Effective Time Management Methods To Help You Squeeze Extra Hours Into Your Day
Time management methods vary in nature and scope, but many are really effective and will gain you extra hours, beat frustration and remove stress. These 4 simple methods will get you started along the rewarding path to better time management.
Keep Time Logs
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. So all time management methods begin with taking stock of how your day is being spent right now. A time log can help you assess your current style of managing time, and give you precious insights into what activities and distractions take up most of your working day.
There are several ways to keep a time log. You could use software or time management tools, or rely on making a simple list on a sheet of paper. Just remember to jot down all your daily activities and the time you started and finished each. At the end of the day, you’ll know how long each task took to complete.
Classify Your Activities
Knowing where your time was spent, you must now evaluate the relative importance of each task. Were you engaged in fire-fighting, handling urgent tasks regardless of how much they matter to your long-term goals? Or are you more centered and oriented to your priorities, devoting most of your time to the important tasks that take you closer to your targets?
Most activities can be grouped under one of these 4 heads:
- urgent, but not important
- urgent and important
- important, but not urgent
- neither important nor urgent
If you’re spending too much of your time on the last option, clearly something must change.
Draw Up Your Schedule
Knowing where you are spending most of your time, and how effective that allocation is in the bigger scheme of things, you have the substrate of effective time management methods. All that remains is to draw up a schedule to follow.
Your schedule can be done on a daily or weekly basis. What goes on your schedule is the important work that is aligned with your biggest goals. The various tasks are assigned a priority depending on how important they are, and then given a specific time slot by which each should be finished.
Reviewing and revising your schedule on a periodic basis through the day can help keep you on track and get things done.
Simple Time Management Methods
There are several easy to follow methods that will help you towards better time management.
1. You have 168 hours in a week. You can use them wisely and well – or not.
2. Scheduling and sticking to your routine is a matter of discipline and focus.
3. There will be exceptions and distractions. Factor them into your schedule.
4. Keep your schedule handy for reference. Try to adhere strictly to it.
5. Take time to relax and refresh yourself, for higher efficiency.
6. Delegate tasks and activities to others, and free your own time for other things.
7. Stay motivated by keeping your mind fixed on long term goals and targets.
8. Break bigger projects into multiple small tasks – and get them done.
9. Be conservative in estimating time assigned to each project, to avoid stress and frustration when you run short.
10. Minimize distractions. Beat procrastination. Stay focused.
These simple time management methods can free up many hours in your hectic, over-crowded day. For more tips on how to focus, be sure to read the Ming Vase Time Management guides, and sign up to the “Time Taozine” email newsletter.