Time management skills allow people to organize their work and personal life efficiently. For example, a person who manages time well will finish tasks ahead of deadlines, without last-minute scrambling or sacrificing work quality. Analyze how you manage your time. Identify any bad habits or recurring distractions that throw you off track. Then take appropriate steps to eliminate or minimize those problems. For example, avoid checking your email or voice messages during work hours.
Inefficient Work Flow
If you don’t plan ahead and stick to daily goals, you will be less efficient. For example, if you have several different types of tasks to perform, an efficient plan of attack is to complete similar tasks at the same time. This optimizes work flow. If you don’t manage your time well, you might end up jumping from one type of task to another to meet a fast-approaching deadline. This leads to inefficient work flow and low productivity.
Effective time management includes ignoring distractions that prevent you from completing important tasks. For example, nonessential contact with friends and family during work hours might cause you to lose focus or procrastinate. This is an ineffective use of your time. Notify your friends and family that you will not take calls during specified working hours. Ask them to respect your need to focus. If this tactic fails, allow their calls to go to an answering machine. Record a voice message reminding them when the best time is to reach you. Return calls later during your free time.
If you don’t organize your workload and set up a prioritized schedule, you will scramble to finish tasks at the last minute. Eventually, you will miss a deadline. Failing to meet expectations is bad for business. If clients can’t count on you, they will take their business elsewhere. If you work for a company, missed deadlines might be cause for firing. To combat this problem, set up a schedule of necessary tasks and stick to it.
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Poor Quality Work
If you don’t manage your time well, your work quality will suffer. In trying to complete tasks at the last minute, you will sacrifice quality for speed. Avoid this problem by dividing tasks up across a reasonable length of time. Complete a set amount every day. Leave yourself enough time at the end to check for mistakes and to make last-minute changes. Your employer or clients will appreciate the extra effort and the quality it produces.
Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.