Monday, February 25, 2013

Dos and Don'ts of Time Management

This guest post is from Steward Copper of Project Management Insights

Show me a person who wouldn’t like to become successful in life and his career. We all want to become winners and overcome others in the competition. We want to achieve some goals, become famous and get into the top list of the ‘winners’.

But it isn’t easy – the road to success and prosperity is really hard and it isn’t a bed of roses. You need to be ready to work a lot in order to achieve your goals. The most valuable thing that we all need – and which we always lack - is time. Although there are only 24 hours a day, some people manage to do more things than others. How do they manage it? They apply time management principles and know how to prioritize tasks and issues. Remember, that your big goal is a combination of smaller goals that you have to achieve on the way to your own ‘big goal’.

No matter who you are – a student, a teacher, a businessman, a project manager, or a housewife – you need to learn how to manage your time efficiently. I hope the following tips (the so-called ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ will help in this.

  • State your aims and goals: Think carefully about the things that you usually do. Put down the tasks and activities that are needed to be done every day, every week, and every month. But the most important is listing the goals that you would like to achieve in the end. Look at them attentively, analyze and set priorities. Then, rearrange the tasks in the list and add time limits and deadlines. It will give you a possibility to allot enough efforts for completing each task. Do not neglect minor tasks – they may seem not important at first but don’t procrastinate on them. 
  • A good beginning makes a good ending: If your goals are set and time limits are established, it’s time to start the way to your goal. Be optimistic and believe in your success because, as the proverb says ‘Well begun is half done’. If you are not sure about the success, put aside the task for some time and start only when you are ready 100%. 
  • Don’t forget about some extra time: If you know exactly how much it will take to complete the task, assign that amount of time. But if you are not sure, add more time in case of some problems or delays. Be flexible – if necessary, replace one task with another but still try to stick to the plan. Don’t forget about some unexpected things that can – and do – happen in life. Make allowance for such situations – leave some spare time in general. 
  • Work done, have your fun: Life is not only work. Don’t forget about some pleasure and fun since they are needed to fill you with energy for new victories. If you only work, you will become stressful and annoyed, which will result in failures and broken deadlines.
  • Stay focused: Well, if you have stated your goals, made a list of things to be done, walk towards your goals and don’t let anything or anybody make you leave this way. Stay concentrated! Don’t waste your valuable time on unimportant or time-eating activities.
So, I hope these tips will help you manage your time better and become winners!

Author Byline
Hi, my name’s Steward Copper and I am the owner of Project Management Insights. While working as a project coordinator and BA, I have tried almost all possible PM tools, BA instruments, collaboration programs, including tracker and task management software solutions. I use Comindware Tracker for my project management processes. Follow me on Linkedin.


Caroline B said...

Steward, you make excellent points! I believe I am a good time manager - but I can always be reminded of 'dos and don'ts' ` especially about adding extra time. I need to do better at adding that, and about not allowing others to take away those 'cushions'.

I would add to identify dependencies and account for those. Whether you are waiting for the paint to dry before applying the next coat, the six-year old to put on their shoes before you can head out the door, or the board meeting to finish before you can have your next meeting - they all affect your scheduled tasks.

Harry Borison said...

Nice post!! Really, time management and scheduling plays an vital role in the process of project management so its necessary for a project manager to go through all the basic aspects of handling of a project.

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