The Importance of Time Management
I just wish that I had more hours in my day. Twenty four hours are just not enough. I need more time! I’m drowning in work and just not coping.
If this sounds like your situation then you will know the importance of time management. Time management is a skill that we all need. While we obviously can’t make more hours in the day, what we can do is learn how to use the time that we do have much more effectively.
By making a few small changes in the way that we work, we can become a lot more productive and time effective. The paradox of time management though, is that we have to find time that we actually don’t have to start with, to be able to develop techniques to save us time in the future. The concepts are not complex and are easy to put to use right away. Let’s share five ideas together.
At the start of each day, prepare a plan of what you need to do that day. The purpose of this plan, or “to do” list is to make sure that we keep focused on what we should be doing each day. Now once we prepare a plan we also need to make sure that we stick to the plan.
We start by asking ourselves, “What is the most important thing that I have to do today?” And that item goes to the top of the list. We then continue in this way, concentrating on what is most important. If we make our list in this way, and then stick to it we can be sure that we will be involved in the most important thing that we should be doing at all times. Are you working with a “to do” list each day?
Instead of reacting, be proactive. It’s amazing how we always find time to put fires out, but we don’t find time to create strategies to prevent them from breaking out in the first place. But of course thinking needs time, and who’s got any time to spare. We need to make the time each day to simply sit and contemplate what we should be doing to make the best use of our time. Just five minutes at the start of each day to determine how our actions can change to give us more hours that day.
There are two great benefits to delegating. Firstly it extends results, that is it allows us to get more done each day. And secondly it helps to grow people. By delegating meaningful work to people it makes people stretch and of course stretching helps people to grow. The importance of delegating cannot be underestimated.
Delegating allows us to tap into the concept of synergy. That is 1 + 1 = 3. Now you might think that that is bad maths, but we are talking about the importance of time management and not mathematics. Synergy allows the best of me combined with the best of you to make a bigger best.
Using systems can be a huge advantage in managing time. Instead of doing things in a random haphazard manner we need to work much more systematically. We need to use the systems and the technology available to us to save us time with the everyday tasks that we need to achieve. A simple example: Instead of bashing your fingers on a keyboard when you have a lot of writing to do, there are incredible speech recognition programs that allow us to talk to our word processor rather than actually type. Systems and technology are there to make a life easier, let’s use them.
Ask yourself the question, “Are you a squirrel that keeps hoarding everything as opposed to throwing things out?” The next time, before filing a piece of paper ask yourself the question “Will I really need this in the future?” And be ruthless, because when we hoard we are just creating more storage depots that need to be examined and explored, every time we look for something. Everyone has heard that an untidy desk is the sign of a tidy mind. Forget about it is just not true! The less “stuff” we have around the more streamlined is our operating style.
The importance of time management cannot be underrated. We only have a certain amount of hours each day, the way that we use them is going to make us super successful, or just one of the “also-rans.”