8 Effective Time Management Tips

8 Effective Time Management Tips

Do you feel the need to be more organized and/or efficient? Are you busy with activities all day and wonder why you haven't achieved much? Then these time management tips are for you - they'll help you be more productive and stay calm and composed.

1. Realize that time management is a myth

This is the first thing you need to know about time management. No matter how organized we are, there are only 24 hours in the day. Time does not change. All we can actually manage is ourselves and how we use the time we have.

2. Find out where you waste your time

Many of us fall prey to wasted time that we could use more effectively. What is your time bandit? Do you spend too much time surfing the web, reading emails, posting to Facebook, texting or making personal phone calls?

3. Create time management goals

Remember, the point of time management is actually changing your behavior, not changing the time. A good start is to eliminate your personal waste of time. For example, set a goal for a week that you won't answer personal phone calls or reply to non-work-related text messages while you're at work.

4. Implement a time management plan

Think of this as an extension of the third time management technique. The goal is to change your behavior over time to achieve whatever overall goal you have set for yourself, such as increasing productivity or reducing stress. So not only do you need to set specific goals, but you also need to track them over time to see if you're accomplishing them.

5. Use time management tools

Whether it's a planner, a software program, or a phone app, the first step in actually managing your time is understanding where it's going and planning how you'll spend it in the future. For example, software programs such as Outlook allow you to easily schedule events and can be set to remind you of events in advance to make managing your time easier.

6. Relentlessly prioritize

You should start each day by prioritizing the day's tasks and setting your performance benchmarks. If you have 20 tasks a day, how many do you really need to accomplish?

7. Learning to delegate and/or outsource

Delegation is one of the hardest things to learn for many business owners, but no matter how small your business is, you don't have to be a one-man show. You need to put some of the burden on others. Share tasks that you'd better leave to others so you can make the most of the time you have.

8. Get in the habit of setting time limits for tasks

For example, reading and replying to emails could consume your entire day if you wanted to. Instead, set an hour-a-day limit for this task and stick to it. (The easiest way to do this is to allocate a fixed amount of time for this task, rather than answering emails on demand.)