A recent study shows business owners and other key professionals waste an average of 30% of their workweek on activities that have little to no value.
Poor time management leads to decreased productivity, missed deadlines, a lack of professionalism and wasted money.
If you have time management issues and want to get your schedule under control, here are 5 time management tips for professionals.
1. Conduct An Audit Of Your Time
A time audit will help you see where you are spending your time and what areas you need to improve.
To conduct a time audit:
- Download a timer app or use the clock on your phone
- Set the timer for 60 minutes
- Each time the timer goes off, write down what you were doing for the last 60 minutes
- Repeat for several days
Once you analyze the data, you’ll be able to see exactly how you’ve been spending your day.
2. Schedule Everything
One of the best tips on how to manage time is to schedule your day, week, month and even several months.
Trusting your memory may seem like a good idea but we are all human and all forget things at some time or another. Using a physical or digital planner ensures you’ll always know what you should be doing at any given time.
Want to supercharge your time management? Use a shared appointment scheduler with your team.
3. Prioritize Your Tasks
Every task you do should be filtered through a prioritizing system.
An example of such a system is the Eisenhower Matrix, where everything is filtered through:
- Urgent and important: complete as soon as possible
- Important but not urgent: schedule these within an appropriate amount of time
- Urgent but not important: delegate to someone else
- Not urgent and not important: put on a separate “will get to one day” list that you check weekly or monthly
Prioritizing is one of the most helpful tips for time management because it allows you to spend your time on the most important tasks and avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks.
4. Get Comfortable With Delegating
Some tasks do not need to be completed by you and you alone. In those instances, it’s best to delegate.
Some professionals find it difficult to delegate because they like to be fully in control of their tasks to ensure the best level of quality. This leads to your burnout and a lack of morale within the team.
When delegating, always include clear instructions to avoid any confusion.
5. Learn To Say No
One of the most underused but important time management tips is to simply say no.
Saying no is not always easy but it’s important to understand when you truly have the time to take on another task vs. when taking on another task means you will be overextended.
Know that saying no does not have to be rude or impolite.
You can say no in a firm manner without ruffling feathers. While it’s uncomfortable, you will thank yourself in the long run for learning this important skill.
Time Management Tips For Professionals: The Bottom Line
By following these time management tips for professionals, you’ll be increasing your productivity in no time.
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