In this dynamic world, time management is very important in completing our day to day tasks at work and in life.  It is not just getting things done but getting things done effectively.  In achieving this, we need to practice effective time management.  We go back to basics and picture a to-do list on our refrigerators in the house.  In the days before, sticking to this to-do list is enough.  Completing or ticking off what is on that to-do list is fulfilling and satisfying, and a great guide to use to get though our daily tasks. However, at the end of the day, we often think of the things that we should have done, aside from the to-do list we used as a guide.

In the modern world where everything is fast paced, we need to add a few more steps to our traditional time management.  Effective time management in this dynamic world entails more than just a to-do list.  We often see employees working beyond their hours just to complete their tasks for the day.  This is not effective time management.  Effective time management is completing your designated tasks for the day efficiently, and within the given time frame.  As this world is changing all the time, we must be able to cope with these changes as they come and still have that fulfilling and satisfying feeling at the end of the day. Below are three (3) important things to remember in task completion to have effective time management skills in the workplace.

EYE on the PRIZE

This line is usually used when meeting a goal.  Completing a task is one universal goal in time management.  If you base it from your TO-DO list, crossing out tasks found there is the ultimate goal.  Effective time management helps you stay on track and be focused on working on tasks you have for the day.  Avoid distractions and interruptions.  Start your day by setting the mood for your workspace.  If you need coffee, get it before you start working on your tasks.  If you are used to reading the morning papers before you start working, read it before looking at your to-do list.  Anything you need to do to ward off distractions while you are working on a task is key. Make sure to either avoid them or do them before you start working.  This helps you focus on completing your tasks, focus on crossing out those tasks on your list the quickest possible time allotted.

TO-DO List

Let us begin inspecting our to-do list.  Effective time management requires a working and comprehensive TO-DO list. Every task should be outlined and prioritized as they come.  One good way of doing this is considering the timeline the task needs to be completed, and the degree of importance.  Some people categorize their tasks in classifying them as urgent, important and on-going.  Other people classify their tasks according to the time the task came in.  Others classify tasks as difficult, easy and so on.  It does not matter how you classify your tasks, what is important is that you do this classification.  Why?  This is because classifying tasks help you in completing them easier and faster.  The sooner you get to cross out a particular task in your to-do list, the better.  This allows you to move on to the next task.  And so on.

Follow Through

Effective time management does not end when a task is done.  Follow-through is necessary.  Checking for results is imperative.  This means tasks should be double-checked for errors and flaws, and reviewed. Revising the actions taken in completing a task is worth the effort to improve the quality of work and efficiency in the future. There is no point completing a task that only needs re-working. We want tasks done on time, of excellent quality and work that merits commendation.  So it is also very important that while you are doing the work, that you are thorough and are consistent with your brand’s ethos and quality standard. It is important that everything is not just aesthetically well set out, but done accurately.  Quality work done in minimum time, makes you a more efficient and effective worker.

To be able to have effective time management in this dynamic world, be it at work or in our daily lives, we must always have certain guidelines to work with.  Time to change from the traditional crossing off of the tasks in a to-do list on the refrigerator, to the more flexible and comprehensive task list.  As a recap, we start working by laying out an outline of our day.  We begin by doing getting coffee or reading the morning papers and then start going through our task list/to-do list.  A task list that is thoroughly laid out where tasks are classified or prioritized.  With minimum to no distraction at all, we go through our task list and complete them.  Only after checking the results of our tasks do we consider crossing it off. Again, this is to ensure that we do not have re-work left for the day or put off for the next day. Once the tasks are achieved, we can then move on to other things we have in life.  Working late at the office is never considered effective time management.  Effective time management is being able to accomplish most with excellent quality within the allowed time – giving way to other activities we have in life.