Different time management books and seminars offer a number of ways to improve your time management skills. However, all of them recommend some especially useful and effective techniques. To save your time, instead of reading all these books and listen to all the seminars, we suggest the list of top 5 time management techniques that are worth trying.
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Technique #1: Make and Use Lists
Absolutely all time management systems and disciplines emphasize the importance of making and using different lists. It is really significant, because you can’t carry all your responsibilities and plans in your head. It is advisable to use such lists as “My schedule” (do it day by day), “To-do lists” (organize them by day, week, and month, and prioritize), “Call list” (also prioritize), and “Conference planner” (questions you’d like to ask or topics to discuss with certain people).
Technique #2: Use Tickler Files
Easy to use and effective, especially in the long run. This technique will reduce the amount of clutter on your desk and will help you memorize many things. With its assistance, you can also organize your daily activities more efficiently.
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Technique #3: Minimize Meetings
For most people, meetings are not the way to get the actual work done. Therefore, minimize meetings in order to maximize your efficiency. In case you have to lead a meeting, arrange it in a way to focus it on a single goal.
Technique #4: Block Your Time
Lock down different work appointments, such as coaching meetings, speaking engagements, writing newsletters, etc., in advance. Leave as little unassigned time as you can. It will help you to concentrate on important activities and prevent from possible distractions.
Technique #5: Benefit from “Odd Lot” Time
If you’re stuck in traffic or have to wait for someone, don’t let yourself waste your time. Have with you either a paper or a mobile version of the book you’re reading. If you don’t feel like reading, you can use this time to watch some useful videos on YouTube (and we don’t mean watching cute kittens there). You shouldn’t use your odd-lot time returning emails, texts, or phone calls. It is better to leave separate time for this, because such an activity requires proper preparation.
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Everyone loses time. If you learn not to waste it, you will have a benefit compared to others. Did you know that Scott Turow, who is currently rich and famous for writing thriller books, wrote his first novel while commuting by train to New York City in the mornings? Most people, who rode the same train with him, just wasted this time, while he managed to create something interesting. They didn’t realize that time mattered. To be effective, you have always to remember: every single minute matters. Use it to your advantage and succeed!