We all have the same 24 hours, 1440 minutes, and 86400 seconds every day. Then why is it that some people get more done!
While personal skills – such as education and experience – and metal abilities – such as intelligence – play a role in how you perform a task, managing your time efficiently is also a major factor for professional success.
Being able to eke out every drop of efficiency from your work time is an art that everyone must learn and practice to climb the corporate ladder.
Here are some well-tested tips and tricks from SoaringEagles’ training sessions and research –
Assess your current state of time management
Before you start downloading a bunch of apps and start making to-do lists, you need to find out what needs to change! Track your workweek to find out how you are spending your office time. Seeing it in black and white will enable you to understand blocks of time-wasting activities you could do away with – like checking email, for example!
Plan, Plan, and Plan
When it comes to active time management, you can’t expect things to just flow! Activities must be channelled – continuously – for them to start and end at a certain time. You have to take charge and plan; in detail. The best way is to start your day with a complete schedule of daily activities – which means that the last thing on your day’s agenda should be planning the next day’s schedule.
We recommend you put pen to paper (or at least type) your plan for completing a task. Write down every step, along with information on what it would take to complete it. This gives you a well thought out list of actions to follow
As you go up the seniority chain, you will find that time remains the same, but work becomes more – more demanding, more urgent, and more complex. For you to use your expertise in the best possible way, you have to decide what you want to spend your time on – you can’t possibly do everything yourself, so something MUST be delegated. However, don’t delegate blindly, you have to factor in the time to teach your subordinates to do the job correctly. Delegation saves enormous amounts of time, but only if you invest some of your precious time first.
The 80-20 rule meets ‘eat the frog’ approach
The 80-20 rule states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our effort. So focusing on finishing tasks that offer the most value is an excellent way to go. Naturally, whatever task is most important/valuable will not be simple or quick. The eat the frog approach tells us that we should get the most difficult, time-consuming, and painful tasks over with first. The human mind likes to shy away from things it doesn’t like, and we have to bring it back to doing what it is putting off.
Start small but start
Planning is great, but you have to start somewhere. Take a look at your plan and pick a starting spot and just GET ON WITH IT. Even if you don’t complete that step, it’s OK. Just the fact that you started will give you enough mental momentum to see it through.
An excellent way to make progress in large projects is to break it into small bits and then pick each tiny task and finish it. Not only do you make progress, but you also break down the mental resistance that comes from starting big projects.
Often we start a week with a nice enough plan, and by Wednesday, the whole thing has changed, expanded, and leaked onto our weekend! While some things are important and must be attended to, the fact is we get stuck in a lot of extra, last-minute activities due to our inability to refuse. Whether it’s a boss you can’t refuse or a colleague you want to help out or a fantastic opportunity you don’t want to lose – new projects get added, and old ones still stay where they were.
You have to understand that time is finite, and you can only do so much – so you must learn to prioritize and REFUSE some work.
“Until we manage time, we can manage nothing else.” – Peter Drucker
Truer words have never been spoken.
Believe us – whatever you are doing today will ONLY get better when you gain control of your time. Just try it!