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Eight time management tips

With JJB Office Services



We all have busy lives and achieving more in less time is a goal that many of us reach for. These eight time management tips will bring that goal within your grasp.


Plan

A plan goes a long way toward the achievement of more in less time. Yes, it takes time to plan things. But it takes up less time than the alternative; flapping about like a wet hen, being reactive rather than proactive and not being quite sure whether the task you are engaged in will actually move you toward your overall goal.

 

Set time limits on tasks

It is very helpful to set a time limit on tasks and to stick to them. If you start noting time limits next to the tasks that are on your To Do list, you can easily see whether you’ve allowed enough time to complete everything. If you can’t complete all the tasks then move the least important tasks to another day. 


Aim for a realistic number of tasks, and realistic timings, on your list. You will find you feel more in control of your time management if you are completing tasks regularly.


Prioritise your tasks

The golden rule of prioritising tasks is to ask yourself “Is this task the very best use of my time right now? “

  • Urgent and important tasks should be done first.

  • Less urgent but important tasks get done next.

  • Less important tasks which are urgent come third.

  • Non-urgent and less important tasks get done last or noted and moved to another day.


Set Deadlines

I don’t just mean external deadlines either. It is useful to set yourself deadlines for tasks because if you don’t then there is no feeling of urgency, and the task just gets moved down the list and never gets tackled. This is another reason why setting time limits on tasks is a good idea.



Goals and Outcomes

All tasks should contribute to a larger goal or outcome, moving you nearer to achieving it. If

the task does not do this, or you are unsure which goal the task applies to, then it is worth examining whether or not the task really does need to be done at the current time.


If you feel it is a goal for the future then note it down in a central location so that you can easily find it when you have more time available or when you are tackling the goal to which it refers. 


Review

Regularly review your plan, to do list and progress.  Your plan is a road map to your

destination. It is tempting to look at your plan and see the things you have not yet done. However, it is important to take the time to look at the things that you DID achieve and celebrate that progress. Celebrating the successes makes you realise that you have achieved more than you thought.


Don’t book tasks back to back

Remember to leave time between tasks to have a break. A break can make you more productive.  Those few minutes between tasks are really valuable and a key part of your time management strategy. Your mind needs time to switch between tasks anyway, so you may as well have a cup of tea, chat with a colleague, look out the window, or empty the washing machine, whilst your brain is performing the switch.


Delegate

If you delegate a task either partially or completely, you’ve saved yourself time instantly.  Ideal tasks to delegate include routine admin, tasks you really dislike and tasks you aren’t that good at. You will instantly see an increase in the amount of time you have available to spend on more important tasks. If you delegate to someone whose hourly rate is less than your own, such as a VA, you will also gain a monetary advantage, particularly if you can pass on the costs as part of your charges.

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