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Time Management Tips

Experts have identified several important tips that are essential for effective time management. Adherence to the some of these rules of time management can help a person can get more accomplished and ensure that work time is spent most productively.

The first concept is goal setting. This phase of time management is a bit like building a road map. Goals and effectively setting them point the person using these goals as a guide in the right direction. Many people talk about saving time, but dont know how to begin and dont know what to do with the extra time, if it is ever generated. Goal setting, as a regular exercise, can help set the stage for where an individual is and where he or she wants to be.

Once the goals are in place, it is important to identify how time is currently being spent. An employee should conduct and analysis simply by setting a timer for every 15 minutes of the day and writing down what is actually being done at each interval. A time log can be created manually or with time management software. And, once the log is in place it can be compared to goals to determine if time is being spent on goal accomplishment or on other activities.

The third precept is keeping a to do list, whether it is jotted down using pen and paper or created electronically. The key is to put down everything that needs to be done. This leads directly to another important rule which involdes prioritization of the to do list. Its quite easy for a to do list to grow to not handleable proportions and that can be more intimidating that not having a list. Tasks can be prioritized numerically, through a color coding system, or any one of many other means. Whats important is making sure priorities are recognized and that they are dealt with in a timely manner.

Controling procrastination is the another effective part of managing time. Fortunately, there are a number of methods that can be used to keep procrastination in check. Sometimes it is a matter of environmental control, not just self control. Getting rid of the distractions, like television and computer games, often gets rid of the tendency to procrastinate. Another technique is to tackle the worst task first, operating on the theory that anything can be undertaken for a short period of time, like 15 minutes to start. Once the task that is causing the most stress begins to show progress, its easier to keep doing it until it is finished.

Organization is the another important time management key. When the deskor the office is in disarray, it is difficult to get down to doing the really important tasks and much easier to be sidetracked with busy work. Often people can waste time trying to find things in aclutter of papers.

Delegation is also an important concept and an equally important function. When there are tasks on the to do list that can more easily and effectively be accomplished by someone else, they should be delegated to someone else.

Take advantage of efficiency tricks as well. The most important of the efficiency tricks is learning to accomplish more than one task at once. Often, several tasks can be completed simultaneously - for example exercise and listening to an audiotape to learn something specific. Learning to use all of the technical tools that are already available is another time management trick that can be hugely beneficial. Wireless email, cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) can produce enormous time savings and facilitate multitasking.

Another rule may be the most important of all. It involves learning how to say no when asked to do something. A person should thoroughly screen any tasks that someone else proposes. In most cases, they do not match the individuals goals, consume unnecessary time, and divert a person from what he or she really wants.

Focus is an important time management attribute that a person can lear; even if the person does not inherently posses it. Focusing on one task at a time helps complete the task in twenty percent of the time the same task would take without focused concentration.

It is also important to make sure that a person does everything possible to make sure they are efficient. High efficiency is not possible when a person is not feeling well. Things like eating right, sleeping well and exercising contribute to energy and efficiency levels. Meditation can be an effective way to build further efficiency.

And, last but not least be sure to take care of yourself. The human mind and body are energized by spending time at non-work activities. These are, of course, highly individualized, and must be discovered by each person.

Time management is not about doing more things per se. It is about reducing stress and giving the individual time to do and accomplish things that he or she wants to do and accomplish.

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