Most people know something about time management, things like the fact that it can be the difference between a middle manager and a top executive, and the difference between having the time to manage one project, and ten projects. All the same we waste time daily and don’t develop effective management skills that keep us on schedule, or even better ahead of schedule. It is not uncommon in the workplace these days to hear someone say that they are behind on their work, or to see people arrive late to meetings. Below are five facts of effective time management that may help you stay on time.
1. An hour of planning can save you ten hours of doing. Don’t head into big projects without setting out goals, how you will achieve those goals and the most important part, setting times by which they have to be accomplished. This will save you a lot of time trying to make decisions on the spot which will make the project take a lot longer.
2. Use a to-do list, 70% of business and professional people do to stay on track. It helps out a lot if you find that when you finish a step you need to look at what you need to do next, especially if they aren’t connected steps or even part of the same project. Most of us are working on more than one thing at a time. Make yourself accountable to one thing, the list.
3. A project will usually spread into the time allotted for it. If you only put one thing on your to do list, you are most likely to spread it through the day. If you add another thing to the list in the early part of the day, you will probably get them both done. If you have six or seven things on the list, you might still be able to get them all done in the course of a day, that is a huge improvement over the one thing you were going to get done before.
4. Take a speed reading course. The average reading speed is two hundred words per minute. Most people have to read for at least two hours a day for work. A speed reading course can double your reading speed. That gives you another hour to do more productive things.
5. Take an hour a day for self improvement. If you spend one full hour a day on a topic you want to improve in, that is seven hours a week (almost a full work day), and 365 hours a year (and more than two straight weeks without sleep) you can become proficient and even master any topic of your choice.
Remember that time management isn’t just about doing things faster, but also about doing the right things the first time.