Time management doesn’t have to be a mystery
Regardless of if you are in the C-Suite or just starting out your career as an associate, time management is critical. You have to be able to prioritize everything that has to get done while juggling the daily demands that are unexpected. It is critical to do what is most important. When you run out of time everything drops off the list or moves to the following day. In this article, I will go over some ideas on how to manage your time.
How do you prioritize the never ending list of “to do” items? There are a few tricks I learned along the way.
#1: Do not schedule anything on Monday or Friday. Monday is to identify what needs to get accomplished and schedule it or communicate it to your team. Friday is to assess if the critical items were accomplished or if weekend hours are necessary.
#2: Monday morning you should look at items that need to be done that day as well as see what is coming up that week. I don’t look past the week because looking at a month’s worth of work can be stressful. Checking the activities and actions for the week will help you determine what advance preparation you need to do so that you can budget for them appropriately. If a new demand arises, compare it against what you already have scheduled, and make a judgment as to what is most important. Of course, there are always emergencies that occur that simply require immediate attention at the expense of all else, but this firefighting mode should be avoided.
#3: Each day look at your calendar to see what is coming up, where you need to be, and assess which tasks are most important. Don’t just think about tasks, but consider how these items connect to the company’s overall plans. Every company has an annual operation plan that defines projected results. How do your activities fit into the company’s strategic goals? This will help you to decide what is most important on any given day. This will give you a huge advantage over the folk who optimize their career decisions with a micro-view.
In my job, I often find myself having to juggle overlapping meetings, nearly impossible deadlines and team conflicts that could really become a headache if I didn’t have a way to manage my time effectively. I’m sure you are in the same boat!
So what do you think? Do you ever get overwhelmed when you think about how to manage your time? Feel free to leave a comment below.