Why is time management important

That is the crucial question for successful time management. It should be answered before planning your time. Otherwise, you may not get any real benefit and only plan for an end in itself. And that would again be a waste of time! Systematic time management can save you a lot of time - time that is available for things that are really important to you. You have to determine what that is in concrete terms! You can also concentrate on the essentials through time planning. Tasks are thus processed more efficiently and effectively. Problems and obstacles can then be recognized at an early stage, so that deviations can be corrected with little effort.

By scheduling, you will spend the time you have more meaningfully. Unpleasant surprises are less common and a balanced work program is created. Time is a fairly fairly distributed commodity, because every person has exactly 1440 minutes of it available every day; However, it is also a very valuable commodity, as no one can bring back even a single past minute. So one would have to assume that all people use their limited time in an extremely controlled manner. However, it's not that simple! In today's fast-paced world in particular, we have to deal with things that are apparently very urgent and important. However, upon closer inspection, they turn out to be a huge waste of time. In addition, there are a large number of events that cannot be influenced, such as the weather, the annoying traffic jams, plane and train delays. You can mess up a day's planning. It is all the more important to take care of the things that you can influence yourself. Because, ultimately, it is your personal time and you must take responsibility for ensuring that it is not wasted.

However, this does not mean, with a stopwatch in hand, planning every day's activity to the second. Rather, it means to rethink its substance and complexity before starting an activity in order to then assign it exactly the time that is appropriate for it. - Not more but also not less ! So that you also have enough time for unforeseen but equally important tasks, a maximum of 60% of the time available should be planned in a good plan. In this way you remain sufficiently flexible.


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time planning

First of all, it must be clear to you: time planning takes time. Many people feel that they don't have time to plan properly. However, this is only intended for the very short term. After all, careful time planning reduces the amount of work required. At the same time, the quality of the results achieved will often also improve significantly.
Therefore, start planning the activities to be carried out every day. First, in a kind of brainstorming session, define the activities and matters that you have to attend to during the day. Assign priorities to the individual tasks and then define the order in which the individual points should be completed. Remember the well-known saying "time is money!" For example, evaluate the expected results with the costs they face (e.g. wages, travel expenses, etc.). Are your priorities still correct?
If you create a work plan for the current day, it is important to put the plan in writing. Formulate the tasks to be done in a result-oriented manner, i.e. instead of "write report" your plan says "report written". The written work plan is your navigation and control tool for the current day. When a task is done, it is clearly "ticked off"! You will see this approach is motivated. You always have in mind how over the course of the day you can gradually and successfully implement the goals you have set yourself. In addition, by being in writing, you ensure that a possibly important task is not forgotten.
However, there may be times when you do not complete all of the tasks you have undertaken. Then it is very important to include these activities in your planning for the following day by hand. In this way, you gradually learn to better assess your own performance. In this way, your planning quality is getting better and better in a permanent feedback process.


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Tips and Tricks

Avoid interference
When you are doing an important task, turn off unnecessary disruptive factors. Redirect the phone, close the door and exit the email software. So you can concentrate on the task at hand. Interruptions lead to the so-called saw blade effect, i.e. once you stop, you need additional energy to 'get into' the task.

Don't you know that too? Whenever you want to speak to someone on the phone, they are 'out of the office', 'in a meeting', 'somewhere nearby', but not on the phone. In this situation it is advisable to ask your secretary / assistant for the exact time when he will be available. When you leave a message, you should also specify a time when you can be reached yourself. If you cannot be reached, say so.

Keep it short, this will save you time when writing and that of the recipient when reading. At the same time, in the age of information overload, you increase the likelihood that your memo will be read in full.
Never write memos for just one person as the phone is a better means of communication.

Answering written inquiries
If the form allows it, always reply to the received document if possible. Write in the margin, make a copy if necessary, and send the document back. You answered the request with ease, and the requester has both the question and the answer on paper, making the process much easier to manage.
Avoid the danger of unnecessary perfection! The work equipment available today (especially PCs with laser printers, fax machines, etc.) often eats up a lot of time for the creation of actually unimportant documents; short handwritten notes would often be sufficient here.

Learn to say "no"
Then you don't have to keep promises and have to make fewer compromises. You also prevent burnout and can instead concentrate more on your personal qualities. To this end, it can sometimes be a good idea to simply not be present when assignments are distributed. But be careful: the shot can easily backfire if the expectations placed on you are not met.

Organize your inbox
Decide immediately whether the mail (1) has to be processed by you personally, (2) processed by someone else (determine who!) Or (3) can be deposited or (4) goes straight to the garbage can. When your personal commitment is required, do it right away. Documents should only be handled once.

Task planning
Summarize similar tasks. You can find an analogy in assembly line manufacturing. Each specializes in a small part of the work to be done. As a result, the end result is higher productivity than if everyone had completed the entire task. In addition, you only need to prepare the implementation once and then clean it up.
You should process smaller tasks immediately and completely. This saves you additional preparation and improvement phases.

When you make an appointment, plan the end at the same time. Only in this way can the following appointments begin on time. If necessary, check the travel options before making an appointment. This can prevent unnecessary waiting times.

Use travel time
Use the travel time. For example, if you drive your car, you can hear a learning cassette instead of annoying traffic announcements. You can join in or shout out loud, nobody will hear you on the motorway! However, I would advise against using the phone in the car, as this increases the likelihood of accidents considerably.
If you are traveling by other means of transport or if you are a passenger in the car, there are always opportunities to do something useful. It is important that you have the right tools with you. This can be a notebook, files, mobile phone, books or even the notebook.

Find your optimal speed
You can save a lot of time if you don't want to complete something too quickly or if you hesitate too long. Think of one, for example, a marathon runner. Certainly it could run faster in the beginning, but then it would come in later and perform worse overall. You have to be careful with your resources!

If possible, check out of the hotel the evening before your departure. This saves you from standing in line the next morning.


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Links and literature


If you're in a hurry, go slowly
by L.J. Be worth

The way to the essentials
by S.R. Covey et. al.

The minute manager
by K. Blanchard and S. Johnson:

simplify your life - easier & happier life
by W.T. Coast maker


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Version: 01/04/2012

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