One of the 10 Interpersonal Skills one needs to master to become successful is to Manage their time.
I can hear the groans now. People gesticulating. One shouting, “I’ve read One Minute Management. It works when you have the time to implement it. Who has that kind of time?”
Yet mastering self management is the key to success. Time shouldn’t be managing us. Although, I can say that time gets away from me all the time. I start working on one task only to find that half the day is over.
I’m not suggesting you immediately go and sign up for a time management course. What I am suggesting is that you sit down and write out all the tasks assigned to you during the day. Count Interruptions as one of those tasks.
When I worked as an Administrative Assistant I knew that sometime during the day, one or more of my bosses (30 managers at an oil & gas company) would dump last minute project in my lap and expect me to clean it up and get it out.
And, I did exactly that because I learned how to add time to the daily task schedule. I added the time in the beginning or ending of the day depending on the traffic flow of work and boss demands.
How to begin?
- Write down a priority list.
- Star those tasks that absolutely must get done by the end of the day.
- Arrange the easier tasks at the top of the list. You can do them and get them out of the way and strike them from your list. These tasks might be your daily tasks that you can do with your eyes closed.
- Only you know yourself and your capabilities. Fit your capabilities into a time frame that will get the more troublesome or complicated jobs done. And do them right that first time. Take painstaking care that it’s done the way your boss wants it done. Edit your work.
- At mid day or a bit after lunch, there should be enough time to tackle the most difficult tasks that lay ahead. Decided which task is done in seconds compared to lengthy minutes.
- Now, go after the task that requires the one or two hour or more stretch and work on that. You should be able to finish that product before the 5 p.m. bell rings and you collect your personal items and go home.
- Never stay later than your allotted time if possible.
- Unless requested only show up earlier in the morning to finish an assigned task. Make sure your boss knows your plans. From what I’ve seen everyone takes for granted those extra hours, but your time equals value. The question is: How much do you value yourself?
- Once you can establish a pace for your self management, only then will you succeed in getting everything done. Think about it. You have a routine at home which most times you follow faithfully. I bet, though, that on the weekends you want to get away for the weekend, you and your spouse plan out your time to the exact hour so you and your family or you and your spouse can get away and relax for 48 hours before coming home to go to work the next day.
- Self Management works for business and personal pleasure. Start working on self managing yourself now before it becomes a demand at work, home, or on the beach.
- Next week, personal self management.