Time Management 101

There are millions of books and articles on Time management. Given that CraveTime is seeking to help people save time it makes sense to cover this topic.

<img src="/sites/default/files/time management 101.jpg" alt="Time Management" width="300" />
<!--break--> However, rather than waste our time going into the deeps of Time management (when there is already many resources out there), this article will do two things:
<ol>
<li>Cover some basic components of time management.
<li>Recommend some Time management resources.
</ol>
<br>
Time management is essentially about defining what you are committed to doing, and managing the timely completion of these tasks. Some common time management components include:
<br>
<H2>1. Task collection system </H2>
Put a system in place to capture all your tasks or commitments. For example: - follow ups, meetings, deadlines, etc. When recording this information, it is important to clarify what needs to be done, it’s importance, and when it is needed.
Typical collection systems include – a diary, notebook, calendars and to do lists. These are increasingly being recorded electronically.
<H2>2. Priorities setting</H2>
Tasks can only be prioritized if you know what is most important. A good prioritization method is the ‘ABC’ method whereby tasks are classified as an ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’.
A – Must do tasks
B – Nice to do tasks.
C – Low priority tasks.
<br>
A good principle to remember when prioritizing our tasks is the ‘pareto principle (80/20 rule)’, which claims that – 80% of our results come from 20% of what we do. Therefore, we should focus our time on this productive 20%.
<br>
Another good principle (which is related to the previous one) - Learn to focus on our strengths and manage our weaknesses. So, if you are a great(say) sales rep and lousy administrator then focus on the sales and minimise your involvement in the administration.
<H2>3. Planning habit</H2>
Get into the habit of planning what needs to happen in order to meet your commitments. There is no point in capturing, clarifying, and prioritizing what’s needs doing if you are not regularly reviewing and putting plans into place to make it happen.
<br>
It is a good idea to set aside a few minutes each day to plan the day’s activities. (Maybe you need to put a daily task reminder on your computer or mobile). Daily planning will help you stay on track and knock over the important goals. It is also recommended to do weekly, monthly (etc) planning.
<H2>4. Stay focused</H2>
Many time management books will talk about managing distractions and avoiding procrastination.
<H2>5. Outsource or delegate</H2>
You will get more done with your time if you can outsource or delegate some of your tasks. For example, outsourcing housekeeping, or lawn moving, or business processes at work such as the payroll. The CraveTime.com website was put together by developers in India booked through e-lance. By outsourcing or delegating we can make better use of our time.
<H2>5. Do things smarter</H2>
We have all heard (and perhaps sick of) ‘work smarter not harder’. One of the consultancy services my day job offers is reviewing organizational business processes. From this we can see that an astounding number of people (and organisations) repeat unnecessary slow (and dull) processes over and over, day in – day out. If we can do things smarter we will have more time.
<br>
We could write about time management techniques all week, but better still why not refer to some of the time management resources listed to the right.

Type:

Comments

Great article Steve. I'm an incessant list maker and prolific user of Outlook reminders to manage the ever increasing list of tasks I have to do each day, whether it is for work, myself or family. However what I find ruins all my best laid plans is my kids and their knack for dragging out every little thing and their constant night time antics which leaves me drained the next day. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with them, and I try to make this a priority and also be flexible enough to know that things won't stay to a strict schedule, but how do you get the energy to get back to the tasks at hand after battling all evening, and at times, all night with them? Hopefully this will be just a short phase in their early lives, but I'd love to hear what strategies others have found useful to handle this issue.

Suvir