Business Articles - On the Job

How To Make Your Time Management Plan Stick

You may think a time management session is a quick fix for all of your organizational woes, but it takes dedication to make the lessons from the sessions actually work. You need to take the time to organize your daily activities in the present for your time management knowledge to pay off in the future. One of the greatest enemies of effective time management is the power of habit. When the pressure is on, habit takes over and you have a tendency to resort to your old ways. Effective time management is about recreating habits.

Here are some steps to achieving time management success:

Choose the right time to act
Choosing the right time simply means that the best time to adopt a new mode of operation is not when you're neck deep in problems, deadlines, and crises and fervently wishing for relief. This may mean putting in a few extra hours to get some of the overload under control, arranging coverage so you can attend a time management program and waiting until you really have the time to dedicate to organizing yourself.

Take an incremental approach
Try not to accomplish total improvement at once. For example, a rational approach to time management usually includes adoption of a system for managing the daily inflow of paper. This might involve sorting all paper into three categories � the items you need to act upon yourself, those you should refer to others and those you can discard. Such a revised approach to handling paperwork can be implemented by itself, with no thought yet given to reorganizing work spaces, adopting a daily planning routine or taking on any other specific improvement effort. Once you have established this item as part of your daily routine, you can move on to your next point of organization. Incorporating one operating change at a time is more likely to lead to long-run success than attempting to improve everything at once.

Rely on repetition
Repetition is probably the most important element in the establishment of a habit, especially the replacement of an undesirable habit with an improved form of behavior. You have probably heard many times that it requires a certain number of days' repetition � 21 is a number commonly used � to solidify a new habit. Conscientious repetition is essential to creating a lasting time efficient routine.

by Charles R. McConnel

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