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TEN HINTS FOR EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT
- Make lists of things to be done, a new one every day. .
- Use "quiet hour/prime time" for thinking, planning and doing important tasks.
- Group similar tasks.
- Set goals-long term and short term-and set deadlines for every goal.
- Set priority on a dally basis. Rank tasks in order of priority and importance.
- Do the important tasks; delegate the urgent and not so urgent. Avoid over committing yourself. Don't work yourself on low priority items.
- Organize the paperwork: things requiring action, things to be read and passed on or filed, or things that can be thrown out.
- Avoid procrastination.
- Do unpleasant, distasteful or dreaded tasks first.
Recognize when you are wasting time - and take appropriate action.
Everyone has bad time habits. Some are so ingrained that they are difficult to recognize, but these habits must be identified before corrective action can take place. Although some bad time habits are unique, others are quite common among supervisors.
Lack of planning leads to crash programs, overtime or idle employees, duplication of work, and schedules not being met. The remedy here is to plan daily. The best time to do this is early in the morning or at the end of the work day. Over time, such planning will become routine. And the few moments devoted to this activity will provide direction and ensure that the supervisor is working on important tasks.
Deadlines serve as targets or goals. Adherence to deadlines can motivate supervisors who procrastinate or vacillate. But these deadlines must be realistic; otherwise, they cannot be used to appraise performance. Supervisors tend to be overly optimistic in assessing how long a task will take and frustration results when goals are not met.
Low priority items are sometimes performed before high-pay off ones because they are easier to do. A supervisor feels that he or she is accomplishing something and justifies doing the trivial items first on the basis that their completion will allow him or her time to concentrate on the high-priority items. Often, though, by the time the low-priority tasks are completed, the supervisor is too tired to focus on the difficult tasks and puts them off another day.