Don't waste your time

Time management is a skill that is relevant in all areas of your life: From goal and objective planning, to new years resolutions, to managing a team. We easily digress from our plans and intentions when other factors such as procrastination, lack of priorities and unnecessary meetings cunningly consume our time.

Before you know it, you are faced with an excess of “to-do’s” and you have no systematic or strategic way of managing and achieving each task in its entirety. To overcome this, start by reflecting on 2 simple points: what the basic time management principles are and what can be done to get the most out of a time management initiative.

1. What are the basic time management principles?
Some of the basic practices of time management include keeping a task list, prioritising your tasks and, where possible, holding other people accountable for those tasks. The dreaded task list has come a long way and it seems there is no running away from it. According to Canadian keynote speaker, author and entrepreneur Brian Tracy, the daily habits of successful people are built around 3 key steps:

a) Planning your day the night before: Make a list of everything you need to do the following day
b) Setting priorities at the beginning of the day: What are the most important tasks that need to be completed?
c) Completing your most important task first: Based on your answer from point number 2, start with the most important task and follow it through to completion

2. So, how can you get the most out of your time management endeavours?
By incorporating Brian Tracy’s list of 3 steps as part of your time management plan, one can easily achieve efficiency in managing your tasks and making better decisions as you are able to determine:

The exact tasks that are required
The required timing, urgency and importance of a particular task in relation to the rest
What the implications would be if the task was left for last, or eliminated
The individuals or systems that will be affected by the said task
The feasibility of delegating the task to someone who can get it done better or quicker

Time management therefore allows you to articulate and define the “Who? What? Where? When? and How?” of achieving your goals and objectives. This is a very useful skill to possess, particularly for those working in an environment that is largely driven by deadlines. A good idea would also be to record everything you do with your time on a daily basis, and identify action points you can put in place to address time-wasters. Take control and respect your time as there is no un-do or rewind button – Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Identify and eliminate time-wasters, manage your tasks rigorously and enjoy the experience of watching yourself achieve everything that you set out to accomplish.

IDLEADS offers 1-day Time Management courses as public programmes and in-house training programmes. Our next Time Management public programme takes place on Wednesday 11 February, 2015 at a cost of R2 350 per person (Excl. Vat). We are accredited for NQF 3 (National Certificate: Management) and NQF 5 (National Certificate: Generic Management) qualifications. Should you not wish to do the full qualification, we also offer certain unit standards from these qualifications as separate short programmes.

Email for more details or call Deon on 076 914 2859.