Top Five Tips for Time Management

1. Be Mentally Prepared:

When setting goals, start off by asking yourself: “Why am I doing this? What is the goal? How do I achieve this most easily? What happens if I choose not to do it?” Once you have your goals set, you are ready to plan your success; failing to plan is planning to fail. You should try to plan each day, week, and year with loosely structured deadlines to give yourself a basic time-management framework.  Once you have a plan in place, you can effectively compile a to-do list to break things down into smaller steps. Try to tackle the difficult tasks first and then work in order of priority to compile your day’s task-list.

2. Managing Daily Tasks:  
There are so many obligations required for work, even your day-to-day tasks can become an issue for effective time-management. You should only attend meetings when there is an agenda, not when it is optional. When in a meeting, it is recommended to close the door, and disallow PC and phone usage to decrease the possibility of distractions. If interruptions are affecting your productivity; find ways to best optimize that time. Consider using a timer when someone asks, “Do you have a minute?” When it comes to time management for your emails, checking your email regularly during the day can be an effective way to keep your inbox at a manageable level.

3. Prepare your Physical Space:

In order for you to work at your optimal efficiency, your office needs to be comfortable and productive. Get a decent chair and an appropriate keyboard and mouse to ensure an ergonomically correct posture. To facilitate productivity, try using a second monitor and a headset so you are able to move freely and comfortably. It is best to remove clutter from your life by keeping your desk clear and your to-do list/calendar well organized.

4. Make Your Intentions Clear:

It is important to know when and how to delegate tasks to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of your team/department. Communication should be politely and precisely written by providing context and priority. This can be accomplished by giving objectives, not procedures, in order for people to rise to the challenge. There may be times when the only way to make your intentions clear is to schedule time on your calendar to complete tasks whether it is as a team effort, or on an individual basis.

5. Discover and Develop your Efficiency:

It is important to know when you are most and least efficient; which can be easily depicted through a time journal or task list. Try to monitor yourself in 15 minute increments over a few days. It may help you to establish things that need to get done, tasks you can delegate, and identify time-wasters.  It is critical to “make the time” as opposed to “finding the time” for the important things on your to-do list.