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Time Management Strategies

Time Management Strategies

Time Management Strategies

Here are seven time-management strategies:

1. Set clear and specific goals and measure your progress.

2. Prioritise tasks according to their "Value" and "Deadline pressure".

3. Distinguish between "Busy work" and "Productive work".

4. Delegate more often.

5. Delegate the right tasks, for the right reasons.

6. Make quick and accurate decision.

7. Act as if you were super confident.

1. Set clear and specific goals.

Your time is best spent in activities that will accomplish your goals.

So, it is important to clarify to yourself and to others, exactly what your goals are?

To clarify your goals, ask and answer the following eight questions.

  • What is my goal stated in general terms?
  • How can I better specify the goal using numbers?
  • How can I better specify the goal using words?
  • How can I better specify the goal with a visual image?
  • In order to track my progress; what should I measure?
  • To achieve the goal, what abilities are required?
  • To achieve the goal, what resources are required?
  • How much time is required to achieve the goal?

Spend every day asking the above list of questions and implementing their answers.

2. Prioritise tasks according to their "Value" and "Deadline pressure".

Every task has a value, (importance) and a deadline pressure, (urgency).

If you plot these two variables as a graph you get the following.

Time Management : Time Management Strategies

3. Distinguish between "Busy work" and "Productive work".

There are four quadrants.

You need to distinguish between "busy, low value work", and "High value, productive work".

The danger zone is the busy work.

The target zone is productive work.

The biggest mistake you can make is to have busy, but non-productive days.

Memorise this phrase: "Busy, but non-productive days," are our most hated enemy.

4. How can I delegate more effectively?

You should delegate the lower value, busy-work.

Delegate as many low value tasks as you can, so that you can get on with your higher value productive work.

Delegate using the SMART target model.

SMART means:

  • S = Specific. Describe the delegated task in very specific, (not vague) language.
  • M = Measured. Agree the standard by which the delegated task will be measured, and progress tracked.
  • A = Abilities: Ensure the person has the abilities.
  • R = Resources. Ensure the person has the resources,
  • T = Time. Ensure the person has sufficient time to do the delegated task.

5. Delegate the right tasks, for the right reasons.

Delegate in order:

  • To free yourself up for more productive work.
  • To train people.
  • As part of succession planning.
  • As a means of sharing the load.
  • As a form of motivation and trust building.
  • As a way actualising the full potential of the team.

6. Make quick and accurate decision.

Make decisions by the following method:

  • Name the decision in the form of a single line question. For example: How can I get the best performance from the sales team.
  • Then list all the known facts.
  • Then list all the available options.
  • Then: By a LOGICAL evaluation of all the available evidence, make the best decision that your LOGIC, your experience and company policy will allow.
  • Be sure to record all your thoughts in writing.
  • Then, once you have made the decision, immediately act upon it WITH FULL CONFIDENCE and determination, (act as if you were certain you are right).
  • But don't actually be certain you are right, quietly and carefully observe the results of your decision; and be prepared to modify the decision as more information becomes available.

7. Act as if you were super confident.

Once you have made your decision, don't keep second guessing it.

Instead, act as if you were certain you were right. BUT remain open to modification, and change, based upon a continuous monitoring of the evolving situation and changing circumstance.

Balance self-confidence with scepticism.

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