Mantras For Time Management

We all have days, weeks and even months where our work load keeps piling up, matters are always urgent, and facets of your work load are put to the side. In our age of increasing client demands and bureaucratic forms, how does one stay focused and deliver consistent, quality results? I cannot answer that but I can offer some mantras that help me with time management.

  1. First In The Inbox Is The First In The Outbox. Try to live by this mantra. Sure there are lots of good examples for rebuttals but this a tried and true way of making sure everything gets done and you don’t miss a single task. Even if a colleague asks you a question to which you don’t know the answer, respond and say you will work on it. Having excellent communication skills is an important component of time management. This way you do not leave anyone guessing how you are spending your day.
  2. An Issues Log is Your Friend. For the items that you put aside for later, make sure to flag them and put them on your issues log so that they don’t fall thru the cracks. This will help you keep track of your projects and assign milestones to them so you can complete them in a timely manner.
  3. Don’t Put Off for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today. Don’t put off the little things if you have the time and resources to do them right away. Everybody wins when you have one less thing to do the next day, not starting the day at a deficit, and your colleagues will appreciate your commitment.
  4. Procrastination Is Not an Option. It just isn’t. This mantra is a bit different than the predecessor in that it refers to longer term projects. Projects should have check points and deadlines so they can come to fruition. Stay focused, stay tenacious and persevere to deliver your best results.
  5. Scheduling Is the Life Line. It is always good to have your day planned so that you are making the most of your time. Scheduling is key when you have obstacles. Plan ahead to either evade them or finish as much work as possible. Scheduling is also essential so that others are not monopolizing your time, specifically if you are managing multiple projects.
  6. Make The Most of Downtime. Use any downtime to focus on process improvements. This way, as the cycle continues, you will have a more streamlined work process that constantly evolves…and, new challenges are always on the way!

Every little bit you do to move forward will help. The biggest component of time management is effectively managing your time so that you are not playing catch up. Playing catch up negatively affects not just the quality of your work, but your life. Take control of time management and take control of your life.

Patrick Coughlin is a Senior Marketing Analyst at Consultants 2 Go.