Saturday, September 25, 2010

Time Management Oxymoron

By Vladan Nikolic

Time management is an oxymoron in this modern era. Because of its non-renewable nature, time cannot be managed; it is always free to use and therefore available to all of us 24/7. Many people think and act as if they have all the time ahead of them. The truth is fundamentally different as what we do with our allocated time will decide how good we were at managing our life priorities, commitments, and what we accomplished in our lives. Reason behind why some people do more than others lie in their appreciation and use of time and the mastery they have in this area.

The effective time management procedures allow you to rank and carry out your most important things, commitments & projects. Without this, you might waste your time doing something that is not productive and even worst, something that should not be done at all. For business owners and professionals, being able to manage priorities means that you can take control of your business and your personal life. If you do not do this, it will be difficult, if not impossible to achieve your goals and have a brighter future. The sad truth is that we all have our lives filled with many responsibilities, commitments, goals and projects to juggle along. Managing efficiently your time will allow you to stay on track, get the most out of your business and personal life, become highly productive, and maintain a higher standard of living.

One sign that you may need to implement time management techniques is if you feel like you have an overwhelming list of things to do, if you feel like you are being dragged into too many directions or feel stressed out by your excessive workload. If you feel that you have not been able to complete important goals, managing and prioritizing your tasks through time management will help. For organizations, a good way to manage productivity is to have staff members implement rigorous time management practices. Providing them with the right tools, technology, training, advice and mentoring in this area can benefit the entire organization and make a difference in today's competitive market.

The best way to start is by performing a complete snapshot of your work procedures, and then establishing where you actually spend most of the time. Keep the detailed time log diary and record task, hours and dates for each of it. Then perform an honest analysis. What did you notice?

Then create your list of priorities and action plans.

First of all, make a list of your priorities and tasks. Put the most important tasks at the top of the list. The aim here is to put your highest yielding tasks at the top of your list. For business owners and entrepreneurs, this usually means the tasks that will help you generate more revenue or lead to business growth. Once you have identified these priorities, make sure that you allocate adequate time to get them done. You may want to delegate less important tasks to your staff or consider outsourcing. If you see unimportant or useless tasks that are no use being listed, you may want to consider cutting them all together.

One thing you should not do is over schedule yourself. You never know when an emergency can happen or a quick change in plans or strategy comes up. Always leave ample time for these types of events so that you are not overwhelmed with work.

You may need some time management tools like a calendar or software to help you organize your tasks and to-do lists. Some people even prefer writing things down on a notepad; other people prefer programs or online tools, of which there are many.