Time management: not just fancy corporate speak, but actually a very important part of life, especially if you are setting up your own business or working for yourself. Your job can be easier. Achieving the perfect balance between your work and personal life is also possible. Time management has nothing to do with working harder. Concentrate on working smarter.
Reward yourself for hitting deadlines. Setting yourself goals and deadlines is one great way to manage your time effectively. When you achieve your deadlines, reward yourself with a pat on the back. When you achieve your goals, reward yourself with something more tangible! It may be a massage, a day off, or a round of golf. As long as it is something you enjoy, it will motivate you to work smarter and manage your time.
Do what needs to be done. The Macquarie Dictionary definition of important reads “of much significance or consequence”. The definition of urgent is “pressing, compelling, or requiring immediate attention.” Every night when you leave your office, write down your ‘to do list’ for the next three days. Identify which tasks are urgent, which are important and then work from there. Then each morning, review this list and check you are on track. As new things crop up, you need to asses them the same way and decide where in your list they slot into.
Paperwork and emails: Both are necessary parts of running a business but can also be substantial time wasters. Don’t double handle paperwork or emails. If you open an email, then action it right away. If you open the mail, do something with it. Even if this is just red flagging it for later, it saves you having to go back time and time again.
The 10% rule: When planning your week, allocate 10% of your time to deal with unexpected issues or work requests. Often, it is the stress of too much work, or running out of time to meet a deadline that can cause the most worry and can actually waste time as you fret. Being flexible with your time allows for better time management.
Know yourself: Identify your best and worst working conditions. Do you work best in the morning or the afternoon? Do you prefer background noise or silence? Are you a reflector or a quick decision maker? If you can plan your day, and know when you are more likely to get work done, and when it’s better for you to take a break, then you can become a great deal more productive, and you will also spend less time procrastinating.
With a few simple strategies you can take control of your time and reap the rewards. Good luck!