7 Effective Time Management Tips

1 Only do what only you can do. When was the last time you changed your team, not because of underperformance, but because you needed someone different? Getting the RIGHT TEAM in place in terms of talent, experience and mindset means that you can inspire, empower and trust them.

2. Set SMART goals – goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound (SMART) and expressed concisely. Prioritisation naturally follows – more so if the goals are linked to vision and values and constantly re-examined.

3. Use a free diagnostic tool like Covey’s quadrant to identify time stealers and lessen the frequency of the urgent prevailing over the more important tasks.

4. “Eat a frog for breakfast!” Start every day by first doing the single task that is of most value to you.

Consider this:

You have a bucket to fill with some rocks that are big enough to fill it, some small stones, some sand and water. The only way to fit everything into the bucket is to put the big rocks in first or you won’t get them in at all. In other words:

Plan time-slots for your big issues before anything else, or the small fry sand and water issues will fill up your days and you won’t get to the big issues at all.

5. Schedule your priorities – if prioritising your schedule doesn’t work for you. Block out time in your calendar so that you cannot overlook any important job. Then honour your appointments … with yourself!

6. Perform an hourly time log for one week. List, in terms of hours, where you think you spend most of your time. Then compare reality to your estimate. What percentage of time was spent on goals? If you were selfish with every second, what would you drop? Stop overcommitting by gauging exactly what percentage of your time is spent on peripheral tasks.

7. Adopt a ‘one touch approach’ to handling emails, missed calls and post. Eg when you read an email, deal with it straight away. Don’t mark it for later and don’t break concentration to look at each email as it comes in!

Start out with the end in mind and learn more about better time control with my time managementcourses and time management coaching. Sessions booked by end of October 2013 will earn a 20% discount.