If you look at our daily lives, the importance of time management is becoming more of an issue. In today's world, we are surrounded by many time saving devices. Emails have reduced the need for "snail mail"; Video conferencing has reduced the need for overseas travel. Even in the kitchen, there are loads of devices to free up our time, from dishwashers to breadmakers.
BUT.. are we any less busy?
Have you noticed that in general, people seem to have less time to talk to each other? Studies show that we are under a lot more time pressure and are suffering from more stress-related illnesses than in previous generations.
The importance of time management has become a 'hot topic' when I deliver management training workshops.
So what is time management about? If you want a definition of time management, It is not about helping you get everything done at an even faster pace. It is about taking back control of your life.
So where do you start?
The first step is to commit to change. What are the consequences if you don't change your time management habits? How is it affecting your health? your state of mind? your relationships? your work performance? Take yourself to a quiet space with no distractions and really think about this.
Picture yourself in control of your time. What does that mean for you? is it..
being more productive at work?
being able to sleep better at night?
having time to meet your friends?
having time to play with your children?
being able to spend more quality time with your partner?
If you recognise the importance of time management, that is a valuable start. Now draw a line in the sand and commit to making a change and you can get back control of your life.
If you want to win a race, you need to know the starting point and the finish line. If you want to get back control of your time, you need to find out how you are spending it now, and identify how you would like it to be.
Select 3 days in a typical week. Every half hour, record in a diary or notebook how you have spent the previous half hour. (This won't work if you leave the analysis until the end of the day!). This takes some effort, but you are likely to be surprised at how much time you waste:
Use this analysis as a starting point for change. Click on the links below to discover the next steps.
Listen to the TIme Management Skills Audio Guide and Workbook to hear the key concerns people have around the importance of time management and advice on how to handle them. You can also download a companion guide that contains a wide range of time management logs, worksheets and useful additional information.
For time management principles and practical advice, click on Time Management Techniques.
For specific tips on learning time management skills for work, click on Time Management in the Workplace.
Click on Time Wasters to focus on what wastes your time and what to do about it.
Click on Effective Meetings for practical steps you can take to improve meeting etiquette in your business. Includes sample meeting agenda templates and meeting minutes templates.
Discover six of our favourite Meeting Icebreakers to breathe new life into your meetings, or to get a new team off to a good start.
How to Run a Meeting highlights the pitfalls to avoid when conducting meetings and the most common reasons for meeting failure. Identifies the biggest obstacle to effective business meetings and how to overcome it.
And finally, do you have a specific time management question that you would like answered? Click here.
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