Everything starts with a plan. With a good plan. Good plan will get you high! Well, of course, you won’t catch the buzz experiencing all phases of being stoned while excellent dwarfs do all the work. You’ll get to experience different level of pleasure, far more powerful and lasting. And a plan will bring you that pleasure only when executed on 100%.
Imagine, you have a several-point plan ready for a day when the client sends you an urgent task with blazing red exclamation mark “need this completed ASAP” or “need to have it done yesterday”. Stress and self-deception. Of course, in such circumstances, time management is perceived as a mockery. How can we talk about planning when work exceeds your physical capacity? All you need is more hours in a day, like 30 at least.
If you choose to go with the flow, you are in for the future spent in confusion and haste whereas all your virtual asisstants will eventually burn themselves out. Hustle and bustle are not the best assistants for quality performance as well. So, if you think planning is inconsequential, you can move your mouse to the upper-left corner of the window, press close button, continue working on a I-need-it-yesterday basis but do not expect quality work.
The key to productive work is found where time is used effectively. Do you dream of finding it at your workplace. I offer you those keys – basic techniques of time management, that is, the Pareto principle, the Franklin system , the Eisenhower principle of and ABC analysis.
- According to the empirical Pareto principle 20% of cases produce roughly 80% of effects. Proper prioritization lies in identifying 20% of cases that have the greatest impact on the outcome. So, you save significant resources for other things.
- Following the Franklin system any big task a man faces should be divided into subtasks, and those in turn to even smaller subtasks. Visually it can be represented as a multi-stage pyramid, and the use of the system as a process of its construction. Tasks fall into three categories: primary, secondary and minor. Thorough planning enables you to complete all primary tasks, more than often handle secondary, and if you’re lucky, minor tasks.
- The Eisenhower Principle implies the division of tasks into 4 groups on two counts: urgency and importance: Group I – urgent important tasks to be completed instantly; Group II – urgent unimportant tasks that despite the urgency must nevertheless be delegated to subordinates, unless solution requires special knowledge and skills; Group III- non-urgent important tasks that require your attention before they transform into urgent; Group IV – non-urgent unimportant should be abandoned altogether.
- Another method to fall back on is ABC-analysis. According to this methodology: A-tasks are important and their execution takes only 10% of your time while value of A-tasks is hard to overestimate. Their assessed contribution to the achievement of objectives amounts to 70%. B-tasks are of moderate complexity with about 20% of time set for their completion and 20% is their significance. C-tasks require at least 70% of your time with benefits as low as 10%.
Use any of these methods, find a way to combine them or conceive your own methodology based on the above. And believe it or not, you and people who work with you will finally see that sun is shining and clouds are running on the sky. Even better, you won’t have to check weather forecast on the Internet to know how it is outside you’ll get a chance to go out, see and feel it for yourself.
Once you’ve tracked the keys ensure you know how to use them. Follow these guidelines for effective time management:
- Plan your time, both working and personal – the most essential rule of time-management. If success is what you crave for then learn to manage your time. Otherwise, somebody else will start to do it for you. And more, respect the fact that other people, your virtual assistant in particular, also plan their time and tasks for “yesterday” reduce their productivity and break the plans. Avoid planning in your head, do it in a visual form, on paper or electronically. A plan, which cannot be read is not a plan. Make it for short, medium and long term.
- Set priorities. Attend to important and urgent tasks in the first place, then move on to urgent and very important, and so on, in descending order of urgency and importance. Do not undertake less important or less urgent tasks unless you’ve completed tasks with a higher priority.
- Do not let silly ideas into your head and heavy things into your hands. Focus on what’s the most integral for your business and learn to delegate secondary tasks to your assistants, in-house or virtual. Then succeess is assured
- From complex to simple. Start your day with the most difficult tasks and leave easy tasks for later.
- Unless you Julius Caesar – avoid doing many things at once. You can not do everything at once, and up to the mark.
- Dispose of time-eaters. Write them down, and you will be surprised how many of them you’ve accumulated! Social network management, Internet research, eNewsletters can be placed on your virtual assistant’s shoulders.
- Plan your holidays and relax. Take a wholesome rest by sleeping the required number of hours. The upshot of sleepless nights and days without break is obvious: low efficiency and cognitive decline.
- Observe cleanliness and order in the workplace. Mess reduces the efficiency of the process, because in search of notes on the table or files on a computer you spend ages.
- Engage your virtual assistant into planning process. Your task manager will help you divide complex tasks into simple that are much easier to handle.
- Set up contact and training times for your virtual assistant. To put your mind at rest that work is being done schedule regular contact times. You spend some time coordinating work of your task manager and at the outcome you receive fully productive member of your team and gain more hours to your week
- Motivate yourself. Promise to buy yourself a candy after a successfully performed task. In fact, self-motivation is the factor that will enable you to work effectively and with greater productivity. Think what you get upon successful completion of the task.
By creating your own system of effective time management rely on your personal traits. Everyone is different, and time management is no single methodology that works for all of us. One thing remains unwavering, though – correct strategic distribution of manpower and tasks stimulates productive team work whareas no planning leads to inevitable failure. Given that, carefully consider and plan you time since a person that is unable to plan, plans to give up.