How to Manage Your Time More Effectively

Sean McPheat
 


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It is always a surprise as to how a simple homemaker is able to manage a myriad of different activities without any formal training whereas a manager is not able to do it even with all his/her fancy degrees. How do they do it? The homemaker knows a simple technique – time management. Managers can manage people, budgets, etc but when it comes to time they are not very good at managing it. Management training programs and management training courses can help you learn the skill of time management.

As any management training manual will tell you, time is a very precious resource. The reason why it is so precious is because it is a limited resource. Once spent you cannot get it back. That is why it is very important to use it as judiciously as possible. Unfortunately one thing that the management training manual will not tell you is that managing time is not that difficult if it were not for one factor - people. For example you go into a meeting thinking it will last only ten minutes and come out an hour later. All your planning goes haywire. So, how can you manage your time effectively?

Attend any management training program or management training course and the first tip that they will give you is – Planning. ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’, goes an old saying. That is very much true in time management. Planning involves setting time limits to your tasks. It can be a minor one or a major one. This is specially needed if you are a procrastinator. You cannot afford to be one if you are going to be a manager. Prioritize your tasks. Obviously, you can’t do everything at once so decide on which task is most important and needs to be completed fastest. Also, set it right. For instance sometimes your personal tasks may coincide with your professional. It is up to you to decide as to which is more important; personal or professional. Or if both cannot be avoided, you can at least decide as to which can be postponed. Delegation of work is something that most of us avoid doing.

Ask anyone running a management training program or management training course, it is just a sheer waste of time to try and do everything yourself. You have subordinates to whom you can delegate work. They are there so that you can delegate work to them. Nobody expects or wants you to do all the work yourself. That is only going to harm your productivity. Helping others is great but as anyone who has attended a management training program or management training course will tell you it is a waste of time if you have not finished your work. You have to learn to say no. You can help others provided you have the time for it. You cannot do it at the cost of your work suffering. And, what about the waste of time when you are making calls to your friends or taking an extended break at the coffee machine. Everyone needs a break but it should be a break and not become a session by itself.

You may have seen people managing time effectively by other people and you too can be successful. Management training will teach you that time management is different for different people and so is it for different projects. You cannot drive a car like you ride a bicycle or a bike. Similarly you cannot use the same time management strategies that you use for small projects in large projects. The inadequacies that can be ignored in a smaller project will appear bigger in a larger one and cannot be ignored. So it is imperative to use different strategies for different projects. Long term objectives cannot be ignored just because you have some immediate task to be finished. Your time management strategy should be such that you can allot some time for achieving your long term objective as well. If you feel that you are not able to manage your time effectively then it is a better idea to take help from a professional. Sign up for management training programs or courses which will help you in devising strategies for time management.

Sean McPheat provides management training to small, medium and large businesses. Sean designs and delivers bespoke management training courses across the UK, Europe, US and the Middle East. For a free email management course please visit http://www.management-training-development.com/freeecourse.htm

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