Effective Time Management

Posted in : HR Updates ROI on 13 August 2014
Caroline Reidy
The HR Suite
Issues covered:

Caroline McEnery writes:

Effective Time Management

There is only 86400 precious seconds in our day and so to use this time effectively, it is important to be clear about what you are doing. In managing your time it is important to firstly identify key areas of your job that are priorities. Remember it is imperative to focus on the things that matter the most and are of most value. When planning tasks for the day and week remember to do so according to priority versus tasks that you enjoy doing. The next step is to break tasks into manageable smaller tasks. These tasks should be spread out over your daily and weekly plan. Ensure you set realistic timeframes and review it throughout your working day.

A used and proven system for managing your time can prove vital to your business success and can help you achieve the right things at the right time allowing you to achieve your objectives. To manage your time well it is important to try to stick to your plan and never over plan as interruptions will inevitably change this. Be aware that the small things you do every day are all important tasks that work towards achieving your career and business goals.

Conducting a time audit can be useful in helping you become more efficient in the workplace. This can be done in conjunction with your work plan by calculating how much time you spend on a client or task each week. By doing this you will be able to assess if you are spending the most time on the most important clients, tasks or otherwise. This can be done by defining your tasks at the start of the week and establishing how much time you have spent on the client or task by the end of that week. Time Audit can be an effective tool in eliminating bad habits.

Eliminating bad habits and introducing good habits is crucial when making the decision to manage your time better. One of the biggest time wasters can be procrastination. We all know the feeling of putting things off until later but the fact remains that these jobs must get done sooner or later. People who procrastinate may tend to spend time on other tasks which are trivial or of no consequence to pass time. In doing this they have no time to do the more challenging and important tasks. In time, this becomes a bad habit that is difficult to get out of and will affect the person's standard of work as well as his/her emotions.

To combat procrastination and make a start, do something you have been putting off for a while.  Visualise the pleasure you would get from completing the job. If it’s a big job/project break it into smaller parts, and try to do a little each day. It the job involves some form of creativity, do the job when you are at your most energetic. If the job is boring, do it when you are least energetic. When you have completed the job don’t forget to reward yourself.

For management successful delegation is another essential tool in managing your time better. When delegating, ensure all the information necessary to complete the task is passed over as competently as possible. It is important to pick the right person for the right job. Pick someone whose skills closest match the task or in some cases it is best to pass it to someone who has the most to learn from taking it on. When delegating ensure you define the employee’s responsibilities and ensure they understand how important the work is. Once delegated it is important to monitor progress and determine if assistance is needed to complete the job. Remember delegation enriches the jobs of employees and provides more challenges, authority and variety. It can also improve morale and employee motivation.

Time management is critical in your daily and weekly work life and once it is under control it can have a huge positive impact on your work life balance. Effective time management will in no doubt increase productivity and help you achieve your business goals sooner rather than later.  A central theory to keep in mind when establishing an effective time management system is the Pareto principle. This principle highlights that some jobs are more productive than others. The secret is to know which ones they are and focus on them. The Pareto system states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes i.e. 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers. 

This article is correct at 07/10/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Caroline Reidy
The HR Suite

The main content of this article was provided by Caroline Reidy. Contact telephone number is +353 66 710 2887 / +353 86 775 2064 or email info@thehrsuite.com

View all articles by Caroline Reidy