Time, it’s the one thing that none of us can control. Or so you would think. Yet high performing individuals seem to defy this logic so we take a look at the lessons you can learn and steps you can put in place to get the best form this limited resource.
Constantly have the feeling that there are never enough hours in the day?! Consider this; the most effective leaders on the planet have the same 24 hours a day that we do! So how do they manage to achieve more than the rest of us|? Whether you believe it or not you have enough time to get it all done. The simple fact is that no-one was born knowing how to manage time; yet effective time management is a skill anyone can learn.
Think about it; you have sales, operational and financial systems. So why don’t you have a time management system to monitor your productivity and measure the results you get with your time? Highly Productive Leaders incorporate Time Management Best Practices into their daily schedule to create an effective and repeatable. Time Management System that serves them every day. If you want to gain more productive time, follow these 7 Time Management Best Practices to create a Time Management System that works for you.
- Close your email client! The biggest single obstacle to effective time management is the constant distraction of email going into your inbox. Turn off notifications and establish set times during the day when you will deal with your inbox.
- Plan your day and measure your results. Establish a mind-set for making the most of every moment. Start each day the night before knowing your priorities for the following day. During the day, pay attention to what’s stopping you from reaching your goals and identify what action you need to take to move the needle forward. Monitor the results you achieve with your time. By keeping track of how you spend your time, you will determine when you’re off course so you can take steps to get back on track.
- Review each task and classify according to the urgent / important matrix.
- If it’s urgent and important. Do it now. This includes emergencies, customer demands, meetings and appointments, staff issues etc
- If it’s urgent but not important. Plan to do it. Set aside time in your diary to get the task completed. This includes success planning, strategic thinking, networking and systems / processes development.
- If its urgent but not important. Reject it and explain why. This includes trivial requests, ad-hoc interruptions, pointless whims etc
- Not urgent and not important. Resist and cease! Habitual ‘comforters’ such as net surfing, social media, computer games, chat, gossip, reading irrelevant material, over complicating a task. Plan to minimise or cease them altogether.
- Schedule time in your diary. Any activity or conversation that is important should have time assigned to it. Appointments books work. Long to-do lists become unworkable and by creating appointments with yourself to focus on high priority thinking, planning, conversations etc will help. Schedule when they begin and end and have the discipline to keep to them!
- Focus on Activities Equal to the Value of Your Time. Highly productive leaders know that if their time is worth £100 an hour, they shouldn’t be spending time doing minimum wage jobs. Calculate what your time is worth. It will open your eyes and make you think twice before taking on daily tasks and activities that aren’t worth your time.
- Set Expectations and Boundaries with Your Time. Throughout their day, ask yourself if how you’re spending time is your priority or someone else’s. If it’s someone else’s, they know they need to set boundaries with your time and say “No.” When you need to focus without interruption, you need to create the discipline to tune out distractions and block out time to work on high priority projects.
- Take stock of any bad habits you may have fallen into. Eg checking your phone or tablet in bed, saying yes when you know you shouldn’t. It’s easy to fall into bad habits and takes self-control to avoid them. Read this article for good advice: here
Now it’s time to take action.
If you commit to using any of these 8 Time Management Best Practices for at least 30 days, you’ll begin to create your own Time Management System. You’ll increase your productivity, solve your time management challenges and gain more time for your highest priorities and goals.
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