Are you one of the 78% of adults who wish they had more time to stop and smell the roses? The average American works 46 hours a week on the job and takes six hours of work home with them, so making the most efficient use of your time really matters! Here are 15 tips and strategies for more effective time management:
1. Identify activities that are robbing you of valuable time. If you're unsure, keep a log of your time culprits. Once you determine your time culprits, focus your energies on reducing their impact.
2. Work from a to-do list.
3. Manage by goals and objectives and not crisis management. If you feel that every day all you are doing is putting out fires, it's time to reevaluate why these fires are occurring and focus on eliminating the causes.
4. Don't procrastinate; do it now!
5. When faced with monumental tasks or projects, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Break down that major task into small, doable components.
6. Only touch a piece of paper once. Every piece of paper that crosses your desk should be taken care of by tossing it, referring it, acting on it, or filing it.
7. Stop being a designated expert:
• Empower your staff to handle questions and complaints.
• Identify key individuals who can manage specific areas of the business.
8. Delegate everything you can.
9. Take advantage of technology to enhance your skills and increase efficiency.
10. Clear your desk so you can focus on your task at hand.
11. Concentration is key; it is critical to stay focused on your task. That alone can increase your available time by making you more efficient.
12. Meetings can also be major time-zappers by the time you factor in the time to get to the meeting, waiting for late arrivals, and inefficiently run meetings that take on personal agendas. Zap the time-zappers:
• Use meeting announcements with agendas to remind individuals and keep focused.
• Designate specific time frames for discussion.
• When meetings stray from the topic, bring people back on target by asking specific questions related to the agenda item.
13. Follow your internal clock to enhance your effectiveness. Are you doing your most important tasks during your most productive hours or are you scheduling your most important tasks when your brain is shutting down?
14. Don't be afraid to hire someone to help with chores and tasks at home so you can enjoy your friends, family and self. Getting help does not mean you can't do the work; it means you are smart enough to realize that your time is valued and should be spent with those people you value and doing things you value.
15. Focus on your wellness!
• Eat right.
• Take time to relax.
• Stop bad habits, like smoking, and decrease your caffeine intake.
• Keep in touch with your spiritual side.
• Never forget to do the things that bring you enjoyment; if you are frustrated, exhausted or sick your efficiency will decrease, and you will have even less time.
• Spend time with family and friends.
• Value yourself!
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Information provided for educational and illustrative purposes only.