I really love delivering training on time management.  It is a subject I know many people have problems with, it is an easy trap to fall into.  Remember we all have the same amount of time it is how we deal with the time we have that matters.

Ok, five steps for really effective time management:

Identify Time Bandits – Time bandits steal our time, this could be anything from constant phone calls to visitors.  Some bandits may be self-induced such as constantly checking emails or social media.  In essence, if it steals our time when we could be doing something more productive or stops us doing things, it is a time bandit.

Deal with Time Bandits – Really important that we deal with our bandits, they are not going to go away if we just put our head in the sand.  I believe the best way of dealing with is to first identify and then prepare an action plan identifying what we are going to do.

Develop Personal Goals – Personal goals are really important for self-motivation and self-actualisation.  We need to document our personal goals and must also identify why they are important.  Furthermore, we should keep our personal goals available so we can look at on a daily basis, this will help when we are struggling and need the motivation to keep going.

Don’t Procrastinate – Many people suffer from this disease and its toll on life and happiness is very heavy.  Life is a gift, and we have a responsibility to do the best we can and thinking about things too much (Procrastinating) causes major problems.  Stop putting things off and follow advice from Nike and ‘just do it’.

Say NO – We don’t like to say ‘no’ but if we keep saying ‘yes’ then our time management is really going to suffer.  Simply put, sometimes we have to say ‘no’.  Of course,  we can always do this in a nice way without offending.

We cover time management on our management development programmes and as part of our bespoke in-house training services.

Effective management of time is a huge life skill and most people can do with a quick reflection on the above to identify if they are making the best use of time.  Identifying issues and accepting is half the battle, the second is doing something about it.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.