Time Management Techniques
Time Management Techniques. Here are the most powerful time management techniques that can save you a lot of time each day. Implement one of these time management tips every week for the next three months – and be surprised by how much more efficient you will have become.
Time Management Tips 1: Use a time logbook for at least two weeks.
Find any exercise book or just a few pieces of paper (a simple Excel file will also work) and practice recording exactly how you have spent your time hour by hour, for two weeks. Make sure you record everything: even the amount of time you spent brushing your time, snacking or answering a phone call.
Two weeks later, review your logbook carefully. Analyze where your precious 24 hours has went to each day. Then decide – item by item – whether you should increase or decrease the amount of time spent for each activity.
Time Management Tips 2: Identify your personal ‘peak hours’
For some people, it will be early in the morning. For others, it will be late at night, when everyone else in the family has gone to sleep. Your personal peak hours are the times each day when you find that you are usually the most productive.
Then, allocate your time such that you use your peak hours for the most important tasks to be accomplished that day. Personal peak hours usually only last between 2 to 4 hours, so ensure that you don’t waste them away.
Time Management Tips 3: Set daily and weekly objectives
Plan your week in advance – write down a list of the most important things you want to accomplish each week, then give yourself a rough estimate as to which day would be the best time to accomplish what.
Time Management Tips 4: Always start your day the night before
This is one of the most important time management secrets used by the most successful people in the world. Before you go to bed, always write down what you want to accomplish the next day. This should not be a long list – focus instead on to 2-3 most important tasks the next day that you absolutely want to accomplish.
Then use the power of visualization – visualize the next day going exactly as you want it to, with you productively finish every single task you planned to finish. Try this tip for two weeks – you will be amazed by how much more productive you will become.
Time Management Tips 5: Apply the 80/20 principle to your life
The Paretto principle goes like this: 80% of the results come from only 20% of the causes. The same usually goes for your life. If you can identify the 20% of your daily activities that contribute to 80% of the desired outcomes for each day, then focus on making more time for those activities, and cut down on the timewasters that take up the remaining 80% of your time.
Powerful Time Management Techniques
Time Management Tips 6: Conquer procrastination
Set deadlines on yourself! While this may seem to be a little harsh on yourself, it is one of the most effective ways to fight procrastination. Set deadlines for each important task that you want to accomplish – you can also set weekly instead of daily deadlines if you find that more effective. Once you have set the deadlines, make them non-negotiable: commit yourself to completing that task by the deadline, regardless of what happens.
Over time, you will build trust with yourself and your subconscious mind will gradually attune itself to those deadlines. You will subconsciously begin to focus on the most productive actions each day that will move you closer towards your goals.
Time Management Tips 7: Identify the time crutches
What are time crutches? Try to recall how many times you have checked your email today. Many of us have gradually developed the habit of checking our emails every hour. Time crutches are the activities that you have grown accustomed to doing whenever you seem to have some free time. The most common ones include: checking your email, going on Facebook, logging onto MSN (‘just for a while’), watching TV.
I am not suggesting that you get rid of these activities altogether – rather, you should batch these activities together, and allocate a fixed amount of time each day for those tasks. It is much more efficient to do them all at one go.
Time Management Tips 8: Track your success
Spend some time each week to review how you have spent your time. How many deadlines did you miss? How many weekly goals did you manage to achieve? How much time did you spend on time crutches or time wasters? Evaluate your progress over time – this can be very rewarding and motivating.
Time Management Tips 9: Use a To-Do List
While you probably know what a To-Do list is, when was the last time you actually used it? I find that using a notebook is a much better way to record to-do items than writing them on scraps of paper. Here’s how it works: as you think of to-do items, record them in your notebook. Remember to also include a deadline if possible.
Review your entire To-Do list once every hour (or at least after each break – breakfast, lunch, tea breaks, toilet breaks… ). Ask yourself: which of these tasks would be the most productive use of my time the next hour?
As you complete tasks on your to-do list, use a red pen to strike them off. This is something I find very satisfying!
Among the most important time management techniques: renew your to-do list every week. Turn to a fresh page in your notebook, and copy over all the to-do items that have yet to be completed. At the same time, you can also decide if these to-do items are actually worth completing.
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Time Management Techniques 10: Get rid of clutter
Some people might say, ‘I work better in messy environments’ – that is almost always a procrastinator’s excuse. A cluttered work environment often reflects a cluttered mind. It is difficult to focus and think clearly when your desk is filled with random files and scraps of paper. Spend some time each morning (or before you leave the office/go to bed) to arrange your desk neatly. This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself each day!
Time Management Techniques 11: Use an electronic address book
Are you still one of those who use paper address books with little colored tabs? Consider using electronic ones! There are many excellent electronic systems out there that can help you with this. Microsoft Outlook and Goldmine are my personal favorites.
The advantage to using electronic versions is that they are much more accessible. You can easily export them, or upload your contact information to a secured server. It is also much easier to search for contacts – you can search by name, address, telephone number, email, and much more!
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