time waits for no one … Not Even YOU!

Time ManagementThe popular age old proverb says, “Time and tide wait for none”. Very often we find ourselves saying, “Wish I had few more hours”. This pining for extra hours displays our inefficiency to make the best use of the given time. The fact that cannot be denied is that the number of seconds, minutes and hours we have in a day is fixed. We can choose to spend time on our thoughts, conversations or actions.

Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase our effectiveness, efficiency and productivity.

By following a set of guidelines, our modest endeavor to make the best use of time may be fulfilled.

Carry a schedule to record your thoughts, conversations and actions for a week. This will help you understand the course of your time and to keep a track of the time that is productively used and the time that gets wasted.
• Begin your day only after having set your day’s work schedule. Plan the day’s work either on the previous night or early next morning. The list of work for the day should be categorized as (a) important but not urgent (b) urgent and important (c) not important and not urgent (d) urgent but not important.
• You need to decide when to accomplish the important but not urgent work. Urgent and important is to be done immediately; not important and urgent can be done later, and urgent but not important can be delegated to somebody else. This will lessen the burden of doing multiple tasks in a stipulated time frame.
• You should assign time to complete urgent and important work, and the time frame must be strictly adhered to, with discipline, or else the delay will lead to unsatisfactory output. Every work should have its own time limit, thus preventing one task from eating into time set apart for another task.
• While on an important assignment, refrain from getting disturbed by phone calls, messages and chats. Block all sources of distractions, especially mobiles and social networking sites.
• Set a reminder for every task’s deadline well ahead of time. Trying to meet deadlines at the eleventh hour only causes stress and strain.
Avoid procrastination, as it is a thief of time. Embrace punctuality, which is the soul of business.
Similar tasks can be grouped to save time. Multitasking saves time.
Evaluate your progress at the end of the week. In case of failure to accomplish a task, analyses the reasons and attempt to change strategy. Avoid being a prisoner of your habits; change in approach is a welcome step.
Avoid being a slave of perfection and commitment. Maintaining deadlines is a good habit, but not at the cost of stressing yourself out. Accept reasonable tasks that can be completed within time.

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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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