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Refine your time management habits

We all receive the same amount of time in each day. It is up to you on how effective you are with that time. Do you use it for profit or pleasure? Are you using your time effectively?

Time is perishable; it cannot be saved or stored up. Whether you use the time given to you wisely, or squander it foolishly, it’s gone. Effective time management does not create additional time, it just helps you utilise the time you have available to you more effectively and productively.

While the requests and demands of others play a large role in determining how your time is spent, you ultimately control your own time. Most of the tasks you perform can be grouped into four general categories: planning, communication, directing and doing.

Time for planning

At the beginning of each week you should set aside time for planning and goal setting. Mark these times on your daily calendar and make them priorities.

Time for completing your High Payoff Activities (HPA’s)

You were hired because of your knowledge and skills and how you could apply these to the achievement of your role. Therefore, identify your HPA’s and schedule your day and week to ensure you spend as much time as is required to achieve them. Your HPA’s drive the accomplishment of yours and your team’s goals.

Time for communicating

Communicate goals and plans to those whose cooperation is needed. Remember that communication is a two-way operation involving both talking and listening.

Time for directing

Direct your activities and the activities of others by choosing what to do and then use all the knowledge you can find about how best to do it. Help others identify their priorities and HPA’s, then use effective delegation and instruction to ensure you accomplish more in less time.

Analyse your time use. Are there areas in which can save time and effort by eliminating, combining, or rearranging tasks or activities? Your time is your most important possession because your time is your life. Use your time productively each day.