Time Management, as the name suggests, means activities, ideas or methods that help a person perform the jobs allotted to him or her in a speedier, quality-conscious-manner within a given time frame, be it personal or professional.
Business Time Management would simply mean business planning with definite milestones of achievement of overall success. Thus, both at the planning stage, as well as the performance stage, one should not lose sight of the rare and limited resource of time and the importance of doing everything as per schedule within the given time at one’s disposal.
In business, there is an overwhelming pressure of multi-tasking activities. Not only is there an overwhelming number but a variety of activities that one is faced with. The first thing that one should remember is that one has to be extremely methodical in handling these jobs or activities. The official planner on the table should be the principal guide for the particular day. While the previous day should be spent on specifying the activities and the probable time for that, in the day in question one should start following these activities in a planned manner, as far as possible. Remember, the focus of time management is actually changing your behaviors, not changing time. A good place to start is by eliminating your personal time-wasters. For one week, for example, set a goal that you’re not going to take personal phone calls while you’re working. The objective is to change your behaviors over time to achieve whatever general goal you’ve set for yourself, such as increasing your productivity or decreasing your stress. So you need to not only set your specific goals, but track them over time to see whether or not you’re accomplishing them.
If possible, one should prioritize one’s activities, which means the most important ones are attended and disposed of early, leaving some room for relaxed-thinking, which often is at the bottom of creative thoughts. One may also keep less important tasks for the time of the day when one is at his lowest in terms of productivity. At the planning stage, some prefer deliberate overplanning of activities with the expectation of achieving more, a technique which works at times. You should start each day with a time management session prioritizing the tasks for that day and setting your performance benchmark. If you have 20 tasks for a given day, how many of them do you truly need to accomplish?
Goals give your life, and the way you spend your time, direction. When asked the secret to amassing such a fortune, one of the famous Hunt brothers from Texas replied: First you’ve got to decide what you want. Set goals which are specific, measurable, realistic and achievable. Your optimum goals are those which cause you to stretch but not break as you strive for achievement. Goals can give creative people a much-needed sense of direction.
In an age of faster communication, one cannot downplay the importance of managing emails, telephone calls and such methodically, with less concentration on ineffective exchanges of communication and more focus on the right things, both in written and verbal communication.
One should also be as tech-savvy as possible since communication and execution are being growingly taken over by high-tech gadgets as we progress more and more. That means faster performance of jobs at hand and more disposable time for more productive utilization thereof.
Learn to say No – so hard to say. Focusing on your goals may help. Blocking time for important, but often not scheduled, priorities such as family and friends can also help. But first you must be convinced that you and your priorities are important – that seems to be the hardest part in learning to say no. Once convinced of their importance, saying no to the unimportant in life gets easier.
Last but not least, Time Management is largely dependent on efficient and effective networking with the right kind of people, leading to substantial savings of time.
Related Business Management Articles