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Time Management Top Tips
Time - it's only relative!
Time flies - how often have we heard that? The reality is that it moves at a steady pace but sometimes it feels like it flies by and sometimes it feels like it drags!
In this hub, I thought I would bring together a few hints and tips for managing your time more effectively. I've learnt these over many years working in an executive capacity where I always had multiple things vying for my attention.
Have a plan for your day. Make a list of things you need to achieve and give them a priority. Many people will make lists but they will tend to do the things on the list that they like doing first (which isn't always the things that they should do first!).
For example, if you know you have to have a disciplinary meeting with a staff member today, don't leave that until the end of the day just because you don't really want to do it - instead get it done and out of the way early in the day. Otherwise you will spend much of the day thinking about it and worrying about it and it will eat into your thought processes for the day.
E-mails and phone calls
Set aside time in the morning and afternoon for checking e-mails and taking phone calls. Tell your colleagues that you have work to concentrate on and you will only be checking e-mails between 9am and 10am and again between 2pm and 3pm. Tell them not to call you (unless it is extremely important) except during those times too. (Tell your boss they can contact you anytime though!)
Actually TURN OFF your email except during those times or put up an auto-responder. This will stop the constant 'pinging' of email notifications. Doing this may cut down on the constant stream of annoying e-mails that you are cc'ed on and don't really need to be continually interrupted with.
Do Not Disturb
Don't be afraid to use a Do Not Disturb sign on your door!
I used to be in charge of payroll at my company for a while. I always found that if I told people that I would NOT be taking phone calls and emails during the time I was preparing the payroll, they really didn't mind! (I wonder why that was?). If for some reason they still decided that they had to drop in to my office, I would actully put a Do Not Disturb sign up on the door.
Have an agenda, inform participants and stick to the plan.
Know what you want to achieve before the meeting and aim for that. Schedule the meeting for a specific time (like 12:06) and not a rounded time. Rounding to one the hour, quarter hour ot half hour may lead to waiting around until the appointed time, just because it is a rounded number. Start the meeting exactly at that time, don't wait for latecomers.
Keep minutes and note action points (with names of who is responsible for that action point). Schedule a follow up meeting.
I'm sure there are lots more tips that I can't think of right now. Please feel free to suggest more and I will add them as time goes by. Let's create a super list here.