12 Time Management Tips

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1. Set Goals

If you knew you only had six months to live, what would you do with them?

2. Use the 80-20 Rule

A few critical efforts (around 20 per cent) usually create the bulk of results (about 80 percent). Also known as the Pareto Principle.

3. Have a 'Things to Do' List

Keep, and revise daily, a list of the tasks that you have to do. Prioritise them using the system shown below.

4. Prioritise

Prioritise your tasks using the following system:

A - Tasks which are Important and Urgent
B - Tasks which are Important but not Urgent
C - Tasks which are Urgent but not Important
D - Tasks which are neither Important nor Urgent

Then deal with the tasks in the following way:

A's These are your to priorities which should be done first.

B's You should do these quickly because there is a deadline to be met. Do not spend a lot of time on them. Get them out of your way, or if possible, delegate them.

C's You should start to work on these tasks as soon as you can.

D's These tasks can be dealt with in three ways:

  1. Do not do them if they are really a waste of time.
  2. Delegate them.
  3. Forget them until nearer the deadline.

Also see the Importance-Urgency Matrix.

5. Recognise and Eliminate Time Wasters

It is best to identify the specific events and activities that rob you of your time, but here are some examples to get you started:

Unclear objectives and priorities:

6. Know Yourself

7. One Hour of Planning Saves Four Hours of Work

Abraham Lincoln once said that if he had six hours to saw down a tree, he would spend five hours sharpening the saw. Although this might be a bit excessive, there is no doubt that planning and preparation can save a lot of time.

8. Use a Calendar

If used properly, a calendar is an excellent planning tool. Most people just use a calendar for meetings and appointments, without planning how they are going to use the rest of their time. Use your calendar to allocate time for planning, preparation and contingency. Have one calendar for social and one for work life. Keep a telephone list with your diary.

9. Prepare Your Telephone Calls

10. Handle Each Piece of Paper or Email Only Once

Always do one of the following:

11. Use Meetings Effectively

12. Delegate

Delegation is an even more important skill if you have no-one working for you! You have to .be very creative in using your boss, colleagues, agencies, typing pools, message services, consultants, services etc. When you are delegating, remember to:

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