In our daily life, twenty-four hours seems too little for a day sometimes. Often we go to bed unsatisfied with our works and performances. We find many assignments to complete but very little time at hand. Conversely, there are also people around us who are more productive with the same 24 hours daily. They are more fulfilled in life than us. How do they achieve that? Indeed, it is all about effective time management skills.
Poor time management can result in much stress and less productivity in life. It is tough to stay calm and focused if you are running behind schedule. Successful people of the world had the habit of managing their time exceptionally well. It is also a much-needed leadership necessity to utilize time more effectively. If you are a leader, it means you have massive responsibility at your shoulder and have no option other than to use your every minute as best as possible. Time-management skills can help you function more efficiently and enhance your productivity.
Good time management entails a shift in concentration from actions to results. Being busy does not mean being productive and effective in making quality. Spending day in a fury of activity often produces less since the attention scatters in many different tasks. Effective time management makes you work more intelligently than previous, and you get more tasks done in a reduced time. It helps to attain excellent quality and efficiency. Conscious time management skills can also develop your higher professional reputation and generate increased opportunities for expansion in career goals. Conversely, a poor time management habit may have the most undesirable consequences in professional and personal life. Susanne Madsen’s helpful techniques for effective time management are:
- Start your day with a clear focus. Determine what you want to achieve and what you must accomplish in a day. Make a priority of work before you start the day. Setting a clear focus for the day might take as little as five minutes but can save you several hours and effort.
- Have a dynamic plan for your day. Get a list of works with priority and update it periodically. Revisit your list frequently and include new items as they appear. Your list will give you a quick overview of everything urgent and necessary. Break down the heavy work into steps and delegate responsibility among people working with you.
- Focus on high-value activities at the beginning. Before starting something new, identify the item in your list that has the most positive effect on your purpose. Resist the temptation to fix minor, unimportant things first. Start the day with what is most important.
- Minimize interruptions in your work. Identify the issues that tend to disrupt your work when you are in the middle of something important. Once the flow is interrupted, it takes time to re-establish. Discipline yourself to work on a single task with utmost concentration until it completes.
- Stop procrastinating. If you lack staying focused or procrastinate, you should plan to finish your work well ahead of actual necessity. It will help you to remain free from anxiety and pressure. You can also get enough space to improve the quality of your work.
- Limit your temptation to multi-tasking. Many of us take multi-task at hand and believe effective when we do so. But the study suggests that we cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. The human brain is biologically designed to concentrate on only one issue at some particular time. So, avoid multi-tasking if not necessary.
- Review your day. Assess your day before getting to bed. If you think your day’s effort fell short, decide what you will do differently tomorrow to accomplish what you need.
Most people who suffer from time-management skills are often found poor at prioritizing their work. As a leader, you must remain conscious about your responsibility and engage your effort accordingly. It will help if you learn to ignore issues to be dealt with by others. Inability to say ‘no’ to address some minor problems can quickly deceive you and cause a shortfall of your attention in the most needed one.
 Susanne Madsen Executive Coach, Leadership facilitator, Project Management Trainer, Speaker, Award-winning author of “The Power of Project Leadership”