9 tips for effective time management
Stress and working late into the night to meet deadlines. Promising projects that are neglected or forgotten. Often the problem is not a lack of time but the wrong time management. Our 9 tips for effective use of time.
Tip 1: Organize
You can only effectively plan your work time when you stay on top of everything and define your goals. That’s why your day should be well planned. Which tasks need to be performed? How much time should be planned for this? Are your priorities set right and where are time-wasting activities that do not contribute to the success of a project? You’ll quickly gain an overview of what is doable and what needs to be postponed.
Tip 2: Limit and set deadlines
Around 50 percent of your effort should be invested in activities that directly contribute to the success of a project. Once you’ve thought about how much time the individual parts of a project require, you should assign each task a time limit and a deadline for performance. Tasks that do not directly contribute to success but that are important should receive their own timeframe. You should also actively plan breaks so that you can remain productive and recharge your batteries.
Tip 3: Prioritize
At the beginning of a day or project, you should make a list of everything that needs to get done. Then the tasks are differentiated: Which are important and urgent, which are unimportant but urgent, and which are important but not urgent?
Tip 4: Say no and delegate
People aren’t robots and a day only has 24 hours. If you constantly take on new tasks and lose track of your time you won’t perform your work well and will unnecessarily put yourself under pressure. So say no early on and assign tasks to colleagues or employees so that you can concentrate on what’s important.
Tip 5: Keep an eye on the time
When immersed in work you can forget the time. A clock nearby will help you to keep an eye on your planned time. It’s also a good idea to set an alarm 15 minutes before beginning a new task. If you track your time with a tool like askDANTE, the stopwatch function will tell you at a glance how many minutes or hours have already been spent. These tracked times can also help you to plan and schedule similar tasks in the future.
Tip 6: Eliminate time wasters and interruptions
The phone rings, a new e-mail flutters into your mailbox, a colleague stops by for a brief chat and your last visit on Facebook was already several minutes ago. If you want to work productively, you need to eliminate all potential interruptions and time wasters from your workplace. Chat services like WhatsApp and Skype, along with social networks, should be turned off as often as possible because they have the biggest potential to mutate into time wasters. If you’re not expecting urgent calls, you can set a specific time for returning calls. The same applies to answering e-mails. And telephone conversations and meetings that are excessively long need to be ended if they are not directly contributing to the success of a project.
Tip 7: Focus
The same applies to multi-tasking. If you’re not concentrating on your task, you’re not going to perform it well and time-efficiently. If you combine similar tasks such as writing, calling etc., you can benefit from synergy effects.
Tip 8: Fight procrastination
People who procrastinate are hesitant to start a task. There can be many reasons for this. Large projects should be broken down into small tasks so that the sheer size of the project won’t be so daunting. Another tip is to tell yourself that you will work on the project for just ten minutes. Often this will help you to “get into” the project. It also helps to know at which time of day you are particularly productive. Starting a project during this time will be much easier.
Tip 9: Lose the perfectionism
Don’t waste any time on unimportant details. Things rarely end up being as one imagined at the beginning. You can find more on this subject in our article “Perfectionism: Inefficient and career-damaging?”.
- effectiveness, management, perfectionism, planned time, time management, time waster, work-life-balance