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August 21, 2017
9 Tips for Successful Time Management
Yuri N, Ataway
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Chances are good that, at some point of time in your life, you've taken a time management class, read about it in books, and tried to use daily planner to organize, prioritize and schedule your day. Time management can be tough. What is urgent and what is important are often very different things. Is there anything we can do? If we all have 24 hours in a day, how do we actually use them more effectively? And most importantly, how can we manage our time to live healthier and happier, do the things that we know are important, and still handle the responsibilities that are urgent? In this article, I will share how to use your valuable time efficiently. If you are working in the busy work environment, it is very difficult to balance your work time and your private time. By being able to use your work time more efficiently, you will be able to spend more private time with your family and friends!
 
It is difficult to do multiple tasks within limited time, and time management for your schedule is very important.  Time management skill is useful not only to be in control of your business schedule, but it is also useful to spend more private time with your family and friends.  Use your time more efficiently and try to maintain your work and life balance; and also don't forget to take holidays!  
 
1- Maintain a to-do list
Create a to-do list and make it a habit to continually update it. Include urgent and non-urgent items so you'll never forget or overlook anything again. Carry your list with you at all times, either in your iPhone or your daily agenda. Also, be sure to breakdown your projects and assignments into specific action points. The key to effectively making a to-do list work, is to be very disciplined. You need to be able to build maintaining, checking and updating your to-do list into your daily routine. 
 
2- Allocate your time
Include an estimated timeframe for each action point and the date by which the task must be completed.  If the order in which you perform the tasks doesn't matter, you might be able to accomplish something during unexpected pockets of free time.  For instance, you could research information on the internet while waiting in your office for a conference call to begin. Avoid idle time. If you have free time, use it to relax or to do something productive. Waiting for bus or train is typically wasted time, and you can turn it into something productive.
 
3- Set and respect deadlines
Be realistic about setting deadlines and strive to meet them.  It's true that any task takes the exact amount of time allotted to it.  Have you ever noticed how quickly you can blitz through paperwork, delegate assignments and make decisions on the last day before your vacation?  Although we tend to get a lot done when we're under pressure, it is a lot less stressful and considerably more professional to establish and stick to an action plan.
 
4- Use your time wisely
Consider accessing your e-mail only at certain times of the day and let your voicemail pick up your calls to give you an uninterrupted hour or two.  If possible, never touch the same piece of paper or e-mail twice.  Do not open your mail unless you have time to read it and take action on it; that is, reply to it, delegate it, file it or discard it. Focus on the task at hand. If you work on a task but open emails every two minutes, your efficiency will be greatly diluted.
 
5- Get organized
Organize your desk, your hard-copy and computer files and your e-mail folders so you can find things easily.  Far too much time is wasted searching for lost information. 
 
6- Collaborate and cooperate.
Your project members and clients will expect your work to be done on time, so be sure to avoid any delays for their expectations.  To be safe, build extra time into the project timeline to counteract unexpected snags, miscommunications or missed deadlines.  If your presentation date is the 25th of the month, make sure you have everything scheduled for completion by the 23rd.  This might be very difficult in your tight project schedule, but by just keeping in your mind to try completing the task before the deadline, you would not need to be panicked in the last minute of the schedule.  Also completing tasks ahead of time, even if an extra push is needed, it is a great way to manage and alleviate stress as you create some mental and actual time buffer.
 
7- Cancel routine meetings
Determine if meetings are absolutely necessary.  If they are, establish an agenda and stay on track -- start and end on time.  If your presence is not essential for the entire weekly operations review meeting, ask your boss privately if it might be appropriate for you to excuse yourself early.
 
8- Always Question Yourself
It’s very easy to get caught up in not important “busy” work that distracts you from more important projects. So always ask yourself, “Is this the best possible use of my time at this exact minute?” If the answer is no, stop what you’re doing and direct your efforts toward another activity that is going to give you a bigger payoff.
 
9- Reward yourself
Time management is of course not entirely about work; it also involves scheduling some downtime to relax and recharge your batteries.  Plan rewards once your tasks are completed.  This could mean taking a coffee break as soon as you've finished reading the engineering specifications report or planning a vacation once the new product has been launched. 
 
 
Interested in joining a company that grows and invests in its people? Ataway is always looking for great talent to add to our teams at our 17 office locations around the globe. Whether you have 25 years of experience and are an expert in your field or are fresh out of school looking to kickstart your career, Ataway has a place for you. Ataway is actively recruiting across the globe. Apply today by emailing us at careers@ataway.com.careers@ataway.com.
 
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