Time Management Or Procrastination — It Is Up To You To Choose

I. Time Management is a key skill

Time is probably the most precious resource we have. Balancing a busy work life with a busy personal life can be more enjoyable if you develop the skills necessary to manage your time effectively. There is the need to keep up to date with what is happening in your work, your business, your market, your industry, and of course there are those personal obligations. We find it difficult to say "no" to extra demands that are placed on us, but the solution is within our control. To avoid stress and avoid disappointing those to whom we have made commitment we must manage our time effectively. If you make a commitment to deliver an item or service to a customer, and don't meet that obligation, it is like saying, "I have found someone more important than you". Do you think you will retain their custom?

II. Time Management is following a Plan

Turn your Business Vision into action plans that have time lines. Plan yearly, monthly, weekly and daily, and prioritize the daily tasks, so that at the end of each day you have completed the most important activities. Allow in your plans extra time for unexpected situations, and do not over book or over commit yourself. Plan long projects by breaking them down into smaller pieces, and spend a short time each day, in your plan, towards those major projects. By getting ahead in this way, you avoid the last minute rush to complete. Protect your planned time. If you are faced with a number of things to do, go through them quickly and make a list of when each one needs to be done and work it into your daily or weekly plan. Do not start a number of activities at the same time.

III. Time Management is conditioning your environment

For those who have demands placed on them by others, it is easy to become overloaded or diverted or interrupted. There may be a pattern to these interruptions. It may be a breakdown in a system or process, so find the cause and fix it. Low priority items often seem greater than they are, and if not allowed to divert your daily plan, may fix themselves. Learn to diplomatically say "no", but if the activity is important, put it into your "unexpected" slot for later. If you don't control your environment, it will put pressure on you. If necessary produce a weekly or daily schedule showing what you have planned, so that you can explain to others why you must prioritize activities to suit your plan not someone else's. Review your work environment such as layout, IT equipment, paperwork, etc. and organize it efficiently. If you can't stop interruptions then go somewhere else so that you can be alone. Involve others in discussions about better utilizing your time and theirs.

IV. Time Management is organizing you

Time management is a skill. Beware of bad habits creeping in. Are you trying to keep everything in your head instead of writing it down on a to do list? Are you late for appointments or meetings because you wanted to do just one more thing, or allowed yourself to be distracted? Can you delegate the task to someone else? Employees are more often limited by your skill or ability than theirs. Be prepared to make significant changes in the way you do things. Challenge your own habits or routines and the way you defend what you are doing. Really evaluate how you are spending your time. If you don't know, try keeping a time log for a day or two, or even longer if your routine is a varied one. You will soon see, and show others the effect of interruptions on your schedule. Challenge anything that is wasting your time and effort, don't assume that because it's always done that way it is right. Focus on the things which fit your long term goals, question and discard those things which do not. Improve your decision making; rarely does time improve the quality of a decision, because most decisions are made with incomplete information.

Following a career as a Naval Engineer Officer and many successful years in Senior Management positions, and in Small Business mentoring, Bob has chosen to use the benefit of that experience to help business Owners and Managers create successful businesses. His website http://www.strategic-business-plan-4u.com contains a lot of free advisory information, and his eBook on Strategic Planning is a simple, easy to follow approach to set the pathway for a successful business.

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