Why aren’t we organized?
Lots of people are facing difficulties to organize their working time. Some of the most common reasons/excuses why many people does not know how to organize their time are: it takes too much time, we do not know how to do it, we want to do it “perfectly”. The price we pay of not being organized sometimes is very high: missed goals, overlooked opportunities, wasted time, wasted money.
The 3 Ps of Effective Time Management
In order to master your time management skills and become more effective and productive, professionally or personally, you should follow this three steps for Effective Time Management:
If you don’t know where you are going, will any road get you there? Here are a few reasons why you should plan your time:
- It focus you thinking on the future
- It clarifies your goals and objectives
- It will save time in the long run
Either professionally or personally, eliminating the “unnecessary” in every day’s life goes a long way in making you more productive. What do we consider unnecessary? Well, strictly speaking, anything that prevents you from reaching your particular goal.
If you go into work every day having no idea what you want to accomplish, you’ll probably accomplish nothing. Therefore, one of the secrets of effective time management is to set aside ten to fifteen minutes before work and write down what you want to accomplish. These several minutes that you’ll spend planning contribute more towards you being productive and effective.
The “to do” list: A powerful tool
Keep a record of your time for one full week. In this way you can learn how you spend your time and which activities are more or less time consuming. You will also get a preliminary picture of some of your weekly habits and you can try to determine your good and bad working habits. Next, make a daily “to do list” using the ABS analysis or Eisenhower Decision Principle.
A technique that has been used in business management for a long time is the categorization of large data into groups. These groups are often marked A, B, and C—hence the name. Activities are ranked by these general criteria:
- [A] Tasks that are perceived as being urgent and important
- [B] Tasks that are important but not urgent
- [C] Tasks that are neither urgent nor important (This list could also include tasks that are urgent but not important.)
The Eisenhower Method
The Eisenhower Method stems from a quote attributed to Dwight D. Eisenhower: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”
Using the Eisenhower Decision Principle, tasks are evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent, and then placed in according quadrants in an Eisenhower Matrix (also known as an “Eisenhower Box” or “Eisenhower Decision Matrix”). Tasks are divided in 4 quadrants:
- Important/Urgent quadrants, are done immediately and personally
- Important/Not Urgent quadrants get an end date and are done personally
- Unimportant/Urgent quadrants are delegated
- Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrants are dropped (e.g., time wasters, pleasant activities, trivia)
For an effective time management, you should also consider creating annual, monthly and daily “to do” list.
Your annual “to do” list should include:
- Major recurring events/projects
- Major new projects – major/minor subtasks
- Minor new projects – major/minor subtasks
Your monthly “to do” list should include:
- Regular reporting deadlines (e.g. Monthly sales/ production report)
- Important standing meetings (e.g. Weekly sales meetings)
- Long-term follow-up ticklers (e.g. Performance review for agents)
Your daily “to do” list should include:
- Follow-up phone/email
- Short-term follow-up ticklers
Why do we procrastinate?
- Poor time management
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Fear and Anxiety
- Negative Self-beliefs
- Unrealistic expectations and perfectionism
How to beat procrastination and improve your time management skills?
- Recognize when you are procrastinating – become aware of your favorite procrastination tactics and learn to catch yourself as soon as you start wander off
- Break Inertia – do small things to get yourself started
- Divide activity into small manageable pieces – take one step at a time
- Set reachable sub-goals that are specific
- Don’t sabotage yourself – set up your environment with as few distractions as possible
- Reward non-procrastinating behavior
- Enjoy your FREEDOM – when you complete an unpleasant task, take a time and feel how nice it is to have it over and done with
TIME & EXPENSE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS
If you are a business owner you are probably very well aware of the benefits of effective time and expense management. Today there are various software solutions and applications that helps you manage your time and expenses. With VIENNA Advantage Time & Expense Module you can access the web user interface from anywhere, record your time and expenses on projects, against customers, and never miss a deadline due to automatic alerts generated by the system.