10 Time Management Tips for Busy People
You consider yourself to be fairly well organized, right? If so, you rock! Seriously, each of us can probably use some guidance on how best to use our time, saving precious minutes which seem to be hard to come by for those people who have busy schedules. Which is most of us!
Time Management Tips
By managing your time wisely, you free yourself up to take on other tasks…or do nothing at all! Let’s take a look at 10 time management tips for busy people:
1. Say No — Just because you have the time to do something, don’t automatically answer “yes” to every request for you to volunteer your time. Selectively choose what you know that you can handle and set a time limit to get it done.
2. Calendar Planning — Use a paper or electronic calendar to keep track of your dates. Build in buffer time to allow for rest and to make allowance for changes. For example, if you fly back in on a Tuesday evening and your plane might be late, keep your Wednesday schedule open or light.
3. Stick to Deadlines — Never fear the deadline…respect them. Plan to finish your assignments well ahead of deadline, giving you buffer room to lay everything aside if something else comes up. Less stress, more joy!
4. Restrict Your Time — Are you the type of person who spends too much time on one project? If so, place a limit on your time and stick to it. Do your best, but be prepared to move on when time is up.
5. Stay Focused — Multi-tasking seems so efficient, but it leads to easily being distracted. Don’t check your e-mail constantly. Instead, finish up an assignment before reading and replying to your messages.
6. Hand it Off — Delegating some work to others makes sense especially if you have a propensity to micro manage. Entrust select assignments to capable co-workers or to a family member. Check behind this person, but trust him to get the work done for you.
7. Use an Organizer — Whether done electronically or the old-fashioned way, organizers can help you keep everything in place and access same as needed. How much time do you waste by looking around for something that you should be able to access immediately?
8. Run Interference — Do people constantly sap you of your time? In times past, a secretary would run interference for a boss. These days, secretaries and administrative assistants are few, so ask a subordinate to run interference for you when you are pressed for time.
9. Batch Process — Tackle your tasks in batches and you’ll have time left over for important things. Make your daily calls at select times of the day, check email at set points throughout the day and set aside time when you will write and do nothing else.
10. Make Priorities — Not everything we do is of equal importance. That means determining what you should give priority to and what you should put off or discard. Never fear disappointing people as you choose one task over another one. Realize your limitations and you’ll truly be a free person.
Time Management Classes
Time management classes are taught to help busy people organize their lives. Trouble is, few of us have the time to take these classes!
See Also — Time Management, College Style