TIPS TO IMPROVE TIME MANAGEMENT
The following are the top 10 areas where people, by applying a little self-discipline, can improve their time management skills. See if any of these apply to you:
People put things off for one or more of the following reasons: fear of failure; lack of enjoyment in carrying out the task; seeking perfection; getting distracted, or failing to set clear priorities.
If you find that you’re procrastinating, here’s a simple tip: Do just one thing towards completing the task – the first line of a report, the first box emptied, the first line of a letter you need to write. Ninety-nine times out of 100 you’ll go on to complete the task, simply because you started it. Highly successful people often do the unpleasant tasks first. Having an unpleasant task hanging over your head drains your energy. So go ahead: JUST DO IT.
Don’t try to be perfect
Winston Churchill once said, “The maxim that nothing avails but perfection spells paralysis.” Aim for excellence – or as good as is possible – and go ahead and do it.
Take time to plan
By setting out a plan that is both realistic and achievable, you give yourself a target for self-discipline. With a plan, you know what your should be concentrating on and can identify potential distractions.
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“Caregivers who are equipped with knowledge can favorably affect the outcome of the health condition, and deal with it in a more effective manner.
Tools such as the Dr. Guide books educate people in the proper preventative and treatment techniques, supplying them with a degree of confidence and allaying fears of the unknown.”
“I look upon the “Herb Interaction” book as a “quickie” for my pharmacy team, no need to get bogged down on the computer.”
“We had the highest BRC (business Reply Card) return rate of all time – it built up great customer goodwill and easier repeat calls.”
The Dr’ Guide books were a great door opener and relationship builder with the allergy medical team. Our reps loved them.
Aim to be proactive rather than reactive
Some jobs are by nature reactive, and you have to live with that. And some people love a crisis and thrive on urgent deadlines. Your personality plays a big part in whether you prefer to be a “firefighter” type or an “administrator” type. Learn how proactive activities can help your ability to manage your time.
Avoid unnecessary tasks
Refer to your Key Areas and Key Activities, and decide what are the things you do that don’t really need doing. Ask yourself the following question: “What would happen if I didn’t do this? Do I really need to do it? If so, do I really need to do it now?”
Group similar tasks
If you can manage to do it, it’s often more efficient to carry out a number of similar tasks at once. Making six telephone calls within a half-hour period takes less time out of your day than making those calls at intervals spread out throughout your workday.
Knowing where everything is can be a real time saver. How often during a day do you waste time searching for something?
Practice active listening
You stand a better chance of getting your job done right – or delegating a project to someone else – if you listen carefully and check for mutual understanding.
Sticking up for yourself when it comes to completing important tasks can be the single most important aspect of improving your time management skills. If you know what’s important – not necessarily urgent – and are not afraid to say it, you’ll be much more productive in the long run. Assertiveness takes time to enhance if it doesn’t come naturally, but it’s a vital skill that can be improved upon.
A common trait of highly successful people is that they continually set goals and objectives. Do this for yourself. Set long-term goals (“I’m going to improve my golf handicap”; “In 5 years I want to be at such-and-such a level in my career”) and short term goals (“By the end of this week I’ll have written this report”; “Tonight I’ll sit down with the kids and make up a household chore roster.”) Remember: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there!