TIME MASTERY: You Want it When?

Good time management brings the rewards of results, recognition, free time, clarity, and focus. It gives you a purpose in life, structure to your day, direction, and reduced frustration. It brings you to the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment. If life is running you instead of the other way around, then these time mastery tips can help you get the upper hand.

1.      Manage your reading pile so it doesn’t "mushroom." You can’t possibly read everything you’d like to, so develop ways to tackle your reading pile and keep it down to a reasonable size.

2.      Create systems for repetitive tasks. Put automated systems or processes in place so you don’t have to do the same tasks over and over. If you can’t, look for ways to do those tasks more efficiently.

3.      Know and avoid your biggest timewasters. Discover your timewasters, identify alternatives to address them, and implement solutions to stop them in their tracks.

4.      Eliminate bottlenecks in your work caused by people or processes. Minimize common slowdowns by reorganizing workflow efficiently, eliminating dependencies, keeping the process moving, and being willing to accept partial delivery on some projects. And don’t be a bottleneck yourself!

5.      Recognize that different personalities relate to time differently.  No single work style is the "correct" one; no one way is the "right" way to do things. Understand how to work effectively with each work style you encounter.

6.      Know how much your time is worth. Calculate the dollar value of your time, and eliminate those things that aren’t worth your effort. There’s always time to do what’s important: the challenge is determining what "important" means to you.

7.      Save time in bits and pieces. Instead of wasting little chunks of time before a meeting or before lunch, do a small task that requires concentration for only a short time: reading, planning, paying a bill, writing a note. Little things add up.

8.      Make effective use of down time. The only thing worse than wasting time is having someone else waste it for you. Be prepared with a book, magazine, article, or audio book if you get stuck somewhere with nothing to do.

9.      Avoid time wasters within your department or organization. Learn to communicate effectively with co-workers and employees, make sure all roles are effectively defined, request and respond constructively to feedback, and don’t waste time looking for a scapegoat if something goes wrong: fix it first!

10.  Make decisions quickly once you have the appropriate information. Don’t dither. Any decision that’s likely to serve you and your company is better than no decision at all. Plus, be willing to end old bad decisions that interfere with new ones. 

Time is like money, because it’s a limited commodity and using it effectively requires thoughtful analysis and planning. Like money, you have to learn to master it ASAP, or suffer the consequences. Without good time management, you’ll experience negative consequences such as missed deadlines, late nights, stress, crisis, and overload. Time mastery, on the other hand, allows you to run your life — and keeps life from running you.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Evans says:

    Great tips! But I guess we need something to remind us of what we should do next. Some kind of organising tool. I use Wrike for example. It’s a project management tool, that lets me delegate and plan my personal life. It keeps me informed of what I should do next and about what my team has just done. Check it out http://www.wrike.com/blog/11/13/2007/Make_Wrike_a_part_of_your_7_habits_for_becoming_highly_effective

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