Master Time Management in 10 Easy Steps

Why do BA, Barclays, House of Commons, PayPal, IBM, Ebay, UCH, Blackberry and the Cabinet Office (to name just a few) send staff on time management courses?

Because we all have the same amount of hours in a day, but few individuals implement positive changes that affect the way they approach their time. Time waits for no-one, and therefore spending your time efficiently can transform your life. Being anxious and disorganised is a waste of time; being organised with your time frees up your brain and means you can make better–informed decisions.    

I heard a lovely story from a self-made millionaire aged 100 years old; “The way to success is to “relax”.        

As women, it’s essential we let go of the constant “need to be needed” and practise self-care. We do not have to over-explain, defend or debate our position. Our needs are always valid. It is essential to schedule our priorities from a new perspective. When you are immersed in a crazy schedule during work hours, it’s easy to lose track of where time is being spent.   

When you cannot accomplish tasks by looking into your priorities, things go wrong. You may end up spending time on a task that’s not important and only partly complete a task which is important, or postpone it for another occasion.

Procrastination is destructive, as in order to perform a procrastinated task you have to squeeze current tasks or leave other tasks unattended. If you don’t do anything about managing time the outcome of your tasks may not be of excellence, which is not a reflection of your skill or knowledge, but down to your poor time management.  

In order to complete tasks on time, you have to have action plans and work in a systematic manner in order to manage your working hours effectively. Competition is fierce today, so you need to position, package and promote yourself intelligently and strategically. If you have excellent time management skills you will present yourself in an engaging and empowering way.     

The three ways time gets spent is through: thoughts, conversations and actions. 

10 Easy steps to be SMART with your time.

  • 1 - Take the first 30 minutes of each day to schedule your day.
  • 2 - Start with a time plan and six top priorities and do not start on a new priority until you have finished all six. Any uncompleted tasks roll over to the next day. Always keep to six at a time.
  • 3 - If you are an entrepreneur you cannot eliminate interruptions; however, the antidote to the overload treadmill is boundaries, which will help you gain control and shed stress. Stand by your decisions.
  • 4 - Practise self-discipline, as it is the skill you used to fuel the achievement track - so apply it to make changes and break out of poor time management.
  • 5 - Disconnect instant messaging.
  • 6 - Take five minutes before each call and task to decide what result you want to attain. Take five minutes after each call to determine if your desired result was achieved.
  • 7 - Plan daily to spend 50% of your time engaged in thoughts, actions and conversations that produce results.
  • 8 - Schedule appointments with yourself for top priority thoughts, conversations and actions and be disciplined enough to stick with these appointments.
  • 9 - Remind yourself constantly that, if you don’t take care of you, how can you take care of business?
  • 10 - Creativity is a precursor to innovation, so if you want to remain innovative you need to “get smart with your time”.

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