Improve Your Time Management With Effective Tips and Strategies

Published by Kathryn Anda on 17 April, 2015

Feel like you are running out of time? It’s definitely something we’ve all felt at one point or another!. Despite our best intensions there are always unexpected distractions and last minute tasks which crop up, needing to be done five minutes ago.

So how do we manage our time more effectively and take back control of the clock?

In April 2014, a study of 750 professionals by the Financial Planning Association (FPA), found that many small businesses and entrepreneurs are struggling to gain control over their day.  It revealed that the biggest obstacles faced included trying to do too much (36%), increased administration burden (31%) and procrastination (30%).  What was interesting, however, is that most participants agreed that effective time management and productivity starts with a clear vision.

Vision helps to create productivity

Setting yourself a clear goal and vision becomes a powerful tool for success.  Being able to imagine yourself achieving and enjoying success is a matter of choice.  Making the choice to follow a positive path brings results.  Give it a try.

You can say “No”

It’s not something we may be comfortable with saying in the workplace, however learning to say “no” can become your best kept secret for managing your time.  With so many things pulling you in different directions, it’s time to take control and choose how you use your limited available time. 

Put multi-tasking to bed

The old thought that multi-tasking will help you get more done in less time is one that you’re going to have to put to bed.  It just does not work. To be most efficient with your time you need to approach your day with a task-by-task methodology.

Commence with the task that lays the solid foundation; the one that sets the stage for everything else in line. Cross each task off your list once you are done and revel in the satisfaction it provides.

Social media can be a huge distraction

Whilst there are many tools we can use to automate our social media presence, keeping up with the who’s who on Facebook and LinkedIn can be rather time consuming and a large distraction. 

"Moving Targets," by Joe Queenan, Wall Street Journal 2013, reported time management experts increasingly see Twitter as the silent productivity killer, with tweeting costing corporations in excess of $112 billion per year.  Do yourself a favour and limit your social media activities.  You’ll gain back time you never knew you had.

It all comes down to prioritisation

We all know the importance of a solid to-do list and making sure everything that needs to get done is documented.  However turning that random list into a working schedule is key.  By identifying the big rocks, or the most important tasks that must be achieved first, you’ll never miss a deadline.  All you need to do next is slot the residual work in and around it based on the order of urgency. 

What are big rocks?  Read more:

Schedule time for yourself

Allocate blocks of time into your calendar for you to focus and get some really valuable work achieved.  It may mean booking yourself into a meeting room for an hour a few times a week so you can work undisturbed.  It may mean turning off your email and switching your phone to voice mail at particular times of the day. 

Don’t let others cram your day with their requirements.  Schedule time for yourself and make productive hours in your day.

Waiting time is not always wasted time

It’s not everyone’s preference to use downtime as work time, however if you find yourself waiting in a queue or commuting daily to and from work, consider using those moments to make notes, refresh yourself with your schedule and capture creative ideas that are bound to come to mind.  Arming yourself with paper and a pen or a smartphone will ensure you never miss a beat.

Being healthy matters

If your energy is suffering, you’ll never be able to work as productively as possible and your management of time will be impacted. Research shows that one of the keys to high performance is to take regular breaks, particularly lunch, and ensure you step away from the computer to re-charge.  You’ll actually get more done in less time, find you are more alert and therefore more engaged for longer. 

Set yourself clear expectations

Sometimes we set the bar too high and find that the expectations we have on ourselves are unrealistic.  As a business owner, under promising and over delivering exceeds customer expectations.  From a personal perspective, when you are given a project or task to complete, ensure you understand it in full, take the time to gather the materials needed and request a due date.  That way you can plan your path of attack, and set yourself mini goals to achieve.

Don’t be afraid to delegate

Business owners and managers do it all the time so why can’t you?  Delegating is not a term to shy away from.  If someone else can achieve something faster and more efficiently and they are able to take it on, delegate.  The existence of virtual assistants is living proof that outsourcing tasks to others allows you to channel your skills and time towards activities of greater value.

There are many time management strategies to consider applying to your day.  There’s no one-size fits all approach, so find one or two tips that resonate with you and stick with them. Furthermore there are many time management courses to partake in, which can help to identify aspects of your day that require fine-tuning.

Chatting to the experts will help you see the benefits and positive outcomes that are achievable.

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More PEPworldwide information to improve your time management:

Time Management: What We’ve Had To Say

Time Management


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