Time is everything, isn’t it? To help you keep your manager happy with your performance, try evaluating your time management skills and then seek ways to make improvements. To help you improve your time management skills, here are seven tips from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid-Northern Michigan to aid in your continuing growth:
1. Set Your Priorities — People with highly effective time management skills have the ability to differentiate between tasks that have a high priority and those that can be completed later. Creating to-do lists and highlighting tasks with imminent deadlines will help them stand out from the rest of the list. Crossing out completed tasks not only looks like you have been productive, but also minimizes confusion regarding what still needs to be completed.
2. Set Tangible Goals — You can set multiple goals, but if you’re not proactive in reaching them, the goals are pointless. Make sure your goals are realistic and relevant to the task. For example, checking your e-mail is necessary, but it can also be time consuming. To help you manage your e-mails, set a goal to minimize the time spent reading each piece and flag or print the messages that need immediate attention.
3. Establish Routines — Daily routines for completing certain tasks will foster effective time management skills for you. Studies have determined that people work more efficiently when they know what to expect—both from you, and you from them.
4. Focus On The Task At Hand — When presented with multiple tasks, choose one and focus on getting it done. Pull out your to-do list and start crossing out completed tasks one by one. That way, your workload will not seem so overwhelming and you will see your accomplishments as you cross them off your list. Remember to prioritize to get those important, time-sensitive tasks completed first.
5. Delegate Or Outsource When Possible — Learn how to say “no” to certain time consuming projects. Simple tasks can be delegated, and some huge projects can be outsourced. For example, your administrative assistant can make certain phone calls to clients to follow up on proposals or update information. Be conscientious when delegating, however, as you do not want to overwhelm anyone else, either.
6. Organize Your Workspace — An organized workspace minimizes time spent locating documents, templates, materials or lists. Some people can work among chaos, but most need orderly surroundings to avoid distraction. Use folders or a binder with clearly labeled tabs to organize projects. Spend time at the end of your day preparing for the following day by updating to-do lists, filing papers and using sticky-notes on projects for quick references.
7. Use Wait Time Effectively — Many people do not consider the amount of work they can accomplish while waiting in line, waiting on hold, waiting for a download, etc. Short of beginning a completely new project, you can review lists, contact clients, organize your computer desktop, or brainstorm. The minute tasks that can be completed while waiting are endless.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid-Northern Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Mid-Northern Michigan. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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