Use Time to Reap Maximum Benefits

Time Management “When someone says, ‘come to eat and drink, the ears perk up. When someone says, ‘Come to work,’ the ears go flat.” — The Bhutanese Guide to Happiness

Managing time is all about how we plan the time we spend on specific work, but it not an easy task with so many distractions. Not managing time can lead to poor work flow, quality of work, high stress levels, and missed deadlines.

The most important advantage of managing time is that it reduces stress. All of us have felt the aches in our back and shoulders from working on the computer; or stress headaches about unfinished work; or regretting that we took time to attend a two-day workshop. As we attempt to cope with the stresses, we may experience the any number of physical manifestations.

Here are a few things we can do:

1. Develop a Plan
Tackle the most important tasks first. Finishing those brings a sense of accomplishment and relief and helps us stay cool and calm as we complete other tasks on our plate. And don’t forget to plan again! Run over what needs to get done the next day to avoid feeling uneasy and short of time. You may be surprised how much better prepared we are and have a little more extra time.

2. Organize Your Week
Outline your weekly goals and then list the smaller daily goals that lead to completion of the major task. Always prioritize your tasks and estimate the completion time. Develop a habit of planning each week with dates and times. The time invested in this technique will help to relieve tensions because you are “on top of things.”

3. Swiss-cheese Approach
If you find you have a bit of extra free time, do small parts of a larger task. Focus on results and not merely on being busy. We must be careful not to mistake activity for productivity. Concentrate on the right things. Consider this as energy management, which is a bit different than time management. You will be better able to maintain focus and enthusiasm to get more work done in the same amount of time.

4. Time Thieves
There are a few innocuous time thieves that obstruct goals; coffee, tea or food breaks; following social media, all of which can delay and distract us. Learn to say ‘No’ nicely to those who want to have a chat: “I can’t talk right now. I’ll get back to you.” Ask someone else to check on how your work is going. Peer pressure works so get your buddies and family to crack the kind whip. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments. It feels great to complete tasks on time, under budget and with high quality.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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Posted in Leadership, Time Management

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