Easy Time Management Step One - Architect Of Your Life

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Easy Time Management Step One

Everyone can benefit from managing their time, and in most cases you probably are doing at least a little time management already. If you use to-do lists or enter timesheets regularly you will have some of this skill already.
Adding a little more focus and effort can realise the full potential of this ability. Even if you are new to time management, it is a simple skill to learn, but one which can bring you huge benefits.

What is time management? I define it as 

Management of priories to maximise the goals achieved given the requirements and resources available.

You are not really managing your time but ensuring you achieve as many of your tasks with the resources you have. Of course a key finite resource out of those available to you is time. A frequent goal for time management is productivity and this can be given a significant boost with these practices. However, it can be used to improve many other things such as your work-home balance.

Managing your time can bring the following benefits. 

1)Increased Efficiency

2)Increased Effectiveness

3)Personal Development

4)Increased responsibility

5)Reduce Stress

6)Empower colleagues

Ultimately time management can be used to improve your life and even that of your colleagues and friends. If you want to manage your time you have already made the first step, consciously deciding to manage your time and revisiting this every few months, can have an enormous positive impact in the way you live.

Step 1 - Identifying your tasks

The simplest approach to this step is identifying the tasks in a task list or to-do list. These can simply be crossed off when completed. There is a vast array of methods of doing this; often the best are usually basic options such as a notepad or white board. However, if you need to manage many complex tasks, many software programmes now exist to hold your task list and allow you to assign priority to them and define them in more detail, with a hierarchy of sub-tasks. These can be part of a timesheet suite or dedicated software.

A key part of identifying the tasks is to select any which you regularly put off or delay. These either need to be divided into sub tasks to allow you to complete the tasks in achievable chunks, or reviewed to identify why you put them off. Often recording the positive benefits of having completed the task will help to get it completed.

Similarly, lengthy tasks with distant deadlines need to be broken into smaller tasks to ensure that they are not overlooked and you can see progress on a weekly or monthly basis. When considering the list of tasks, those you regularly complete need only be recorded when they are of a significant importance. Most routine tasks can be discarded, particularly if you complete them daily.

It is also important to remove tasks that realistically you will never complete; otherwise the progress will be making will be hidden by the constant presence of these unachievable tasks.

Finally, try to include a task you like to complete on a weekly basis, possibly the last task for the week. This can be a good driver to implement your task, even those you are not looking forward to completing.

What Next - Andy Mann describes how to take your new task list and achieve the benefits of time management in part 2 of this series of articles.

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