For busy managers time management is essential to getting things done. Time management is about controlling your most valuable resource, your time. Time management is a process and just like any process you can improve it.
As I mentioned in the post Management Tools – Time and Problem Management Simplified I am a big fan of using lists to manage time, tasks and problems.
My method is keeping a pocket list with me throughout the day since I am often away from my desk and computer. It is always there for me to refer to my tasks and record new tasks or anything else I need to make a note of during the day.
In the article An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day by Peter Bregman gives more tips on managing your time. Many books on management use similar methods, but in his article Peter presents a time management system in three easy steps.
Three Steps to Time Management
The article outlines how to plan and execute your day in three steps.
Step 1 involves setting your plan for the day by taking a pen and paper and making a list of what you can realistically accomplish during the day. This is all done BEFORE you even turn on your computer. You can then align your calendar and tasks to your list and expand on it.
Step 2 is about checking your list. The article recommends you set your watch or other device to go off once every hour. I don’t think I want my watch or phone going off in the middle of a meeting so I would suggest you watch the clock. As close to the top of every hour pull out your list and check to see what progress you have made.
Step 3 is to review your list at the end of the day. What did you get done? What can you do tomorrow to make you more productive? It is important to review your list at the end of each day so you can update your tasks, your calendar and start a new list for tomorrow with the unfinished tasks of today.
Time management is a common sense method of managing the most important resource you have, your time. It allows you to focus on the important tasks and problems by using a system that will allow you to make more effective use of your time.
It enables you to take control of your time and how you use it. With an effective time management system you don’t have to deal with rushing to meet deadlines or letting important tasks slip. In the hectic fast paced world of IT management it may seem impossible to manage your time. But with the right system and the determination to make it part of your daily life, you can manage your time instead of it managing you.