The reality of today's world is that time has become a hindrance for most of
us due to the demand to do more in less time. This can easily consume us on a
daily basis especially if our job requires us to meet continuous deadlines.
We live in a fast paced world where everything needs to be done
immediately and if our time is not managed correctly we can easily run into
problems with the boss or clients.
"Time, quality and cost are constantly competing against each other
especially during hard economic times,' says Neville De Lucia, New Business
Development Director at Dale Carnegie Training. "What often happens is one or
two of these factors take priority and end up playing a prominent role when
planning, setting priorities, decision-making, and other time management issues.
Managing your time correctly creates an equal balance between these factors.'
There are no short-cuts when it comes to managing your time effectively. It?s
all about investing your time in the most productive way possible and in order to
do this efficiently here are just a few tips:
1. Record All Activities: Write down everything that needs to be done for the
day and week. Mapping out everything allows you to prioritise each task and to
easily see what needs to be done. This also helps you to remember to do
everything, when tasks are not written down it?s easy to forget to do something
that may actually be very important.
2. Determine Primary Goals: What do you want to achieve that day or in
the week? By making sure your goals are at the top of your list you can easy
knock them off first, one at a time and then get stuck into the next items.
3. Consider 80/20 Rule: Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80/20
rule is determining which 20% of the tasks will yield 80% of the results. Instead
of starting with the small and quick tasks tackle first the ones you know will
result in the best outcome.
4. Evaluate Important vs. Urgent: Importance and urgency are two
different factors that need to be considered equally also taking into account
which of your activities have an effect on others. If someone is waiting for you to
complete something before they are able to do their job you will need to
determine the importance and urgency of that particular task.
5. Rank Tasks: Ranking tasks will also help to determine their importance and
urgency. You can come up with your own system or you can simply rank each
task using A,B or C, for example:
? "A' tasks have high priority and must be completed immediately
? "B' tasks are moderately important but can be done after the "A'
? "C' tasks are of low-level importance and can be tackled in your spare
6. Create a Schedule: Once you have determined which tasks need to be
completed first using the above tips you can create a schedule outlining which
tasks need to be completed by which date, in essence setting deadlines for
yourself to help keep you on top of everything. At this stage you can also
evaluate which tasks can be paired together, for example pairing a high ranked
with a quick low ranked task to get maximum efficiency out of your day and time.
7. Revisit Goals and Adjust: After working on each task and knocking off
a few, revisit your schedule to see if your goals and deadlines are realistic and
adjust accordingly. Tasks that weren?t urgent before may suddenly become
urgent and need to be bumped up to the top of your list.
8. Purge: Time will tell which tasks may never be completed so use your
initiative and cross out those items at the bottom of your list that seem to be
lingering for a quite a while.
These eight simple steps can be applied to almost anyone in any profession.
These are just a guideline which can easily be adapted to suite individual needs.
"Time management has become a key aspect to any business ensuring
everything gets done within the correct timeframe. Time is money and ensuring
your employees? time is being utilised appropriately is in the best interest of any
organisation,' adds De Lucia.
If you have any business-related questions or would like advice on other
workplace issues, visit
or email us at [email protected].
What do you think?
What is your biggest time-waster?