Effective Time Management - it's more than keyboard skills

Effective Time Management Improve Your Skills

Improve Your Management Skills by learning effective time management.

Promoting effective time management in yourself and your staff, is so critical to your business that without it your business will stall.

If there is one thing that you will learn about business, it’s that there is never enough time available to do all the things you need to do during a normal working day.

Enhance your management skills by practising effective time management.

Improving Your Time Management Skills …

Managing Your Time Effectively

You will learn in business, that trying to do everything you need to, is not only impossible but also impractical.

On top of that you will find that your stress levels will shoot through the roof, if you even try.

Small business in particular can be a killer when it comes to your day being too short and with too much to do.

The work needed to get you up and going seems endless and you can’t delegate it because you are the staff.

Without effective time management your life is likely to be very busy and very short.

Be warned, if you don’t learn the art of effective time management you can only look forward to ultimate failure in your business life. That strong enough for you?

Before we go on, let?s make it clear that personal time management and business time management are very different. Here we are talking about time management skills in a business environment, with the person managing the time being the boss.

The time management skills needed here are not the same as the skills needed to manage your personal time.

Time management means getting the important things done properly, timely and still allowing time out for yourself.

To do this you need to become organized and efficient, and when you manage this, you will suddenly find that more time becomes available.

The How To of Effective Time Management.

When I first started in business for myself, I managed my time very simply. On my desk I had a note pad, my to-do list, in which I wrote down everything that I wanted to do.

At lunch time each day, I would look at my list and decide what had to be done that very day, the important stuff.

The next day I would scrub out those items I had completed and rewrite the list.

In this way, I got the important done and the remainder became the ‘wish list’. Sometimes some of the wish list items got done, but mainly they got forgotten.

Despite the growing wish list, the business prospered because the important got done, which in fact is all that needs to be done for effective time management.

My time management skills improved over the years as I became more organized and efficient and I learnt the rules.

Effective time management need not be difficult or complicated if you understand these basic rules.

Rule One … There are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in the week. You cannot change that.

Rule Two … You need eight hours a day to sleep and eight hours a day to eat, exercise and spend time with your family. Remember this.

Rule Three … There are eight hours a day for your business, for five days a week, maybe six if you push it. That?s what you have.

That’s it; now manage your time around these three rules and you won’t go far wrong.

If you break any of these rules however, you are not managing your time but simply pushing yourself to the point of collapse.

The Eight Hour Day …

So lets take a look at how we can squeeze all that needs to be done into those eight hours a day.

It comes down to these three things, which if you get right, will allow you to use your time well and thereby find more of it.

  • Be focused
  • Get organized
  • Do it efficiently
Effective Time Management Tips and techniques …

Become Focused … Of the many effective time management skills needed by business people, the ability to decide where your attention needs to be concentrated is the most difficult.

You have to be able to look at the many problems, questions and decisions that need to be made on a daily basis and decide on what will be done today, tomorrow or next week.

  • Stay alert,
    if you can spot potential problems or crisis developing, you can prevent them from becoming major problems and so save time later.
  • Decide on the purpose of your position in the business.
    What should you be doing well to make your business boom? Don?t fall into the trap of trying to do everything at once. Remember you are trying to be focused. Focusing on the right things means doing less, but doing them properly and is part of your effective time management.
  • Manage your body, get fit and stay healthy.
    This gives you energy and a clear mind, both of which you will need to manage your business well. This is part of Rule Two ? time for yourself. Never neglect it.
  • Focus on your interpersonal skills,
    Most of your decisions will involve people so the better these management skills become the quicker you can deal with personnel issues that can and will arise.

Always focus on what you need to do well and everything will get done a lot faster and a lot better.

Getting Organized for Time Management …

Now that you have got yourself focused on the needs of your position, it’s time to get organized and allow that focus to produce the best results.

  • Start with your desk and your office
    A desk piled high with papers, bits of machinery and product samples is non-productive. A filing system that is disorganized is another time waster. Things in there place, always makes for efficiency and time saving. Just give it some thought for a moment. On average you will spend 20 minutes a day searching for things, that’s 1 hour 40 minutes a week or 10 days a year.
  • Take a closer look at all the things that take up your time
    Can you reorganize any of them to save time? Effective time management often means doing simple things.

    Businessman Not Managing Time Effectively

    Reminds me of another story from my past …. An acquaintance of mine, with a fairly high tech company, decided to be more democratic and allow his staff to park their cars anywhere in the company parking lot. No more allocated spots based on rank.

    Well, it nearly destroyed the company. People spent time, lots of it, driving around looking for the ideal spot. Arguments broke out about “my space”, and stress levels went up all round.

    Productivity plunged and the business tottered. It only took two weeks before all the old place signs were back and things returned to normal. What a waste of time and not the sort of re-organization recommended.iDex7 Web Design

  • Tidy your mind
    Are your thoughts and actions logical, based on your business needs? Do you know what you will be doing when you arrive at work? Routine makes for efficiency, both for you and your staff. Unclutter your mind of everything that does not pertain to your business, before you get to work. Effective time management starts with a clear head.
  • Organize the way you record your to-do list
    You can keep a pad on your desk and write down the things that you need to do or you can go digital and keep a personal digital assistant (PDA) at your side. An iPhone, Blackberry or any mobile phone can store all your thoughts and decisions. It all depends on the type of business you run. Whatever you decide, it is essential that you organize the way in which you record your to-do list in an efficient, timesaving and effective time management way.
  • It is important to understand the difference between projects and activities ... Your to-do list will contain both.
    • Projects involve a whole lot of activities, for example, installing a new conveyor belt in your factory is a project.
    • Activities are any one of those many things that need to be physically done at one time. All these different activities make up the project. In the conveyor example, digging the foundations, pouring the concrete footings, erecting the pillars, installing the rollers, etc are all different activities. On your do-do list projects need to be broken down into activities to enable you to fix a time scale for the entire job. A to-do list will therefore, tend to be a list of activities that you wish to do straight off the list. Projects tend to be off-list, to enable the planning of the project. Unless you need reminding that you are building a conveyor.
  • How you prioritize you list is up to you, by importance, urgency or time. I tend to look at my list and then place a date by it, by which time I want to have completed the work. Effective time management is what works for you. Contained within your do-do list will be different tasks…
    • One-off items that can be completed and then forgotten.
    • Persistent items that re-occur on a regular basis.
    • Periodic items that occur only when something else causes them to.

The persistent, repetitive items e.g. pay the rent, are generally contained in a separate list and not on your to-do list.

Doing it efficiently!

Big savings in time can be accomplished by doing whatever you’re doing in a more efficient manner.

Efficiency saves large amounts of time and when it comes to effective time management. It is very important to be efficient.

We are all too busy to do everything that we would like to do, that is a fact.

Therefore your perspective on what needs to be done, for the business, is vital.

This perspective must reflect an attitude that says, you always have the time to do what is needed.

Decide what is needed and you will find that you have the time to do it. Strange but true.

Or as the old saying goes “If you want something done, ask a busy person“.

Let’s now look at how to do it efficiently.

    • Eliminate the time wasting pitfalls that lurk in every business.
      • Meetings are great for getting a message across to many people at once and that’s all. Don’t hold general meetings if you only need to speak to two or three people. Effective time management applies to all.
      • Cut meetings to a minimum and when you do need them, run them with time in mind, all the time. Clearly state the maximum length of the meeting before the start.

Managing Your Talking Time Effectively

  • Talking is necessary to get your message across, but if you are not careful, talking can waste huge amounts of time. So cut out the waste by deciding on the purpose of your talk and get straight to the point.
    • Dont talk, email it. If you can get away with an email, text message, fax or any other means that saves talking, do it. You will save hours.
    • Telephones are the greatest invention known to man, but the enemy of effective time management. If you can, limit telephone calls to the essential, otherwise e-mail.
    • When telephoning someone prepare them for a short call; “Joe, I only have a minute” Say what you have to say and get your response. Then Bye. If you have to leave a message tell them what you want and ask for a call back. When they call back, it should be with your answer and so save time.
  • Efficiently identify your goals and have plans at hand as to how to accomplish them. This you can do from your to-do list. Put together a schedule of priorities and stick to it.
  • If some repetitive job has to be done day after day take a close look at it with the aim of reducing the time it takes to do. Of the many daily tasks that have to be done, looking at them with efficiency in mind will lead to time savings.

By now you should have realized that effective time management is not difficult or complicated but a question of attitude and your state of mind.

Simply decide what is important and how you can best get the job done in the shortest time.

One Very Important Time Management Tip …

Have you noticed how all forms of communication are either “urgent” or “priority”? Managing Your Time Effectively

Realize that they are, but only to the person sending them, not necessarily to you. You alone should decide their importance or priority.

If you are the boss, you decide if you want to do it or not.

You decide whether it’s an urgent priority for your business, and you can decide to delegate it, delay it or pass it on.

Effective time management is simply that, your decision as to what needs to be done and then doing it.

The smarter you work the effective time management philosophy the more time you will have. That’s developing good management skillsiDex7