Time management can lead to greater productivity, less stress and pressure, and more creativity. In addition, knowing one is more organized and in control adds to confidence, enthusiasm and flexibility. Remember, if you only pick up 30 minutes a day, that represents 22 more eight hour days. In the working world, that’s an entire month.
You can read all you want about time management, but unless you’re willing to go through a behavior modification to replace bad habits with good, nothing will happen.
The first thing you have to do is make a time log. I suggest you do the log in 15 or 30 minute segments for two reasons. During that time write down exactly what you’ve accomplished and if you were interrupted by the phone five times or six people came into your office, note it. After two weeks, you’ll notice a pattern forming, and you’ll be able to determine whether you have quiet time available, slower periods when traffic through your office or department is less, or whether you need more control over what you do.
Regardless, you’ll learn something from it and you’ll be able to start scheduling in time for you. Discontinue the time log after two weeks, and repeat it quarterly just to be sure you’re on track and don’t begin slipping.
Plan your day the night before. This allows you to walk through your day and have a good idea what it contains. You must have your priorities and objectives set before you get to the office. If the first working hour of your day is not productive, your entire day will go poorly.
I’m sure you’ve said more than once, “It looks like it’s going to be one of those days.” That usually happens because your priorities weren’t clear, objectives not set and someone else has interrupted and controlled your time.