The Most Essential Time Management Tips Recommended by Successful Managers
Recognize that we all have the same amount of time 160 to 168 hours per week. No one has more time than you do. What you do with this time makes the difference.
Set deadlines for your projects. This especially helps if you’re the procrastinator type. Avoid last-minute rush jobs. Some people say they work better under stress and tight deadlines. Perhaps they could work even better if they were not under stress. They need to give it a try.
Remember the difference between something being urgent vs. being important. We all have urgent things to do, but always ask how important they are. Your ability to differentiate between urgent and important is critical to your success. It is best to focus on what is important.
Try keeping a record for a week or two on how you spend your time. Keep a time log and write everything down. You may be very surprised to see where a lot of your time is going. If we do not analyze our use of time, we will not be able to manage it better. Or, ask others for feedback on how you use your time. They can often see what you cannot.
Plan your day. The best time to do this is the evening before. This way you already know what you are going to be focusing on at the beginning of the next day. If you wait until the morning to do this planning, you may get sidetracked.
Plan your week. Even if you work on weekends, it is well worth taking a few minutes sometime on Saturday or Sunday to plan your week. Having your plan for the week before you get to work Monday will serve you well and keep you on track when the nearly inevitable emergencies pop up, whether that happens Monday morning or later in the week.
Follow the 70/30 rule: Only schedule about 70 percent of your day. Leave the rest of your time for unplanned assignments, the urgencies of others, or emergencies. If you plan every minute of your day, you will be frustrated when you do not accomplish all of it.
Schedule set times for sending and returning telephone calls, reading and sending e-mails, office hours, and so forth. This does two things for you. You save time by doing similar items together and others will eventually learn your schedule.
Don’t wait for that perfect time for you to be in the right mood to work on that high-priority item. That time or mood may never come.
Reward yourself when you get one of those A-priority items completed. Take yourself out to lunch, leave a little earlier that day, or call a friend with whom you have been meaning to reconnect.
Develop the on-time habit. Show up on time, hand in things when they are due, and encourage your employees to do the same. Be the model for time mastery in your department.
Consider working from home, in a remote office, in a seldom used conference room or a vacant office somewhere people will not expect to find you when you have to work on a task that requires total focus and a minimum of interruptions. As an example, a task that may take you a few days at the office amidst all your other responsibilities can often be completed in half a day working at home.