The secret to better time management

Man holding up an alarm clock

How well do you manage your time?

I’m always amused by that question. We can’t manage our time as we all have the same number of hours in a day. What we can do is manage ourselves within the time. That may be easier said than done especially with the hectic life of the 21st century!

Are you juggling too many tasks?

When we’re stressed due to feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, communication with others can become challenging.

Symptoms

Symptoms of communication problems include:

  • Not listening
  • Becoming abrupt with others
  • Interrupting others
  • Impatience
  • Easily distracted
  • Unable or forgetting to complete tasks

Here are three tips to assist you:

1. Prioritise

Prioritise your tasks.

At times even though you may have a prioritised list an emergency of some sort can occur. If you are clear as to what needs to be completed then you will be more likely to be able to complete the important tasks.

If you are a list writer you may feel frustrated if your list is long and you have hardly completed any items. Look closely at your list.

Which items on the list are important and essential to your business? Focus on them.

2. Set boundaries

Our life in the information technology world has now meant that we are accessible 24 hours per day and seven days per week. It is important to discipline ourselves and make it clear to others when we will be available. This includes as simple a task as checking emails. Check your emails at specific times during the day … and only at those times.

How often do you check yours?

Clearly communicate to others when you will be available.

Set time aside to work on certain items. During that time, set your phone to go directly to voice mail. Limiting distractions will not only give you more time to focus on your tasks but also make it easier for you to complete your tasks.

Do you set boundaries?

3. Delegate when possible

Delegating doesn’t mean that you are shirking your responsibilities. When considering tasks to delegate, consider who may benefit by taking on the responsibility. Be available if needed and provide guidance when necessary.

This is also another opportunity to develop good communication skills with colleagues.

When delegating a task:

  • Identify the task to delegate
  • Identify the most suitable person to take on the task

Will it be a person who can do the task without guidance?

Will it be a person who would benefit professionally by the added responsibility?

What if you work for yourself?

Working for yourself doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself. There is the option of outsourcing some tasks.

In my case, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks I needed to complete during a day just to ensure the business continued smoothly. When I realised that some tasks could be outsourced, I found I had more time to work on the important tasks in my business.

What can you delegate?

Manage yourself within the time that you have to complete your tasks and you may just find that your communication with others won’t be such a challenge.