I recently analyzed a lot of sources to answer the question: “how to effectively manage time. And today I’m going to share best tips with you. In our daily lives, time management is very important. It can help us prioritize, arrange and perform tasks effectively. Imagine doing something without a plan. Definitely, you will never know where and how to start.
How To Effectively Manage Time?
1. The Basics On Time Management
You have to understand that time management skill is not something you can acquire from school. It can be acquired through constant practice of what you have learned about mastering your own time and doing it effectively.
Procrastination is the biggest enemy of time management. No matter how smart you are and how well you know about the tasks that you are working on, you cannot do it effectively right on time if you are also good in postponing things. Remember, the bridge that connects your goal to its destination is Action. You have to act effectively on things with proper time management. Here are ways to start organizing your thoughts, information and action.
Identify the most important task and put it in your priority list. It will help you have an easy start with your tasks. Once you have identified and sorted your tasks according to its importance you can go ahead and create proper scheduling. You may want to use organizers or mobile phone application where you can list down your tasks and update them in real time. It can also help you avoid forgetting some details that can possibly cause minor to major problems when left undone.
Finally, know when you are at your most productive time. It is on those times of the day when you are in your best condition to start and finish your job. Take time to rest at least six to eight hours daily to balance your activity. It can help you have a clear mind and steady energy to perform your activities in the days ahead.
2. The Basics On Project Management
Before we discuss deeper about project management, let me explain the concept of time. Time is characterized by series of non-stop changes. Since it is running constantly, we will not know what will happen next unless we plan ahead and aim to perform things exactly how we intend to do it.
Project management involves proper timing. If you are selected to manage a project, you have to be ready to plan, organize, act and achieve specific objectives to accomplish a successful project. But how exactly are you going to ensure high chances of achieving a successful project? Below are the basic ideas on project management. To be able to get started properly, you have to identify your project scope. Know why you are doing the project and what are you supposed to achieve at the end of the task. You also need to identify the objectives of the project you will be working on in order for you to know the steps included to finish the project.
Develop a plan and determine your actual resources. Since you already know the scope of your project, you can clearly define how much money you will need, what equipment to use, and how many people are required to help you complete the tasks. Once your team is ready, you may go ahead and schedule a meeting with them. Of course, you will be hiring nothing less than the experts. So getting started would be seamless. You will then assign each of them in their field of expertise where they can function effectively while you are there to manage them and ensure that they are doing their job precisely how you and your team agreed to do it.
As a project manager, it is your job to record everything for your own advantage. It can help you track the tasks you and your team have accomplished, as well as the changes made and its underlying reasons. Also, by consistently recording project development you will be able to recognize existing issues before it becomes problem. Last but not least, you have to keep your bosses and your team informed about the development of the project including issues and problems as soon as you have spotted them. That way you will be able to get substantial solutions to any problem that may occur.
3. The Basics On Attention Management
What exactly is attention management and why do we have to develop it? Attention Management is defined as an act of controlling and leading one’s attention towards relevant tasks and avoiding any distraction to be able to maximize productivity.
Nowadays, it is very important for us to acquire attention management skills to avoid wasting our precious time and dedicate our efforts only to what is helpful and productive. In an individual point of view, the example of good attention management is working on your computer for a long period of time without trying to visit your favorite networking site or playing your favorite online game.
To increase the level of your control over your own attention, you have to constantly practice these steps:
- Observe how you divide your attention. List down your observations to get a clear grasp on things you are spending most of your attention on and the opposite.
- Identify those that are keeping you productive and those that don’t.
- Immediately stop paying attention to negative thoughts and deeds.
- Avoiding negative attention can be difficult; one way you can shift from spending your attention on negative thoughts is to read inspiring quotes and watching motivational videos.
- Spare yourself from doing nothing. It can lead you to think of negative thoughts. Instead, invest more attention on things that can give you great value and high profits. Just like in the world of business, most businessmen will invest their money in ventures that can give them high profits and steady income.
However, you also need to understand that even with those guidelines above, nothing is constant. There will be times where your positive attention becomes negative, as it is not any longer giving you the highest productivity that you are seeking. When this happens, immediately change your thoughts and lead your attention to what is more important at that moment.
4. The Basics On Personal Knowledge Management
Every one of us has acquired knowledge and skills over the years; however, not all of us can manage these acquired skills and expertise as effectively as possible. Personal knowledge can be used in our daily activities and it takes proper management to have it work to our highest advantage.
Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is a process where an individual gathers, organizes and stores knowledge that can be used in everyday life. There are ways to develop personal knowledge management and the below are my personal guidelines in improving PKM. In my case, I collect information from Google, article directories, email subscription and e-books. Not everything that I collected can be used in my daily chores. So I normally get rid of the leftover information and organize only the necessary data.
I separate information by creating individual folders on my personal computer with clear descriptions of what the stored information is all about so that if I forget something, it would be easier for me to look up and find the data up again. Furthermore, I copy the information that I pay more attention to on my mobile devices such as iPad and smart phone in order to have access to them wherever and whenever I want to.
However, information too becomes obsolete. So I regularly review my stored information and remove the old data after I made a summary of it and move it to my “worn-out folder”. These approaches help me accomplish my daily tasks seamlessly while keeping my personal knowledge up to date.
5. Creating An Effective Environment
In today’s generation of employees, career is more than just money. They are now demanding better and more effective work environments. In an employer’s perspective, implementing a productive environment would be an advantage, as it will not only produce prolific workers but also happy and healthy ones.
If you are a manager that is searching for ways how to increase the productivity and satisfaction of your workforce, you may want to use the “5 Rs” technique in developing a more effective and nourishing working environment. To understand “5 Rs” technique here is a more detailed explanation. 5 Rs stands for Responsibility, Relationships, Respect, Recognition, Rewards. Studies show that these elements are important in workplaces in order to achieve maximum productivity from each and every employee. Let me explain further.
The first R stands for Responsibility. This is necessary because employees would feel that what they do is important for the development of the company. If you will let them take charge and feel accountable for their duties, they would become more careful and intense in planning and executing their jobs. This would give them a feeling of being trusted and thus they are likely to act accordingly.
The second R means Relationships. It is important to keep the employees motivated in doing their daily tasks. If they are not driven enough to give their all at work, it means less productivity. Therefore, managers need to make sure that they are able to build a strong relationship with their workforce, making them feel that they are well supported and valued. To be able to keep good relationships with employees, managers need to plan out a good strategy on how to effectively teach and guide the employees to achieve the right outcomes.
The third R represents Respect. In workplaces it is imperative that people feel that they are respected and valued. As a manager you have to make your team feel that their individual contribution to the success of the company is very important and well appreciated. To do this, you have to respect each other’s differences to be able to develop teamwork. By doing this, you are allowing your team to do the same with their co-workers and together they will develop a more collaborative and helpful environment.
The fourth R signifies Recognition. Employees need to be appreciated. It is not about the glory that they get, it is about the feeling that they are valued in the company that makes them feel special. Recognition can be expressed in many forms such as giving out incentives to top performing employees, giving them the genuine opportunity to develop as professionals and by offering them more challenging work but not to the extent that they will be required to work too hard. Give them challenging work that will unleash their maximum potential and make sure that when they do, they are well rewarded. The fifth R means Rewards. As As business owner, you are expecting a good return on investment. The same goes for your employees. Rewards must be given special attention when planning for your team.
6. Setting Priorities Basics
Setting your priorities is very important regardless if you have a short term or long term plan. Surely, there are many ways to act on a certain task but there is no easier way to succeed in planning and accomplishing something other than identifying and ranking first the main concerns and then focus on it. If you can do that, the chance of becoming successful is high.
You can effectively set your priorities by following some basic guidelines. The initial step should be identifying and setting up your goals. The idea is clear; you cannot plan further without knowing the purpose of what you are doing. Once your goals are already clear to you, you can create a targeted plan that will help you achieve your goals as easy as possible without leaving a single detail undone. Having said that, it is best that you work in balance, as there might be some important details that are also your priorities that will be left out. If that happens, expect to have minor to major problems as you progress in your tasks when there is overlapping in the process.
Talking about overlapping, you can avoid it if you will organize your tasks and schedules. There are a lot of methods and materials that you can use to help you arrange, classify and perform your tasks effectively. Some of the resources are even automated and it means faster and easier operation. You may want to try those nifty things. Lastly, keep your focus and enthusiasm as it can help you do your job efficiently while enjoying what you are doing. It is important that you maintain your overflowing desire to achieve your goals because the truth is, achieving something is definitely draining. There will be times that you will feel tired and uninterested, if that happens, just imagine how delighted you were when you first achieved your goals and for sure you will want to get back to it.
7. Setting Goals Basics
Have you ever thought about the life that you want to have after five to ten years? Can you picture it clearly in your mind? If you can, how do you plan to make it happen? The answer to that is proper goal setting.
Why do we need to set up goals and what do we get if we do so? As I have said, goal setting is very important if you want to attain something and succeed in your life. It is the blueprint of your victory and therefore, it needs careful scheming and action. Without proper goal setting, it would be very difficult for you to start working on what you really dreamed about. Furthermore, dreaming without action is useless thus; you have to have concrete plans in attaining your greatest dreams.
How will you then set your goals? Here are some tips that you can use in setting up your goals.
- Target something that can motivate you to work hard. Make sure that it is something very important to you, as it would be just a waste of time if it is not that valuable.
- Make your goals as SMART as possible. SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound.
- Don’t just think about your goals, put it into writing. This way you will be able to see clearly which goals are important and which are less important to you. Then you can start planning from here.
- Make a complete and quantifiable plan to avoid missing something. Once you have it written, there is no excuse for forgetting even a single detail of your plan.
- Identify the necessary steps to accomplish your goals and stick with it. If you can do these five simple steps, you are on your way to reaching your goals. Have confidence and enjoy!
8. Implementing Goals Basics
Congratulations! You have now set your goals and you are more than ready to hit the target. But wait! Do you know how exactly you are going to implement it? Many people are very good in planning but extremely poor in executing.
Surely, goal setting can help you attain your ambitions but that does not guarantee success. This is because a plan without action is just an idea. However, if you apply the right actions to your plan you will find the set goals attainable and within your capacity of achieving it.
If you are determined to succeed, follow this formula: Goal + Action = Success. Below are useful steps in implementing set goals.
- You invested so much effort in setting up your goals; therefore use it to your advantage by being persistent in achieving each task. By diligently implementing your plans, you are taking one step closer to your dreams.
- Perform one step at a time. There is no reason to hurry and there is always truth to the saying, haste is waste. So take it slowly but surely. By effectively implementing one small step, you will be able to achieve bigger result without taking the risk of going back just to fix fragmented tasks.
- Continuously examine your plans and make some changes when necessary. Check your progress so that you will be able to see what is lacking and address it right away. Each month, do an assessment of your past performance and make useful improvements as you progress in completing your goals.
- Keep your focus and avoid any distractions. Make sure that whatever it is that you will do in a day, it will contribute something to achieving your goals.
9. Organization Basics
To be able to develop organizational skills, you have to be determined in eradicating bad practices in your daily life. Understand that when things are messy, putting them in some color coded cute containers is not the ultimate solution. If you really have a bad habit of messing things up, chances are no matter how you exert effort in arranging and rearranging stuff, you will fail in staying organized.
Therefore, the best thing that you can do is to help yourself to get away from bad organization practices and start developing good organization habits. Persevere and keep going as nothing happens in an instant. See and feel the development in order to appreciate it. Here’s what you can do.
Develop a good practice of defining and organizing things. Think of this, when we go shopping we normally list down the items that we want to purchase so that we won’t miss a thing. The same applies to organization. You must list down your goals for the room that you want to organize as well as the necessary actions that you need to do to achieve the right outcome. When you do this, good judgment is also necessary.
Begin a habit of sorting things out. When you plan to organize the entire house, begin one room at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of achieving an ultra-neat house or office right away because that is not possible. You may want to start by sorting out useful items from the unusable ones. For used items, you may sell, donate or throw it away instead of keeping it. Do not dwell on your sentiments; if it is not usable, what’s the point of keeping it? It will only eat up some space for your usable items.
Practice a good storage system. Develop a scheme that you can follow in order to keep things organized at all times. Make use of storage boxes, hooks and cabinets to organize your stuff. Next is label each container, arrange and mount hooks on designated areas only and divide huge cabinets and allocate individual space per collection of items.
Lastly, practice the good habit of staying focused on your goals. This includes disciplining your mind to focus on your desired result. Imagining the great outcome and the feeling of satisfaction the moment you see the fruit of your effort will motivate you to continue what you have started.
10. The Benefits Of Time Management
Time management implies proper distribution of your time on things that matter and are urgent. It plays a very important role in any situation at a given time. Therefore, those who fail to manage their time properly might end up unsuccessful or encounter chaos in the process of achieving their goal.
There are so many benefits of time management but the greatest of all benefits is superior productivity. Furthermore, it gives you more confidence that you will be able to hit the target as every task is scheduled accordingly with the highest degree of caution. As a result, the goals are likely to be met and the task becomes less stressful knowing that you have control over things.
Time management is vital if you truly want to get the best out of your life. To substantiate my statement, below are the most adored benefits of good time management.
1. You have control over things. This is because when you are able to plan out and scheduled your time properly, you work with order. And if ever you have to make a change, it would just be a slight change as most of your plan is predetermined and therefore, recognized as effective and achievable.
2. Guaranteed productivity. Nowadays where everything seems so hectic, you will lose track of what you are supposed to be doing. If you don’t have time management, you are likely to be doing unnecessary stuff that in not valuable and needed to achieve your goals. Good time management can help you stay focused on what is important and concentrate on it.
3. High confidence level. By knowing that you have a concrete plan to follow, you are convinced that you will succeed in what you are doing. Every day while you are diligently following your to-do-list, you already know for a fact that you will be able to reap the fruit of your labor. So as you progress with your task, you also develop your confidence.
4. More time for fun. Since your actions are directed towards achieving your goal immediately and you are likely to do it right, you will then have more time for fun. Some people who are poor in time management are prone to committing mistakes. Therefore, troubleshooting issues will eat up their time and they end up being stressed.
If you desire to be a success in your life then it is important that you learn how to set your priorities. Sometimes it may be hard to remain focused on the end goal, but just remember with the use of some of the tips listed above, it will be much easier. Setting priorities and remaining organized are sure ways to become successful. Now take some time to practice these steps and get your life prioritized!