Deal With Stress

Personal Time Management: 3 Tips On How To Manage Your Time More Effectively

Time-managementTime management is an activity built around the age-old practice of planning for maximum results and personal efficiency in everyday life. Generally speaking, everybody has their own basic system of time management running in the back of their minds at all times.

Managing time effectively, however, is something that a great many people struggle to get right, or worse, give up on completely, deciding to leave everything to their mental autopilot and ‘just wing it’.

The good news is that personal time management doesn’t have to be difficult, or even a chore. Here are three quick tips on how to manage your time more effectively in five minutes or less.

Concentrate on doing, instead of planning

Two of the most common issues that crop up when it comes to time management are poor planning techniques and procrastination, which means you either spend too much time ‘doing’ time management, or just thinking about it and not actually doing anything practical to make your life less chaotic.

And most of the time, you’re not even aware that these sneaky forms of laziness are taking place, which naturally makes the situation worse. A regular example of this in personal time management is that oftentimes you will be updating your daily, weekly, or long-term goals, and at the end of the process, you discover you’ve spent a lot more time planning than you really had to.

In the beginning, this isn’t too much of a problem. But after a while – and especially with longer, more complex projects – it inevitably adds up to a massively unnecessary time drain.

So what’s the solution?

Firstly, and most importantly, you need to make a conscious decision to stress less about what needs to be planned, and focus more on what needs to be done.

It’s a subtle shift in thinking about time management, but a powerful one. What this means is that you have to stop thinking that you need to map out each and every step of your activities in painstaking detail, and keep things as simple and streamlined as possible, in order to actually get more planning – and therefore, things – done.

Secondly, you should start using a system that encourages you to focus attention on what is important, and which tells you when it is important. There are many time management systems you can use, ranging from a simple to-do list to more sophisticated productivity software based on the “Get Things Done” philosophy popularized by David Allen.

Use your time on the tasks, not on managing them

By using a proven task management system or productivity app, you are freed from a good deal of the usual time-consuming elements in the time management process, which allows you to spend your task-planning, and hence your time, much more efficiently.

For instance, most productivity apps are based on the principles of traditional project management strategies, and provide an easy way to control the order, priorities, and organization of your to-do lists, translating into a bigger picture view of what needs to be done, according to what degree of urgency or importance.

This bigger picture view, afforded by the ability to set tasks within projects in a nested, easily changeable format, is one of the best ways to manage your time as it is not only intuitive and effortless to use, but lets you plan your life smarter, further into the future, and faster.

Don’t wait for tomorrow

If you are serious about committing yourself to more effective time management, the first step is to get yourself set up with a task management system that takes the pain out of planning, prevents procrastination, and gives you the time to focus more on what you want to do, more often.

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

… Truer words were never spoken.

It took millions of years for man to invent something as simple as the wheel, so don’t waste any of yours trying to invent your own time machine. Set yourself up with a solid productivity app today and stress less tomorrow.

For more effective personal time management, you should let Todoist take care of your task management needs today.

Want to know more about time management skills for personal development? Check out this useful article on personal time management skills.

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Deal With Stress

Get Time Management Right And Everything Else Follows!

ClockThere are a million and one books designed to help us be more successful, be fitter and be smarter. It can be a little daunting just trying to figure out what is most important.

Is it better to exercise in the morning or the evening? Should I do weight training or cardio?

Should I learn a new technical skill, get better at writing or work on my presentation skills?

Do I network within my industry or with people from other industries?

As you progress through your career you will be faced with a multitude of choices and you will need to work through your options to determine what the right answer is for you.

The best choice I made fairly early in my career was to be organized… to really work at my time management, because if you can be efficient with your time then you have an ability to introduce change into your routine, and accommodate all of those other commitments that will help you on the road to success.

If you can manage your calendar efficiently then you will know what is possible and what will work best for you. Incidentally I work out in the mornings, because family commitments tended to be in the evenings and I could adjust my sleep schedule to accommodate my workout routine in the morning. If I tried to fit it in last thing at night I was far less likely to do it!

If you can figure out priorities then you can focus on what is important. By giving some of my personal family commitments a very high priority, I was able to fit in those parent/teacher interviews and sports events while still giving sufficient priority to get my work commitments done. It’s not easy, but good time management and priority management achieves the best results.

If you can be disciplined enough to keep a current “To Do” list then you (a) ensure that you do not inadvertently miss any important tasks; and (b) can focus on “doing the work” rather than figuring out what to do. You work on your “To Do” list for a few minutes once or twice a day, and then you just need to follow the plan. You execute the top priority items first, meaning that you are at your most productive.

If you are committed to great time management then you learn some clear lessons that will help you for life. Here are a few of mine:

1.. Interruptions are a productivity killer… when you are focused on a task do everything you can to avoid interruptions.

2. Just because the phone rings or an email arrives it does not mean you need to react to them.

3. There are certain parts of the day that are better suited to certain tasks… for example as a salesperson I had good luck contacting clients early in the morning before they got into their day.

4. You should concentrate on the toughest tasks first, when you are freshest.

5. Crossing tasks off your list is very satisfying.

6. Every time you change job your system will need to change. As a manager, you delegate tasks and tracking those is a different challenge than actually doing your own tasks. As a business owner I wear a number of hats which means having a system to ensure I am not missing tasks for ANY of those roles.

7. My stress levels are increased when I let my time management discipline slip.

8. Technology has given us some great tools… but sometimes paper works best.

9. You can get great ideas from lots of sources, but you have to decide what works best for you.

10. Time management is a never ending task, both in the execution of your system AND in the evolution of your system!

My contention is that if you practice great time management then you will find a way to get all the things done that will contribute to your success!

Author Bio: Kevin Dee is founder and CEO of Eagle Professional Resources Inc. (Eagle) one of Canada’s largest Professional staffing companies.  Kevin’s  experience covers technical, sales, management and executive roles.  Since founding Eagle in 1996 he has grown it to $135 million in revenues, providing talent to many of the largest and most successful companies in Canada.  In 1999 Eagle was named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and has received that honor every year since, and is now a member of the exclusive 50 Best Platinum Club.  He is active in support of the staffing industry having served for many years on the National boards of the two largest industry associations (ACSESS and NACCB), and he is also active in support of several charities devoting both time and financial support.