Time management is one of those skills no one teaches you in school, but you have to learn.  It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t organize information well enough to take it in.  And it doesn’t matter how skilled you are if procrastination keeps you from getting your work done.

In today’s workplace, you can differentiate yourself by your ability to handle information and manage your time.  Careers are made or broken by the soft skills that make you able to hand a very large workload.

So here are 10 tips to make you better at managing your work:

1.  Don’t leave email sitting in your inbox

The ability to quickly process and synthesize information and turn it into actions is one of the most emergent skills of the professional world today.  Organize email in file folders.  If the message needs more thought, move it to your to-do list.  If it’s for reference, print it out.  If it’s a meeting, move it to your calendar.

2.  Admit multitasking is bad

For people who didn’t grow up watching TV, typing out instant messages and doing homework all at the same time, multitasking is deadly.  But it decreases everyone’s productivity, no matter who they are.  A 20 year-old is less likely to feel overwhelmed by demands to multitask, but young people still have a loss of productivity from multitasking.

3.  Do the most important thing first

 “Running a morning dash”.  When you sit down to work in the morning, before you check any email, spends an hour on the most important thing on your to-do list.  This is a great idea because even if you can’t get the whole thing done in an hour, you’ll be much more likely to go back to it once you’ve gotten it started.  The dash works best if you organize the night before so when you sit down to work you already know what your most important task of the day is.

4.  Check your email on a schedule

It’s not effective to read and answer every email as it arrives.  Just because someone can contact you immediately does not mean that you have to respond to them immediately.  People want a predictable response, not an immediate response.  So, as long as people know how long to expect a reply and they know how to reach you in an emergency, you can answer most types of email just a few times a day.

5.  Keep web site addresses organized

Use book marking services like del.icio.us to keep track of web sites. Instead of having random notes about places you want to check out, places you want to keep as a reference, etc., you can save them all in one place, and you can search and share your list easily.

6.  Know when you work best

 Each person has a best time.  You can discover yours by monitoring your productivity over a period of time.  Then you need to manage your schedule to keep your best time free for your most important work.

7.  Think about keystrokes

If you’re on a computer all day, keystrokes matter because efficiency matters. “On any given day, an information worker will do a dozen Connectnigeria.com searches.  How many keystrokes does it take?  Can you reduce it to three?  You might save 10 seconds, but over time, that builds up.

8.  Make it easy to get started

We don’t have problems finishing projects, we have problems starting them.

9.  Organize your to-do list every day

If you don’t know what you should be doing, how can you manage your time to do it?  Some people like writing this list out by hand because it shows commitment to each item if you are willing to rewrite it each day until it gets done

10.  Dare to be slow.

Remember that a good time manager actually responds to some things more slowly than a bad time manager would.  For example, someone who is doing the highest priority task is probably not answering incoming email while they’re doing it.  Obviously there are more important tasks than processing email.  Intuitively, we all know this.  What we need to do now is recognize that processing one’s work (evaluating what’s come in) and how to handle.

Time is the only thing man race against; why waste it when we all know each moment will definitely come just once.

In the variance of time all can be created and done.



You might also like:
This article was first published on 5th October 2011 and updated on April 16th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *