Organising and managing your time will enable you to work smarter rather than harder. Take responsibility for the way you use time and when you get the best value from each minute you can make time serve you, rather than you serve time.
The most successful planners spend some quiet time at the end of each day planning for the next day of work. They write out a list of their tasks for the next work day and prioritise them. They know if they do not do that, their efforts will be scattered and bring ultimate failure. Put a value on everything you do and tackle the most valuable tasks first. By prioritising your work and giving each task only the time it deserves you can use time to your advantage.
Undefined goals and undefined priorities are two of the biggest factors which sap efficiency and productivity. By writing down the tasks needed to be completed in order of priority, you can avoid the weakness of indecision.
Managing your time finally gets down to the way you manage yourself, and the trail ends with the individual. Poor planning is the main culprit of time wasters, so track how you spend your time over a week and identify your time wasters. This will aid you in making a decision to get your priorities in order. Another time waster is allowing people to impose their time frames on you. Instead, set a value on your time; if someone is late for an appointment; allow a certain amount of time to wait and no longer. A third time waster is procrastination, so set time limits and don’t wait until the last minute to get something done. If there is a particular job that you are not looking forward to tackling, do it immediately and get it out of the way.
Even when you have rid yourself of time wasters, emergencies and unforeseen events will disturb your plans. Appointments and even decisions will need to be changed. When these things happen it is wise to have an alternative course of action ready. That is all part of planning. Remember, however, to make your schedule realistic and achievable. Don’t try to put too many items on the list and do allow some down time for yourself in your day so you don’t burn yourself out.
The conscious mind focuses most effectively on only one thing at a time so to stay well organised, apply the concept of focusing on only one thing at a time to all areas of your life. If you approach every task in an organised, conscientious manner by prioritising the most important tasks the outcome will not be left to chance. It then allows you the freedom to concentrate and focus on the most important tasks whose completion will bring the best results for each day.
Effective time utilisation is not a skill that is acquired naturally, it is a set of techniques that need to be learned and applied consistently to create productive time management habits.