for more than 20-30 minutes without taking a short break as the human brain needs to rest from focusing intensely if it is to maintain a high level of results. The only time that “rule” can be broken is if you are on a “creative roll” and want to complete something that you are deeply into.
4) Time Lines

Always set an appropriate deadline for the outlined work. Having a clear end time will help you to stay focused on your goal. This will also help you to keep an eye on the status of your work and help you assess you are progressing toward your goal. This approach will enable you to take corrective measures if any unforeseen issue arises and derails the plan temporarily from the planned path. Lack of a deadline can cause you to lose track of the work that needs to be completed or introduce some procrastination. Either one of those issues can end up prolonging the plan and getting you into trouble that could be difficult to rectify.

Here are a few strategies to keep you on track:

  1. a) Break up the larger tasks into smaller chunks and then set individual deadlines for each of them.
  2. b) Always set realistic time lines so as not be constantly disappointed in what you are trying to do. Time lines that are reasonable will keep you satisfied that you are continuing to move forward toward your goals.
5) Discipline

Effective time management is possible only when you stick with the developed plan. This means being disciplined as self-discipline is essential to every time management strategy as it ensures that you will realize your desired goals.

Here are a few strategies for this last key element:

  1. a) You need to maintain consistency in all your work.
  2. b) It is important to check periodically to see if you are staying on schedule according to your time line.

Remember…..

  • Time is of the essence so make the most of your time!
  • Time is infinitely more precious than money, and there is nothing common between them.
  • You cannot accumulate time, you cannot borrow time, and you can never tell how much time you have left in the Bank of Life.
  • You don’t control the clock…..but you do control the energy and enthusiasm with which you manage that precious resource!

Successful time management involves a keen awareness of time as an important, non-renewable resource. You must organize your tasks based on priority and efficiently accomplish those tasks following the guidelines outlined in your carefully developed plan for the project.

 

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