Career

Time Management – 5 Tips to Increase Your Efficiency

Every one of us, independently of gender, nationality, or cultural background has the same amount of time per day. 24 hours. So how come that some people manage to do a way more than the others? Here are the most useful tips I found in Duncan Bannatyne’s book How to be smart with your time.

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  1. Is this worth it?
    Before doing something, ask yourself first ‘Is this worth it?’ – this will stop you from wasting your time on pointless activities. Good time management is about focusing on the tasks that really matter. Delegate or avoid tasks that take your focus away from your goals. Instead of asking yourself ‘What am I going to do today?’ ask yourself ‘What am I going to achieve today?’ – this will shift your focus to things that really matter.
  2. Forget about perfectionism. 
    Many people when asked during a job interview: ‘What is your biggest weakness?’ prepare an answer ‘I am a perfectionist and worry too much about a perfect outcome’. While giving this kind of reply people want actually be perceived as being able to pay attention to detail, hard-working and ambitious.
    However, in the book Bannatyne distresses that being a perfectionist can really have a negative impact especially on your time management and efficiency. Plus it is rarely cost-effective. Imagine a situation when you are preparing a report, every thing looks good, but you are spending additional 3 hours on making final small edits, changing the colour and size of the font back and forth to find a perfect look. Probably no one apart from you will notice the difference. So don’t worry about 5% when 95% work as good as 100%. Think what else would you be able to do during these 3 hours? You need to weight up the time spent on a project against the results you will get.
  3. Detox your time.
    Do you feel overwhelmed with activities, commitments and people? Make a time detox in your life. A time detox works like a diet detox – it removes unnecessary activities out of your life. You can start with irritating destruction at work: gossiping that brings you nowhere, unproductive meetings that are just time wasters, colleagues that take you out for lunch, when you don’t really feel like. It’s the same in your life: instead of taking extra time for groceries, you can order online. With friends: don’t be afraid to say no to another drink, when you know you need to wake up early next day.
  4. Plan your day. 
    Studies have shown that average worker wastes 40% of their working day on unproductive tasks. Planning your day every morning will save you time during the day. Establish a routine of dealing with upcoming work – don’t start with a new task straight away, rather build it in into your day.
  5. Make a to-do list & keep it tidy.
    Making a to-do list will not only help you remember the things you need to do but it’s also a tool for making your things done. Consider some of the following advice to keep your to-do list reasonable and tidy:
  • Remove tasks from your to do-list that are wishes and put them on your wish list, e.g.: join a dancing classes, go to the gym, read the book you got for your birthday.
  • If you can delegate some tasks, do it, e.g. washing your car, printing out documents.
  • Relocate some tasks (meetings & appointments) from your to-do list directly to your diary or calendar, e.g. eyes check, business dinner.
  • Group the same type of tasks together, e.g phone calls, e-mails writing, reports reading. If you cluster similar tasks you will be more time efficient in doing them.
  • Do everything that takes less than 5 minutes immediately, instead of putting it on your to-do list.
  • Prioritize your tasks according to their urgency and importance.
  • Use specific deadlines.

And how are you managing your time? 

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