Coach's Casebook

Golden Rules of Time Management

Golden Rules of Time Management


No one actually manages time; they only manage how they use their time. More successful people use their time on the things that matter most and on tasks that move them closer to their goals. Consider the following time management tips to see if you can be more effective in how you use your time.

Set Objectives:

Short, medium and long term goals will help you focus on what you want to achieve. When facing a decision about what to do with your time, consider which option takes you closer to any of your goals and focus your effort there.

Delegate:

Depending on your role, you may have the possibility to delegate tasks to other people. You can leverage the extra capacity of other people by giving them tasks that they are better suited than you to achieve.

Learn to Say ‘NO’:

Everyone is busy! Sometimes people try to delegate their workload to YOU! When this occurs, it is important to know how to say ‘No’ assertively without guilt.

– Just politely say ‘No’
– Don’t over justify why you are unable because it sounds like you are being defensive
– If it is your direct manager, outline your current tasks and ask for priority or a change in deadlines
– Consider offering suggestions as to who may be able to help
– Consider offering a future time when you may be able to help

If saying ‘No’ remains difficult, consider reading my blog on assertiveness.

Avoid Procrastination:

This is the art of putting things off until tomorrow. This is a major stumbling block to effectiveness. The main reasons for procrastination are:

– Believing that if you wait, the problem or task will go away
– Avoiding a task that is unpleasant
– Putting off something because you are overwhelmed
– Fear of Failure
– Boredom

Manage Distractions:

– Are you regularly interrupted by unnecessary questions?
– Are you drawn into conversations that are not really productive?
– Are you always receiving telephone calls?
– Do you instantly open a new email?

If you said yes to anything on this list, distractions are reducing productivity. Remove some of these distractions by:

– Turning off the audio alert for your email
– Redirecting your telephone to voice mail
– Announcing that you are working toward a deadline and don’t want to be disturbed
– Have a selective ‘closed door’ policy

Ask for help:

People are socially programmed to help those that ask for help. You may be reluctant to ask for help, however, suffering in silence will probably make things worse.

Your colleagues may be able to help you time manage more effectively. Alternatively, your line manager may discover that you are actually overloaded and be happy that you have identified a problem that would have increased over time.

Dare to Aspire

3 thoughts on “Golden Rules of Time Management

  1. Louise

    It may help to delegate tasks not only to people but to online tools as well.

    I work for Passpack which is an online password manager and the amount of time and stress involved in creating, remembering and/or retrieving lost passwords is greatly reduced with applocations designed specifically to protect and de-clutter. your important things like – passwords.

    Hope it helps!

    Louise

  2. Martin Rhodes

    Great point Louise…as more and more services become available online, there is clear scope to delegate to technology. I also like the idea of a virtual assistant but haven’t really identified the need yet.

    MJR

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