5 Steps to Great Time Management

By Yihan Lin

Updated: 5/23/13

Before you learn how to manage the resources of an organization, you must first be learning time management skills for your own life.

Time management skills are founded on this principle: If you don't manage your own life, no one else will. Therefore it is essential that as a leader, you be proactive in every area of your life, including using your time. Don't allow circumstances to cause you to react, but stay on top of it.

If you don't fight for your own time, people will take it whenever they wish.

Here you go, five simple steps to ultimate time management!

Once you start, don't stop
The key to this is that once you start a task, don't stop until you're done. We have tendency to look at emails, or letters, read a few paragraphs and then put them aside for later reading.

What we don't realize is that the time spent re-reading is precious time lost. So if you're embarking on a task, finish it once in for all.

Make a list
Make a list of the major task you have for each day. Don't write down too many because you won't be able to finish it then. About 6 would be fine.

Plan how much time you will allocate to each task
For each task, allocate a reasonable time you would take to finish it. Say, half an hour, two hours and so on.

To be realistic, a good total time required to complete your tasks would be about 6 hours a day.

You must realize that you would have unplanned activities during the day as well and you must plan for that.

Plan your schedule for the day
Create a table with your working time (e.g. 8 am - 5pm) on a spreadsheet and start allocating activities to the various times of the day.

Do leave half an hour gaps in between major activities for a break, or for miscellaneous activities like checking email.

Prioritize your activities
Ensure that you prioritize your activities by putting the more important tasks first during the day where you have more energy.

Start making an effort to spend the first 10 minutes of your day to plan it with determination. It may seem hard at first, but it's really worth every ounce of your effort.

Trust me, these 10 minutes of your extra effort to plan your time will reap you 200% increases in productivity during the day!

Lin Yihan is the founder of http://www.leadership-with-you.com, a website that seeks to groom and teach people how to become leaders in this generation that make a difference in our world.

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