In the last post we discussed 5 tips for Time Management from Brain Tracy. For those who really want to master the art Mr. Tracy has given some more tips. Some or all these ideas can help us improve our productivity.
6. Deadlines and Rewards: Mr. Tracy instructs us to maintain deadlines. It is my personal experience that I work effectively if I have a set time limit to complete a project. Deadlines give us a sense of urgency to finish what we start. It is convenient to prioritize our projects as per their completion date. To make this effective give yourself a nice fully deserving reward after completing a major project with set time frame. Rewards work – carrot is always better than stick.
7. Time Log: If you have trouble completing projects in time. Then to understand your weaker areas it is a highly recommended technique to maintain a record of time spent on every small task you do. With the help of this you can do self analysis and find out where most of your time is used. Mr. Tracy tells us that successful people keep records of time in minutes while others in hours or even days. Start with whatever you are comfortable with. It may feel tedious to record time of every little thing you do but once you find out where most of your time is getting used or wasted you can make some serious changes that can result in achieving most of your goals.
8. Procrastination: Procrastination is my biggest weakness. I struggle the most with starting of any projects especially the important ones. I am learning to get over this using few tips from Mr. Tracy such as understanding the difference between urgent and important and choosing important over urgent whenever possible. As we saw in the part 1 of this post the 80:20 rule can help us in spending more time on important tasks. Developing a ‘Do it Now’ attitude can create a sense of urgency for important tasks.
9. Delegate: Appointing someone to complete a task sounds good. If you are a perfectionist you’ll find it difficult to accept the work done from others until you make some suggestions and changes in the output. This can result in rework and end up losing time. One must learn to let go on little things and focus more on the bigger picture. Don’t fuss on unimportant issues or tasks. Do not waste productive time on things that can be done by someone you can hire. Think through what you want done, pick the right person, check, review, inspect and be on top of it till it is done. Once you find the right person for the right job maintain a good relationship keeping your future projects in mind.
10. Meetings: When I was working in a bank I noticed that the meetings were highly productive whenever someone from the top management was present in it. These meetings had a set agenda with PowerPoint presentations, time spent on every slide of the presentation was predetermined. Everyone had printout of the presentation so no one generally suggested to go back on any previous slide. In absence of some high ranking manager the meetings had a trend to go not as per plan and end up taking more time than scheduled. Why did this happen? Simply because successful people value time and they never allow themselves or others around to waste any. You don’t have to reach to the highest position of your career to get serious about your schedule. Start getting serious of your schedule and you will start climbing the ladder towards success. Do not waste time in meetings, have a purpose for the meeting, meeting is an investment, agenda or list of things to be discussed be present in such a way that it helps you and all the participants.