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Recently the phrase ‘time management’ has been widely used and discussed. A lot of articles and books have been written on the topic of effective time management. But what is time management? As I see it, time management is effective usage of one’s time – task planning, arranging, prioritizing and executing with maximum efficiency. In our modern world where time is money, it is extremely essential for competing with others.
Having analyzed the tips given at various seminars and books, the most important element of time management is planning. No planning, no management. The better planning is, the better and more productive your time management is. Plan your actions in advance and carefully.
You can start with creating lists of tasks and arranging your daily or weekly tasks yourself. The main disadvantage of such lists is that you have to do everything manually. If you want to automate your tasks, try some time management software solutions, which can easily turn your e-mail letters in tasks with just one click.
No matter which to-do list you use, I have some general tips for effective time management.
Get an answering machine or a personal assistant.
Purchasing an answer phone can significantly save your time. You won’t have to deal with all calls – after screening you can select the most important and urgent ones. A secretary can be another alternative, although much more expensive one, I guess.
Dedicate some certain time for looking through emails.
Nowadays most communication is carried out via e-mails. Thus, you have to assign some time a day for reading and responding to your e-mails. Don’t check your e-mails every spare minute or every hour.
Regular to-do lists.
Learn to create task lists every evening and every Friday (or Sunday) in order to know exactly what you have to complete by the end of the next day (or week). If necessary, change places of some tasks, prioritize them and set deadlines.
If possible, delegate some of your tasks.
We can’t be experts in everything and even if we try, we can waste our precious time and even fail the task. If there is somebody who can do these tasks more quickly and better, delegate these tasks to them and focus on what is in your domain.
Apply modern technologies.
If something can be done automatically, why should you do it manually? At present you can easily find many time tracking software solutions which will help you organize, track, prioritize and control your activities. Some of them are powerful task tracking and project management solutions which are ideal for medium and large companies but can be customized for personal use.
For example, with Comindware Tracker you can gather all your tasks in one place from different mail boxes, organize and track them, if necessary, set priorities and deadlines. Since this software applies the most innovative ElasticData technology, you don’t need any special training or special skills to use it – just use the drag-and-drop method. Moreover, your workflow can be presented visually, which is really effective for perceiving the whole picture. Other similar software solutions are Redmine, JIRA, BaseCamp, TaskMerlin, etc.
They can be called ‘universal’ solutions since in most cases they are project management and task tracking tools. Thanks to their flexibility they can be easily applied for smaller personal tasks.
Since nowadays people are becoming more and more mobile, the necessity to have such task tracking tools has increased immensely, which has resulted in a number of mobile applications and tools that are ideal for tracking your personal tasks, for example, MyLifeOrganized software solution. You can do many things with this software – divide tasks into subtasks, assign them to different people, monitor the statuses and progress of tasks, set dependencies, etc.
This software can be synchronized with different devices that you use (your home PC, working desktop, your smartphone or even your flash drive). Thus, you won’t have to worry about any task being missed or neglected. Other similar software solutions are AnyDo, GTasks, Workflowy, etc.
Effective time management is essential nowadays and should be considered seriously. You can still do it manually or make use of modern tools and solutions – that’s for you to decide. But personally, I can’t imagine my life without an organizer or task tracking solution now. I’ve been using Comindware and MyLifeOrganized.
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