It is a new week and you’re are probably thinking about your work, targets and schedule for the week. There is so much to do in so little time. Yes, that feeling can be overwhelming. The good news is that there is a way out. Outlined in this post are five tips that will transform how you use your time and help you achieve more with less time.
- Take A Critical Look At Your Daily Activities
This is the beginning of prioritizing your time. Generally our activities fall into 3 categories Productive Activity; Mere Activity & Wasteful Activity. A management expert said typically 80-90% of total engagement of workers is waste from the standpoint of end result. I believe that Effectiveness is about understanding of the difference between productivity and activity. Productive Activity is that which is adding value (as much as possible) to meet the customer/organizational demand or expectation. Mere Activity is defined as working to stay busy, regardless of the demand while Waste is defined as the elements of the process that add time, effort, and cost but do not add value. So are your activities Productivity-Centered; Activity-Centered or Waste-Centered.
- Understand The Difference Between Urgent and Important
It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower that said what is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. Urgent means that a task requires immediate attention. Urgent tasks put us in a reactive mode; one marked by a defensive, negative, hurried and narrowly-focused mindset. Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values and goals. Sometimes, important tasks are also urgent, but typically they are not. When we focus on important activities we operate in a responsive mode, which helps us remain calm, rational, and open to new opportunities.
- Prioritize Important Tasks over Urgent Tasks
I’ve got two news. As always, there is the bad news and the good news but I will start with the first. The bad news. The Bad News is that Time flies. The good news is that you are the pilot. A Chinese Proverb says “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life is learning to eliminate the non-essentials”. The reality of work is there are always different tasks competing for our attention at this same time. If you work in a fast paced environment for example, you will see yourself moving from one urgent task to another and you may feel exhausted by the end of the day neglecting the important tasks.
- Concentrate on Value Adding Activities
A management theory states that 20% of our activities give us 80% of our results. The 20% is what I call Value Adding Activity. An important thing to remember is that the value of your talent is defined solely by your contribution, not by perceptions, processes, or pre-occupation with socializing. As rightly mentioned, there are many desirable activities competing for our attention on a daily basis from our work assignment, to fraternizing with colleagues to discussing the sport matches the previous night and lots more. It is important that in the midst of all this, you should concentrate on the Value Adding activities.
- Don’t Ignore Necessary Evils
There are certain activities that must be performed due to customer, legislative, regulatory requirements, attention to your spouse/children but does not transform product or service. It is important that you don’t ignore activities in this category because if we do, it may result in a situation where you spend so much time trying to regularize the irregularity that might have resulted from ignoring a regulatory requirement for example.