What use is wizardry if it cannot save a unicorn? –Peter S. Beagle in The Last Unicorn
What use is saving time if you do not get something in exchange? Leaders have numerous demands on their limited time. The question is how is a leader able to handle everything on time and still make time for everything else that is important?
The answer is: A leader manages time effectively to remain productive.
Time Management is based on proper techniques, not on creating priority folders and color-coding tasks turned into priority piles. By doing so, you start wasting more time by managing it, than saving time. As a result, time management becomes so complex that you return to your old wasting methods.
Effective time management is crucial to accomplishing organization tasks and preventing valuable organizational assets from wasting.
Some of the steps to manage time effectively are as follows.
· Plan your activities: Schedule a time to plan your activities. If time management is important to you, then allow the time to plan it wisely.
· Getting started: Avoiding task wastes more time than accomplishing a task on time. A survey showed that the main difference between good students and average students was the ability to start their homework quickly.
· Do not commit to too many activities: Even if a commitment is further away, it is still a commitment and will require the same amount of time down the road. Do not commit to a task that you will not be able to execute when the time comes.
· Get into a routine: Choose a time to get a certain task accomplished such as answering phone messages, completing paperwork, etc. and then sticking to it every day. For this use a daily planning calendar.
· Divide Large Tasks: Large tasks should be broken into a series of small tasks. When you break down a large task into a series of small tasks it eventually will be accomplished since it becomes easy to handle.
· Deal with it, Once: We often start a task, and leave it in the middle, thinking of getting back to it later in an attempt to finish it is counterproductive. This gets repeated over and over. Either deal with the task right way or decide a time to deal with it later and finish it.
· Have Start and Stop Times: When arranging start times, also arrange stop times. This will allow you to better schedule your activities and you will learn to accurately estimate the length of time it takes to accomplish a certain task on time.
· Do not put unneeded effort into a project: There is a place for perfection, but most tasks do not require it. Perfection needs extra time. Save perfection for the tasks that need it.
Leadership is a skill that utilizes proper time management. Time Management involves getting started on your goals as soon as possible without putting it off which leads to worrying and indecision. Goal setting requires analyzing the situation first and then implementing a solution for it. Not the other way around. Making realistic time estimates for your goals is the key to achieving them.
Focusing on one task at a time and minimizing unanticipated interruptions while doing it leads to success in the execution of the task. Ineffective meetings, micro-managing by failing to let others perform and failing to delegate, doing urgent rather than important tasks, failing to prioritize, poor planning i.e. (not enough time to do it right, but enough time to do it over), lack of crisis management and contingency plans with no standards, policies and procedures will lead to failures in achieving goals and will cause considerable waste of time.
However, once you start valuing your time, most of your goals become attainable. When you do not waste your time and the time of others when you
ensure all meetings have a purpose, time limit and include only essential people when you keep things simple by handling correspondence expeditiously with quick, short letters, e-mail, texts and memos, when you maintain accurate calendars by keeping checklists and To-Do lists and then setting aside time for reflection to tune up your game plan, it all converts accomplishing tasks into a form of wizardry.
Time Management is a habit-forming attribute. Therefore, leaders enjoy doing it and that is why leaders can do so much in so little time.
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Health Contributor, eParisExtra.com