There are quite a few aren’t there? Fortunately there are strategies that you can use to manage your time in a better way and be more in control and reduce stress. But you can analyze your time and see how you may be both the cause and the solution to your time challenges.
Below, we look at time management issues in more detail:
1. Shifting Priorities and Crisis Management. Management guru Peter Drucker says that "crisis management is actually the form of management preferred by most managers." What is ironic is that actions taken before the crisis could have prevented it in the first place.
2. The Telephone. Have you ever had one of those days when you just had to answer the phone with “grand central station, how can I help you?” The telephone can be our greatest communication tool can be our biggest enemy to effectiveness if you don't know how to control its hold over you.
3. Lack of Priorities / Objectives. This is probably the biggest and most important time waster. It affects all we do both professionally and personally. Those who accomplish the most in a day know exactly what they want to accomplish beforehand, just ask Donald Trump. Unfortunately too many of us think that goals and objectives are yearly things and not daily considerations. This results in too much time spent on the minor things and not enough on the things which are important in our lives.
4. Attempting Too Much. Many people today feel that they have to accomplish everything yesterday and don't give themselves enough time to do things properly. This leads only to half finished projects and no feeling of achievement, because all things are done in a hurry and appear rushed to others.
5. Drop-in Visitors. The five deadliest words that rob your time are "Have you got a minute?” Everyone does it; colleagues, the boss, your peers, and your family and friends. Knowing how to deal with interruptions is one of the best skills you can learn.
6. Ineffective Delegation. Good delegation is considered a key skill in both managers and leaders of homes and work. The best managers have an ability to delegate work to staff and family members to ensure it is done correctly. This is probably the best way of building a team’s moral and reducing your own workload at the same time. The general rule is this; if one of your people around you can do it 80% as well as you can, then delegate it.
8. Procrastination. The biggest thief of time is not decision making but decision avoidance. By reducing the amount of procrastinating you do you can substantially increase the amount of active time available to you.
9. The Inability to Say "No!". The general rule is: if people can dump their work or problems on to your shoulders they will do it. Some of the most stressed people around lack the skill to 'say no' for fear of upsetting people. Get over it because these people can do it for you.
10. Meetings. Studies have shown that the average professional person spends about 17 hours a week in meetings and about 6 hours in the planning time and untold hours in the follow up. There are many ways we can manage our time. I have listed some strategies you can use to manage your time in a better and more efficient manner. They are noted here:
1. Always define your goals as clearly as possible. Do you find you are not doing what you want to do just because your goals have not been set properly yet?
One of the factors which make successful and happy people stand out is their ability to work out what they want to achieve and have written goals which they can review constantly. Your long term goals should impact on your daily activities and be included on your "to do" list.
Without a goal or objective people tend to just drift off personally and professionally.
2. Analyze your use of time. Are you spending enough time on the projects? Maybe they are not urgent now but are things that you need to do to develop yourself or your career?
If you are constantly asking yourself “What can I do to make things easier for me right now?", it will help you to focus on 'important tasks' and stop reacting to tasks which seem urgent or pleasant to do, but carry no importance towards your goals.
Try getting and using a personal calendar, setting reminders on your computer, cell phone or palm pilot.
3. Have a plan. How can you achieve your goals without a plan? I don’t even think that is possible. Most people know what they want but have no plan to achieve it except by sheer hard work.
What’s the point in doing hard work when you don’t know how to apply it? Your yearly plan should be reviewed daily and reset as your achievements are met.
Successful people make lists constantly. It enables them to stay on top of priorities and enable them to remain flexible to changing priorities. This should be done for both personal and business goals.
4. Action plan analysis. Problems will always happen when you set a plan. The value of a good plan is to identify them early and seek out solutions immediately.
Good time management enables you to measure the progress towards your goals because "What you can measure, you can control". Always try to be proactive in the achievement of successfully managing your time.
Time management is not a hard subject to understand, but unless you are committed to building better time management techniques into your daily routine you'll only achieve partial (or no) results and end up right back where you started. You have to commit to managing your time better and remember to include time for yourself.
The lesson that you need to learn is that the more time we spend planning our time and activities the more time we will have for those activities. By setting goals and eliminating time wasters and doing this everyday you may find you will have extra time in the week to spend on those people and activities most important to you.
In order to continue to the next step of your goal setting guide, please click this link: Stress Management for Goal Achievement.