10 Steps to Effective Time Management

June 1, 2010

By having effective time management skills you will make the most of each day, each week, each month and each year. You will find you can leave work matters at work and focus on your health. Your health is the most valuable thing you have, no one wants to see their family and friends in poor health and they wouldn’t want to see you that way either.

In the end, time management comes down to choices. Good choices lead to better results, while poor choices lead to wasted time and energy.

Here are 10 great tips you can use each day to help be better organised and manage your time better. To get started, choose one of these strategies, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. If it does, consider adding another one. If not, try a different one.

1. Plan each day. Planning your day can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimise conflicts and last-minute rushes.

2. Prioritise your tasks. Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can consume a lot of your day. Prioritising tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.

3. Say no to nonessential tasks/delegate. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can pass on to someone else.

4. Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing things right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.

5. Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.

6. Evaluate how you’re spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you’re spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely.

7. Limit distractions. Block out time on your calendar for big projects. During that time, close your door and turn off your phone, e-mail and any other distractions.

8. Get plenty of sleep, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can improve your focus and concentration, which will help improve your efficiency in everyday tasks.

9. Don’t multitask. Multitasking sounds great, women think they are better at it than men – probably true but it can lead to a heap of distractions. Do one job and do it well then complete another task.

10. Use your time wisely. You don’t need to spend more than 30 minutes on social networking, surfing the internet with no purpose and emailing each day. Keep this to a minimum and you will free up more time for yourself and the things you really want to do.