Monday, April 9, 2012

Tips for Time Management

Time management is a set of principles, practices, skills, tools and systems working together to help you get more value out of your time with the aim of improving the quality of your life.

Time is something that you need in order to do your work, accomplish your goals, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy everything that life has to offer.

Time is a unique resource because you get the same amount as everyone else. Once it's gone, it's gone forever and you can never get it back. One thing that you CAN do with your time is change the way you use it.

Applying the powerful techniques of time management helps you:
  • Use your time to accomplish what you want.
  • Improve your productivity and accomplish more with less effort.
  • Make time for the things you want and value.
  • Find greater balance, fulfillment, and satisfaction.
  • Focus your time and energy on what is most important to you.
  • Set and achieve your long-term goals.
  • Reduce waste so you'll have more productive time each day.
  • Get things done while reducing anxiety, overwhelm, and stress.
  • Become an excellent time manager in all areas of your life.
Here are 15 practical time management tips to help you get started...
  1. Write things down: Using a to-do list to write things down is a great way to take control of your projects and tasks and keep yourself organized.
  2. Prioritize your list: Prioritizing your to-do list helps you focus and spend more of your time on the things that really matter to you. Rate your tasks into categories using the ABCD prioritization system described in the time management course.
  3. Plan your week: Spend some time at the beginning of each week to plan your schedule. Taking the extra time to do this will help increase your productivity and balance your important long-term projects with your more urgent tasks.
  4. Carry a notebook: You never know when you are going to have a great idea or brilliant insight. Carry a small notebook with you wherever you go so you can capture your thoughts.
  5. Learn to say no: Many people become overloaded with too much work because they over commit; they say yes when they really should be saying no. Learn to say no to low priority requests and you will free up time to spend on things that are more important.
  6. Think before acting: Before committing to a new task, stop to think about it before you give your answer. This will prevent you from taking on too much work.
  7. Continuously improve yourself: Make time in your schedule to learn new things and develop your natural talents and abilities. Continuously improving your knowledge and skills increases your marketability, can help boost your career, and is the most reliable path to financial independence.
  8. Think about what you are giving up to do your regular activities: It is a good idea to evaluate regularly how you are spending your time.
  9. Use a time management system: Using a time management system can help you keep track of everything that you need to do, organize and prioritize your work, and develop sound plans to complete it. An integrated system is like glue that holds all the best time management practices together.
  10. Identify bad habits: Make a list of bad habits that are stealing your time, sabotaging your goals, and blocking your success. After you do, work on them one at a time and systematically eliminate them from your life. Remember that the easiest way to eliminate a bad habit, it to replace it with a better habit.
  11. Don’t do other people’s work: Doing this takes up time that you may not have. Instead, focus on your own projects and goals, learn to delegate effectively, and teach others how to do their own work.
  12. Keep a goal journal: Schedule time to set and evaluate your goals. Start a journal and write down your progress for each goal. Go through your goal journal each week to make sure you are on the right track.
  13. Don’t be a perfectionist: Some tasks don’t require your best effort. Learn to distinguish between tasks that deserve to be done excellently and tasks that just need to be done.
  14. Beware of “filler” tasks: When you have a to-do list filled with important tasks, be careful not to get distracted by “filler” tasks. Things such as organizing your bookcase or filing papers can wait until you tackle the items that have the highest priority.
  15. Avoid “efficiency traps”: Being efficient doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being productive. Avoid taking on tasks that you can do with efficiency that don’t need to be done at all. Just because you are busy and getting things done doesn’t mean you are actually accomplishing anything significant.

Dr. Shreya Udare
Visit to discover Indian blogs