I have shared with you different things about managing time and how to prioritize when everything is important and other things which you can get here. But I’d like to ask you if you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘African time’?
There is a perception that in Africa people don’t keep to time. Is this true? What do you think about punctuality? Is time-keeping important, or is it more important to make time for people?
This may be influenced by culture, and you will need to decide with your team, boss or check your company policy on time. When you think that is okay when you are late, then you are saying that your time is more important than that of the person or people you are meeting.
If you think like that, why not make your own personal policy on punctuality and challenge yourself to stick to it?
Once you’ve organised tasks into the time matrix, how do you know where you should focus your time?
Time management is about ensuring there is time for the important tasks on your to-do list. Always keep your goals in mind and evaluate your activities on the basis of how they will help you achieve your goals.
Carve out time every week for tasks that help move you closer to achieving your goals, and guard that time.
Power of Saying ‘NO’
Take control of the non-important tasks, even when they are urgent, by delegating them, or postponing them to a more convenient time, or declining them all together. When a request comes in for you to do something, ask yourself if it is worth interrupting your other work.
In summary, you should be saying NO to demands that are deceptive and wasteful and saying YES to matters of necessity and Effectiveness.
Time Planning Tips
How do really successful people manage their time? Some people swear by to-do lists while others argue that to-do lists can actually enslave managers by making them lose sight of what’s really important. Either way, you will need some kind of system if you want to really get the most out of your time and be productive at work and in life.
Here’s a summary of a few tools you can experiment with.
- Diary: This is the first and most basic tool in time management. Everyone needs a diary or calendar. It should always be accessible, either via your smartphone or in your handbag/pocket.
- To-do lists: Instead of using the to-do list to organize your day, see it as a parking lot for all the tasks and thoughts racing around your head. Get into the habit of writing down all the little things you need to do.
- Daily plan: Take 5 minutes in the morning to plan the day or before you leave the office in the evening. Decide what you want to achieve that day. Make sure the important tasks always come first and allow time for unexpected urgent tasks.
- Email: Research shows that even the best multi-taskers cannot do two things at once. Jumping between different tasks is distracting and reduces our overall productivity. Try to be very disciplined about email, and set times in the day when you will check it.
Research shows that the average manager spends 10% of their time looking for information because they did not plan the day adequately. Spending 5 minutes, out of the 1440 minutes we each have in a day, planning, can save much more and ensure that we are more productive and avoid having to stick to the “African Time”.
Don’t also forget to check out the updated business tips page for amazing tips and if you are also thinking of business you can start you can also check out the business ideas page for business ideas in agriculture, trading and so on.