Effective Time-Management Techniques to Improve Your Career

November 8th, 2013

Have you ever heard the expression “work smarter, not harder”? It means using your time and energy wisely to get more done with less stress. People with good time management skills tend to be high achievers. So how can you follow in their footsteps?

Start by making an essential shift in focus: concentrate on getting results, not on being busy. Too many people spend their days bouncing from one activity to another, but getting very little done—because they’re not concentrating on the right things.

There’s a rule for this—the 80:20 Rule, which says that 80% of unfocused effort generates about 20% of results. The remaining 80% of results are achieved with 20% of the effort. While this ratio is not always exact, it’s common enough to be a pattern.

To change your percentages, start with a few specific strategies:

1. Set Goals

If you want to manage your time effectively, you need to set goals. Figure out what actually needs to be done so you don’t waste too much time on unimportant tasks. Putting in a little time and effort at the beginning saves far more time, effort and frustration down the road.

2. Prioritize

It’s all very well to have a to-do list, but it needs to be more than a collection of activities. It needs to be prioritized. Once you know what needs to be done, organize your list so you work on—and hopefully cross off— the most important, highest value tasks first. This way you won’t be struggling to complete something on limited time as the deadline approaches.

3. Schedule Yourself

Once you know what your goals and priorities are, create a schedule to keep yourself on track. Be realistic: understand that there are factors that will affect your time. You need to remember to leave room for interruptions and build in flexibility for unforeseen events that might affect your plans.

4. Manage Interruptions

Unfortunately, most of us don’t work in a vacuum. We all face interruptions during the workday: phone calls, questions from colleagues or subordinates, and an everchanging amount of noise, activity and other distractions. Instead of allowing yourself to be interrupted or distracted, learn how to determine what must be dealt with immediately, and what can be postponed.

5. Avoid Procrastination

Almost everyone puts things off. The best way to beat this habit is to figure out why you’re doing it. For example, do you feel like you can’t do the task you’re putting off? Once you know why you’re procrastinating, you can work around it. You can also reward yourself for getting jobs done—after every step taken if necessary!

If you’ve ever wished there were more hours in a day, better time management skills can seem like a wish come true. If you learn to allocate your time and energy to those things that are most important, you’ll be able to work more effectively and start achieving your goals more easily.

If your goal is to get a great job with a great company, the first priority on your list should be to call Synerfac. We’ll start you on the way to success!

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