7 important principles of time management
Everyone knows about time management. Everyone heard that you need to manage your time to work effectively. But how exactly is this done? Are there clear instructions and rules to follow? Of course, there are, and you will learn them from the article.
What is time management for?
- To correctly distribute personal and working time;
- To achieve goals faster than competitors;
- To perform more tasks in less time;
- To control his own life and not depend on others;
- To increase your profit;
- To get rid of the fatigue and lack of sleep characteristic of those who do not know how to plan time
Who needs to know the rules of time management
Managers, entrepreneurs, business owners, top managers. They have a double responsibility: to spend time not only their own but also subordinates. The success of the company as a whole depends on this;
Ordinary people, workhorses. The ability to manage time will help reduce the time for work and leave it for your own needs, hobbies, and interests.
Who invented time management
Since ancient times, people have sought to work less and earn more. Even the Roman philosopher Seneca suggested dividing all the time into good and evil, that is, useless and spent with meaning. In the twentieth century, time management from theory turned into practice. The created scientific organization of labor put forward a hypothesis that the ability to manage time depends on a person’s effectiveness. This means that an unorganized, non-punctual, unable to concentrate person is unlikely to be able to distribute their resources effectively. He will not have enough time for anything, or he will not correctly distribute it. Say, sit in social networks for half a day, and then, in the conditions of a tight deadline, finish the urgent work.
In the 70s of the twentieth century, the timing method of the Soviet scientist Alexander Lyubishchev widely used. The basis of this method is detailed time planning, accounting for each hour, and then creating a report: succeeded or not. For example, a long-term plan for five years creates from several short-term ones: for a year, for a month, for a week, for a day. The bottom line is that with such a careful calculation, forgetting about something is not possible.
Now the time management system is prevalent. More and more people want to learn how to manage their own lives. In one of the metropolitan institutes, even the department of time management opened. Training, seminars, and webinars held, instructions and articles written; for example, like this.
Principle 1. Plan your actions.
Planning for the next day (or the following week) is of practical importance in any work. It doesn’t matter whether you are sitting in the office, standing at the assembly line, working as a courier in your spare time from school – a clear plan of action will always bring real benefits in the form of improving performance (personal and professional).
Even if the job description strictly regulates your actions, you always need to have a pre-arranged plan – this will help to cope with the work more efficiently and quickly.
Remember that all successful people plan their lives.
Remember some of the most important axioms of time management:
- Fix goals in writing. If your goal not indicated on paper (or in the electronic diary), then it does not exist.
- Plan your day. A pre-compiled list of tasks and actions increases the productivity of any type of activity by 25%.
- Crush big tasks. Volumetric tasks should always divide into several small sub-tasks – do not clutch at a large-scale project without having thought through a sequence of actions in advance.
Planning needs to be your second nature: make it a rule to draw up a plan of action for tomorrow before going to bed. In the morning at work, you will already know exactly where to start, how to continue, and how to finish.
Always leave a certain reserve of time for force majeure – unforeseen circumstances.
Remember that those few minutes that you will spend on a plan will more than pay off in the future: you will evaluate the results of competent planning in the first week of implementation.
Principle 2. Formulate the desired result into specific goals and objectives
Strategic and effective planning is impossible without competent goal-setting. In simpler terms, you should be able to clearly articulate the main goal and be able to break it down into more specific and local tasks.
In management theory, this skill is called the “decomposition of goals.” The primary way to translate this concept into practice is the transition from the general to the particular.
There is a professional tool (or principle) for the formulation and formulation of local tasks in time management and goal setting.
It is called the SMART principle.
- S (specific purpose): What is the purpose of the new project you want to start.
- M (measurable): List all the features you need to accomplish to start the project.
- A (action): When will you start.
- R (realistic): Do you have time to complete the project in the specified time.
- T (time): At the beginning of January 2020, everything should be fine.
The main criterion for the usefulness and effectiveness of a local problem is its concreteness. Starting moving towards a significant goal with completing sequential tasks, you significantly reduce the time it takes to complete a job.
Consistency and focus on specific points is the key to future success.
Even the greatest creators did not create their works at once as a whole – at first, they made a plan and then carried out it point by point. One of the secrets of successful time management is the ability to focus on current tasks without losing the general direction.
Principle 3. Fix your action plan
The need to fix the action plan has already mentioned above. Here we’ll look at how this is best done. There are several working and practical tools to make your projects and tasks more visual and specific.
One such method is called the Gantt Chart. I will explain how it looks in practice.
In the Grant diagram, all the tasks of the current large-scale project indicated along with the timing of their implementation, the duration in time, and the sequence of execution.
Similar tasks can group into one point, and more voluminous cases should divide into several consecutive tasks.
Drawing up a plan saves not only your time but also allows other employees involved in the project to quickly understand the situation and get involved in the work from the right stage.
Principle 4. Prioritize
Timely and clearly define the main goal – this is necessary and correct. But the main task is to move towards this goal, consistently completing current functions of varying degrees of difficulty.
For prioritization in daily planning, a simple method called the “ABCD Method” will work.
“A” is the most important thing of the day.
“B” – less important
“C” – a task of medium importance, etc.
The first thing on the list should do first. Usually, this task is the most time-consuming and difficult. Sometimes a person is afraid or lazy to start the day with the main task, but the secret is that the effectiveness of your current activity depends on its implementation.
Practical time management specialist Brian Tracy advises resolving this issue toughly and unambiguously. His method call: “Eat a frog for breakfast.” “Frog” is the most unpleasant and challenging business of the current day. You always transfer it to the “afternoon,” in the evening, or even tomorrow.
But the bottom line is that this creates constant emotional stress that prevents you from productively performing all other things. Tracy says that starting the day should be from the most difficult; then, all other items will be done almost by themselves.
The logical continuation of the Brown Tracy method here is the Pareto law or principle.
Pareto Law: 20% of our efforts bring us 80% of the results, and the remaining 80% of our efforts carry only 20% of the results.
Thus, our task is to identify this 20 % of our most effective actions and concentrate on them.
Another tool for effective prioritization is called the Eisenhower Matrix. Politician and military leader, President of the United States Duat Eisenhower, was a practical man and very successful.
He came up with the idea of dividing all current affairs into 4 categories:
- urgent and important;
- important but not urgent;
- urgent, but not very important;
- unimportant and non-urgent.
The first category: urgent and essential – these are the primary tasks that must fulfill today, and now: putting them off will necessarily create unnecessary difficulties in the future. You should not charge them to subordinates – you need to do this yourself and immediately.
In another way, this sector of the matrix is called the “Fire Sector,” which is, in a long time, fraught with adverse consequences, primarily for their health.
The second category: essential matters that are not urgent. This is the most productive sector of the matrix. Here you are calm, here you plan, think, act competently and carefully, here you are doing something fundamental.
The third category: urgent and not very important matters – they can take a lot of time if you deal with them in the morning and personally. Such tasks can delegate to subordinates.
Cases from the 4th category (non-urgent and unimportant) can safely delete from the daily list.
Do not be lazy and implement this simple table in your daily planning system.
Principle 5. Focus on the essentials.
I have already said how important it is to achieve goals; in this paragraph, I will talk about how to do this as efficiently as possible.
The ability to focus on the main thing, without being distracted by outsiders, is the most important practical skill, mastering which you will solve the most priority tasks of productive time management.
Time is a non-renewable resource and the most valuable of all existing. We can spend $ 1000 and earn it again, but we are not able to return the second lived back.
We are also not able to extend the day to 25 hours, but we can free up our own space for those activities that are important to us.
To ensure that secondary matters do not affect your performance, you need to master specific time management techniques.
One of the most effective techniques for freeing time is delegation. To be more precise, commission is a component of classical management.
The most basic examples: you can not wash your car yourself, but give it to a car wash, or else: a leaking faucet in the bathroom can be repaired on your own or a professional plumber can be called.
Less important things can do in “non-resource time.”
It is about that part of the day when you are no longer at the peak of your mental and physical strengths, for example, at the end of the day when you are tired.
Also, for example, while in transport or inline, you can combine waiting with training – listen to audiobooks on professional skills or the development of one of the capabilities of personal effectiveness.
Another important skill for real-time savings: the ability to say no.
Do not think that everyone should refuse indiscriminately.
Say no to a chatty neighbor or co-worker, reading the tabloid press, surfing the internet on social networks and entertainment, watching TV.
Remember that even a small, unplanned break, when someone or something distracted you from the case, can cause frustration.
Principle 6. Analyze your experience and create your own time management rules.
Periodically, you should look back and draw logical conclusions from your experience in time management. Examine your mistakes, and be sure to take steps to correct them.
Be sure to analyze situations in which you especially intensively lost personal resources.
You should always remain aware and watch from the side what exactly happens to your life – in what direction and at what speed it moves.
If you feel that you have lost control and too deep into solving the problem, not thinking about the time spent, then it’s time to stop, take a break, and try to optimize your actions.
In the end, create your own rules for managing time, your chips. Your whole life, your activity is unique.
Principle 7. Plan your vacation
In the pursuit of success and personal performance, never neglect the rest, I will say more – plan a vacation, as well as your business tasks! For time management, complete rest is an essential element of success.
Staying at the peak of your psychophysiological capabilities is possible only with the help of regular recovery of strength.
You can’t save on sleep, your days off, and communication with loved ones – these are the same essential factors for effective time management as planning and goal setting.
I also recommend that you adhere to at least a few simple time management rules, and I’m sure you will feel the change in a few days.
The main thing is that it becomes your habit. A habit formed 20-30 days. You will need to hold out quite a bit so that you are used to doing the right thing, and then a system of habits and time management will work for you.