The 10 “Golden Rules” of Time Management

“ … you are in control of your life. Don’t ever forget that. You are what you are
because of the conscious and subconscious choices you have made.”
—Barbara Hall

Managing multiple projects, objectives and deadlines can be a full-time job. It will require all of your concentration, skills, talents and dedication. If you are going to be successful at managing your time, one of the first things you need to do is to identify your challenges and gain control of your workday.

ThinkstockPhotos-502977406This can be easier said than done. After all, managers, co-workers and team members may all require a piece of your precious time. These 10 Golden Rules can help. Following these simple guidelines will  free up precious time to spend on the truly important tasks and projects on your plate. Use these rules and watch your productivity grow.

1. Know how you currently spend your time. In order to manage your time, you must first know how you spend it. You may wish to keep a log for a week to see the ways you use your time.

ThinkstockPhotos-4651513822. Identify your “prime time.” Some people work better first thing in the morning while others tend to “wake up” later in the day. Identify your best time and use it to carry out your most important or difficult tasks.

3. Do tomorrow’s planning tonight. This allows you to start off working first thing the next morning without having to decide what to do first.

4. Ask yourself “Why am I doing what I’m doing right now?” While this may seem like a silly question, it is, in fact, a valid one. It’s easy to get sidetracked on less vital issues. Asking yourself this question can help you refocus your attention where it is most beneficial.

5. Continually look at ways of freeing up time

6. Plan your work, and work your plan. Don’t spend your time making a plan unless you actually intend to put it to use.

7. Delegate whenever possible. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling you have to do everything since no one else can do it as well as you do. Not only is this not true, you’re causing yourself additional stress by trying to do it all.

8. ThinkstockPhotos-162815624Delegate wisely. It’s poor planning—and unfair to your employees—to delegate tasks to them that they don’t have the skills, time, authority or resources to do.

9. Identify your high-payoff items. Spend most of your time and energy on those items with the biggest return.

10. Concentrate on results, not on being busy. While you may work hard and go home exhausted after a long day at work, at the end of the day, consider what you actually accomplished.

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