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May 22

8 Actions to manage your time effectively

manage your time

How well do you manage your time?

When I first became a manager, one of the most difficult things I ran into was time management.  With more responsibilities added to my plate, I would have to admit that the first few months was a complete struggle.  I was all over the place.  I had to check my emails, conduct coaching sessions, generate reports, attend what seems like a never-ending string of meetings.  It was crazy.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was getting overwhelmed by the number of tasks I had to complete daily.  I had to take action because stress was slowly eating me up.

I also realized later on that it wasn’t the number of activities that’s giving me nightmares.  It was how I prioritized each and every task I had to complete within the day.

Time management is important not only in our professional but also in our personal lives.  Knowing how to manage your time helps increase productivity and enables us to accomplish more in less time.  More importantly, it makes us more effective.

Here are 8 actions you can take to manage your time effectively.

 

1.  Create a TO-DO LIST

Relying on memory alone can bring us closer to failure.  Even if you think you know each and every task you have to do by heart,  there will always be a big chance that you will forget an item or two which is why writing these tasks is very helpful.  I used to rely on memory when I first started and it proved to be a big mistake on my part.  One of my managers gave me this advise and it produced positive results right off the bat.

List down all of the tasks you have for the day and try crossing out each of them until you finish everything from the list.

 

2. Prioritize

Apart from writing down each of your tasks, you can also set which one to prioritize by writing them down in sequence.  Put the more important ones at the top of the list.  Rank them from the most important to the least important task.  By doing this, you are able to see the bigger picture and determine which of the tasks should come first above the others.

 

3. Avoid multi-tasking

According to Luke 16:13, No one can serve two masters at the same time.

Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking does not save you time.  Instead, it increases the risk of committing mistakes.  You can cover more ground if you focus on each task one at a time instead of doing two or three of them simultaneously.  Stick to your list.  There’s a reason you wrote them in a specific order and  why you ranked them according to importance.

 

4. Finish the tasks you hate doing first

There are tasks that does not fall within our comfort zones.  Something that we fear doing that’s why we do everything to delay the inevitable.  Doing it this way can lessen your productivity because this activity will always be hanging at the top of your head even when you’re doing the other tasks from your list.  You will always worry that as you complete each of the tasks, you’re getting closer to the task you’re trying to avoid.

The better approach is to get it out of the way immediately.  Put such tasks at the top of your list so that once you’ve gotten it over with,  you can shift your focus to the tasks remaining.

 

5. Remove the distractions

Ever tried completing a chore with Facebook open?  How did that go for you?

As much as possible, try to get rid of things that will take away your focus from the task at hand.  Emails, Instant Messaging, Facebook, Twitter, the list goes on.  These are distractions that you need to put aside if you want to finish everything on your plate.

Having Facebook open while in the middle of something will only feed your curiosity.  You won’t be able to resist the temptation of looking at it every time you hear notifications coming through.

“Who added me as a friend?”

“Who liked the picture I posted yesterday?”

Sounds familiar?

 

6. Set deadlines

Assign a specific duration to each of the task on your list and be faithful to it.  If you’ve given 30 minutes to email-reading and an hour for generating reports, stick to the schedule.  If you’ve only gone through half of your emails and your 30 minutes is up, move on to the next task.  It is important in this step to properly gauge how long you perform each of your tasks on the average.

Should you not finish a task at the given time, you can always go back to it if you still have extra time after you have completed everything.

 

7. Spend time wisely

As much as possible, avoid doing non-work related tasks.  Surfing the internet or gossiping is a waste of time and does not contribute to your productivity.  Such tasks can be done outside of work hours so do them when you’re off duty.  Besides, the company pays you to deliver by doing your job.  Doing these things can be considered stealing.

 

8. Use your break periods

Stay away from your cubicle or work station during lunch time or 15-minute breaks.  Use this time to unwind and rest.  Take your mind away from work for the meantime so you can refresh and replenish your energy.

There’s a lot to accomplish if you know how to manage your time effectively.  It’s easier to get around when you’re organized and doing everything by the number so make it a point to practice time management whether you’re at work or at home.

Time is a precious commodity and time lost is time we cannot get back.

How do you manage your time in your day job?

 

I’d love to hear from you by leaving your comments below.

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Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions

2 comments

  1. Jem

    Love this article bro! Thanks.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Glad it helped bro! Every manager needs to read this I guess.

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