If you can do ALL of these things well then you will be more productive, will FEEL more productive … and hence will be able to spend more of that time on leisure activities!
#1. PLAN your time and then WORK for plan … don’t just coast, letting time run you!
#2. Learn to determine those (very few) situations that are REALLY urgent and require immediate attention. Fit everything else into your plan!
#3. DON”T be driven by the phone … just because it rings doesn’t mean you have to interrupt your current task and answer it!
#4. DON’T be driven by your technology (email, text message,instant message) … just like the phone, there is no rule says you have to stop what you are doing and read that email that just came in! (Tip: Plan time in your day for email & social media … and stick to it!)
#5. Identify all of the “regular tasks” you perform in a month, quarter, year … and build them into your plan. eg. That monthly report for your boss. Perhaps you can plan to take a couple of minutes and make a few notes every evening and set aside the time to pull it together at the end of the month.
#6. Identify your most “productive” time (for sales people it would be the time they can be talking to clients) … and plan to handle administrivia at OTHER times.
#7. Create CLEAR rules about interruptions! Don’t allow people to just wander in and interrupt your thought processes. Post a sign that you are not to be interrupted; or set aside time each day for “no interruption type work”; or plan time away from your regular office so you are not interrupted; and plan time for meeting with those people who do habitually interrupt your day.
#8. Build in interaction time! You do need to interact with your colleagues and staff … if you are a manager this might be “walking around time”.
#9. Build in thinking time. Time to NOT work on the day to day stuff, and to not be interrupted … time when you can plan, strategise, think clearly.
#10. Build in time to review your time management plan:
- What is working and what isn’t;
- What can you do differently;
- Time to learn more and new time management techniques;
- Time to work on your personal “continual improvement plan”.
We are all different, our jobs have different demands … but ultimately we need to take charge of our time if we are going to be our most efficient.
I hope these tips are useful and maybe it will give you a little more time to sit on a patio and sip a cold one over the Summer!
“The key is in not spending time but investing it!” Stephen Covey
Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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