Learning and honing the art of time management is a skill and one that every person should strive to perfect, particularly those who work in the fast-paced business world. The challenge is that it’s often easier said than done. If you’re lucky enough to become a master time maximiser, chances are you’ll be more successful and productive in both your personal and professional life.
Learning and honing the art of time management is a skill and one that every person should strive to perfect, particularly those who work in the fast-paced business world. The challenge is that it’s often easier said than done. If you’re lucky enough to become a master time maximiser, chances are you’ll be more successful and productive in both your personal and professional life. Instead of complaining about the fact that there are only so many hours in the day, rather work on not just managing your time, but maximising it. Here are a few tips for how you can do exactly that.
Make a comprehensive list of all your “time-wasters”
You know yourself better than anyone and therefore you know exactly the things that you end up wasting your time on. Start by making an honest and extensive list of the various things that take you away from doing the work you really need to be doing. Keep the list nearby at work and each time you catch yourself doing something else that wastes time, add it to the others. This list will serve as a reminder of all the things you should try and stop yourself from doing, simply because they take up valuable time that could be spent on more important things. The idea is that over time, you’ll get better at avoiding those pesky “time-wasters”.
Remove those distractions
Leading on from the previous point, once you identify your “time-wasters”, you’ll hopefully be able to manage them better. It can also help to remove any glaring distractions from your immediate working space. For example, social media can often lure you away from the task at hand, especially because most people have easy access to it 24/7. Try hiding the social media applications you have on your desktop. You’ll still be able to access them sure, but doing so will require slightly more effort. Also consider leaving your phone on silent and out of sight – that way you’ll be less tempted to keep checking it more than you should. People will get hold of you one way or another if there’s an emergency.
There are always going to be things that suddenly come up and need to be dealt with, but it’s important to have as clear a plan as possible at the beginning of the day. Prioritising certain tasks over others is a crucial factor when it comes to managing and maximising time. By knowing exactly what requires your attention from the start, you’ll have more direction, making it easier to complete the important tasks that have to be completed by the end of the day. Focus on those high priority jobs and commit to finishing them – if there’s time left over by the end of the day, then you can get started on those less urgent tasks. It can also help to narrow down the times during the day when you are at your best and performance will be at its optimum. Sometimes it’s a good idea to try and prioritise tasks around your “golden hour” – that way you’re almost guaranteed to perform at your best.
Set short-term goals
Short-term goals are important because in most cases it’s easier (and faster) to achieve those things that need to be done more urgently than others. They play hand in hand with the act of prioritising and because they need to be achieved in a shorter period of time, they will automatically be viewed as being more urgent. It’s this sense of urgency that will hopefully lead to a more focused approach and the completion of the jobs at hand faster and more efficiently. Having too many long-term goals with no stepping stones in between can often lead to a lack of focus and the resultant “putting off” of certain things (simply because it seems to be too far down the line to warrant immediate attention).
Stop multi-tasking and start uni-tasking
Contrary to what many people think, attempting to do too many things at once isn’t always a wise decision. It’s only a small handful of people who can successfully multitask – the others try to do so but have their work suffer as a result. Our brains were designed to focus on one thing at a time so it’s best to tackle one task instead of many at the same time. Trying to do too many things at once usually results in the finished product not being as high of a standard as it could be.
Time is of the essence in the world of business and the reality is that time is money. Being able to manage time correctly means you’ll be maximising it, and this can only lead to good things within your business. Sage One Software allows you to manage the financial side of your business quickly and efficiently, which means you’ll have more time to dedicate to the other areas of your small business that require it.
You may be interested in also reading How to Stop Wasting Time at Work
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