One of the Basic Management Skills: Prioritize Your Time
These free time management tips will help you organize your life, work better, and increase your productivity. Define time management goals for the short term and the long term; identifying desired results and using time management forms will keep you focused. Basic management skills include managing productivity; for you and your organization.
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Free Time Management Tips: #1 Define Time Management Goals
There are many types of time management forms to help you track what you do, why you do it, the importance of those activities, and so on. Before you start tracking though, you need to define time management goals for you and your business.
Are you trying to accomplish more; do your work in less time; re-focus your efforts on what's most important? Make sure that you list and rank the results you want and measure your progress.
Tip #2: Organize Your Space
You might not think the area you work in has anything to do with how efficiently you use your time, but it's hugely important. If you're a naturally disorganized person, you'll tend to argue with yourself that in a messy workspace you "just know where everything is" – but we know it doesn't work like that.
In fact, there are a number of programs in manufacturing that have developed from managing time and bottlenecks more effectively (such as Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing).
As a business owner or manager, you don't want to be the bottleneck or constraint in your organization - having a place for everything in your immediate surroundings is essential to making sure you find what you need, when you need it.
Tip #3: Time Logging
Most of us really have no idea where our time goes. Just like people who have a problem with tracking the money they spend, people who waste time tend to lose it in tiny increments.
The solution is the same in either case: if you waste money, you have to start keeping track of what you're spending down to the finest detail. Likewise, if you waste a lot of time you need to keep a detailed written log of what you do throughout the day.
Tip #4: Prioritize
This is one of your most basic management skills and is a necessity in any business:
One of the most fundamental concepts of time management: don't try to multitask or do everything at once. Instead, look at your workload and figure out what you have to do. Determine which of these things are most important (most people do this by labeling items A, B, or C).
Once you know what your priorities are, focus on them until they're done (or for a big project, until you've achieved what you can for the day).
A lot of people underachieve because they allow themselves to get distracted by small, unimportant tasks which all add up to taking away time from those big goals. If you want to achieve those big goals, you have to be willing to make them a priority on a regular basis. Be accountable to yourself.
Free Time Management Tips: #5 Eliminate the Biggest Time Sinks
This is all about applying the 80/20 Principle; which says that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of causes. That means 20 percent of your activities lead to 80 of your lost or wasted time (or some similar, out-of-balance percentage).
Once you focus on your activities and log your time, you'll immediately start to see where your time sinks are happening.
When you identify the issue(s), decide whether or not you can eliminate or change the activity (or delegate it). Whatever it is, ask yourself: can I live without it? Is it helpful to my work goals in any way? Does it help me recharge so I produce more when I am working?
If the activity serves no purpose, cut it altogether. If it serves a purpose, cut it back as much as possible so you still get the benefits without throwing away time on the activity.
Use these free time management tips to start the process of improving your efficiency and productivity. As a small business owner or manager, effective time management is one of your most important, and basic, management skills.
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