In the last two parts (20 Best Time Management Tips from Brain Tracy Part 1 & Part 2) we saw 10 tips that can turn around our life by improving our time management skills. In this post we are going to see some few methods that can help us become more productive and get a firm grip on our success by getting time on our side.
11. Interruptions: We cannot avoid disturbances while we work. The phone will ring several times, someone might like to come and talk to us about something happening in their life or some technical causes that can bring your work to a complete halt. We simply cannot avoid interruptions but we can minimize their impact on our work. We cannot do much about the technical pauses other but Mr. Tracy gives an easy tip to minimize our phone calls or chatting with visitor time. Mr. Tracy tells us to make a habit to stand up for every call or visit. By standing up and talking on the phone you do not get loose track of time and reflect the urgency to keep the call purely work related. You remind yourself to keep it short and also about getting back to work. Do the same with a walk in visitor and that person will not take much of your time.
12. Key Result Areas: While planning for a day’s work one should have a complete awareness about their Key Result Areas. Answering following simple questions can help us understand the important areas or tasks that are vital for us.
. Why do I get paid? (Or) Why am I on the payroll?
. What are my bread and butter?
. What are the goals or core functions of my job?
. Will it critically affect my goal if I miss any of the tasks?
We should give priority to these areas and spend reasonable time on them. If any task that you normally do does not qualify as your Key Result Areas then we should spend less time on them gradually eliminating the task for good.
13. Batching Task: Another very effective tip from Mr. Tracy to manage time. We can effective segregate our tasks into batches. This is taking the To-Do list to the next level. Make batches of tasks that go together. Assign specific time frame for these batches. Like if you like to check your mails after lunch or first thing in the morning then set aside checking mail, answering them and filling up your calendar and related tasks that you do every day for that specific time. Concentrating on one batch of task at a time helps us improve accuracy and reduce panic.
14. Neatness: It is not a secret that organizing your desk or office can improve your productivity. Mr. Tracy tells us that neatness can actually increase productivity by 20 to 30 %. Spend your first few minutes to make your workplace tidy before you start for the day. You can use the simple TRAF method to separate things in your office.
TRAF stands for Toss, Refer, Action and File.
15. Chunks of Time: Just as we make batches of time you can simultaneously separate chunks of time as 60 mins, 90 mins, an hour or 2 hrs. As per the requirement of the specific task assign chunks of time for that task while planning your day. When we allot a concentrated blocks of time for one important task we tend to complete that task within time. This helps us make a very effective use of time.
16. Transition Time: Never forget to keep aside an hour or so for learning. Mr. Tracy tells us if we need to earn more, we need to learn more. Sharpen your skills daily. Make yourself irreplaceable. Learning is forever it should not stop after getting a degree.
17. Telephone: Telephones are mostly interruptions as we discussed in the 2nd part of this series. Limit your time to less important calls. If you have to make calls assign a work batch and chunk of time daily to make calls. Stand while you make calls this will help your body with a much needed stretch.
18. Punctuality: Successful people value time and are punctual. If you agree to reach on a specific time then respect that agreement and it will build up a positive reputation for you. There can be many reasons for being late sometimes though it is always good to be punctual more than being late.
19. Work Simplification: We tend to do the same or similar work over and over again. Our core task is mostly repetitive. When we do the same thing many times we naturally find out ideas that can shorten the time span or simplify a process. Organizing things needed for the job can improve speed.
20. Say No: Many people fail to turn down requests from colleagues. Doing a favor to someone once in a while is good relationship building but if it starts happening frequently then you should not hesitate to say no.