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Tip of the Month :: Start a Time Management Program

Time is a valuable commodity that we can’t afford to waste. How many times have you gotten to the end of your day and asked yourself where did my day go? Why didn’t I accomplish more? Here are some tips to help you answer those questions.

  1. BECOME AWARE OF TIME.
    If you don’t know what time it is, you can’t keep track of how much time you’re spending on an activity. Keep a clock near the place you are working. When you start a task be aware of what time it is when you start. Try to estimate when you think you will complete the task. Control distractions and interruptions until you reach the ending time you have allocated to your task.

  2. WORK SMARTER NOT LONGER.
    There is no prize for working long hours and not accomplishing your goal. When you have another late night at work, write down everything you do and how long it takes to finish. The goal here is to keep on task without distracting yourself. Do you notice that starting one task leads you to drift off into another unrelated one? This type of behavior is what leads us to be unproductive during normal working hours. It also leads us to accomplish less than we hoped to when we work late into the night.

  3. START TO MANAGE YOURSELF AND YOU WILL MANAGE YOUR TIME.
    Don’t give over control of your time to someone else. Train others in your work environment to understand you are not going to drop everything as soon as someone arrives on your doorstep. It’s ok to give your attention to their request in a few minutes or even a few hours. Stopping the process of completing your task leaves you stuck with retracing your steps when you get back to it. It also increases the possibility of never completing the task at all. Control your environment - do not let it control you.

  4. USE A TIME LOG TO DISCOVER YOUR UNPRODUCTIVE AND UNPROFITABLE TIME WASTERS.
    Write down when you start a task. Write down when you think you will finish it. Now think about what you do when you become tired of the task, do you distract yourself by finding non-work related activities? Do you surf the internet? Make personal calls? Do you have long conversations with co-workers? This is behavior that almost always guarantees you will not finish your task in the allotted time. Consider those distractions as rewards to yourself only after you complete work you have started.

  5. PLAN AND ALLOW SHORT PERIODS OF TIME FOR "CRISES" AND EXTERNAL INTERRUPTIONS.
    Get better at evaluating interruptions. Do co-workers really need you “now”? Can you plan to deal with them in a few minutes or later in the day? As you improve your time planning and control techniques, you will discover that there will be fewer of both. We frequently generate our own crises.

  6. DELEGATE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO OTHERS.
    Use delegation as a primary training technique for yourself and your subordinates. Most routine work can be delegated. Some of us resist delegating to others because we want to control the outcome. Or we convince ourselves we are the only ones who can “do it right”. Some of us think we are “burdening” someone we assign a task to. This attitude guarantees we will never get our own work done. By delegating more, you allow subordinates to be empowered to work smarter and learn from positive and negative results. Experience and knowledge sometimes comes from mistakes. Hopefully those mistakes will not be made more than once. Don’t deny subordinates the opportunity to learn. Finally, trust that you are not alone. Others can and will help you get things done.


Progress in Time Management is a series of wins and losses –

You can’t win if you don’t play.

 

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