Tips on how to manage your time

Time Management is key to success
Time Management is key to success

By Rose Nabasumba

Time management is one of the major factors for success in whatever we do or intend to do. As such it is important to learn how to manage your time properly so that one day you may not get disorganised and frustrated by your boss when he suddenly bursts out, “Time Management, you’ve got to learn time management”.

Those who know how to pace themselves, knowing when and where they will be or do  are less likely to feel very tired at the end of the day.

The saying is, “to manage your day better, learn to manage yourself better” This is one of those easier said than done pieces of advice, but according to a US Business Consultant, Diane Cole, it can be done, and here is how.

Get a small notebook and periodically during the day jot down briefly what you have accomplished so far. After a few days, go over the notes and analyse how much time you have spent on this or that. This will help you see where your time is being wasted.

Set priorities. Decide all the things that could be done, what should be done and what must be done. And when you have honestly arranged these priorities in mind, don’t suddenly chicken out, with excuse of tackling the easier one first, when the first had not been done.

Being busy can be a waste of time and is sometimes a cover for not doing what we should be doing. Re-examine your priorities first before embarking on any programme.

The best way to tackle these priority chores is to concentrate. Limit interruption and just wade into the task with a single mind.

Some of us get into the habit of allowing our in-trays to fill and fill. We like to tell ourselves, yes I will definitely do it tomorrow, and tomorrow something else turns up, but the tray is still filling. Schedule a particular hour everyday to go through the stack. This business of tomorrow can get you into a lot of chaos.

Be determined. Remember any decision is better than no decision at all. But this does not mean being overly hasty, weigh both sides of the issue, choose your stand and stick to it. This will save you much time and emotional strain.

When executing a big project, the most advisable way is to break it up into smaller digestible pieces. Take it step by step. Make a list of all the people you must see, the working material necessary and make out an outline. Instead of jumping about, take measured strides.

Having deadlines is important. Announcing them is better because that puts pressure on you to deliver. But make sure that the deadlines are within your limits. You are not super human.

Finally, learn to say No. When someone asks you to do something for him or her, ask yourself: Am I being asked to do my job? Is this an opportunity to advance my career or talent? Or I am merely being taken advantage of ? Once you get through with this, saying NO can become easier.


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