What is time management system?
Time management system is the process of planning and executing work so that you have the most time for leisure as possible. In as much as this sounds like a simple concept, it's something that many of us struggle with. As with any aspect of self-improvement, it's something that can be worked on through practice and repetition.
Most Effective Time Management System- Managing the Clutter in Your Life
What is the perfect time management system?
Time management is a necessity in today's world to work smarter, complete your work, and boost productivity even under pressure. Effective time management involves planning your time by identifying goals and creating a plan to achieve them, then breaking them down into tasks, identifying the important tasks and assigning deadlines for them.
A good way to move closer to achieving your goals is to figure out a system that lets you manage time to complete tasks and also have free time for yourself, your family, and leisure.
A time management system that is a perfect fit for you should-
- Gives you the space to think about your goals and plan
- Allows you to integrate tasks related to your goals into your plan
- Lets you organize and plan your responsibilities and routines
- Ensure that you will not forget important tasks
- Be simple but effective
How to create a time management system assembly line?
A management system to plan your routine should be like an assembly line, where you have a list of tasks you need to complete, then plan and organize them in order of importance and integrate them in your daily routine. You can always opt for Time Management software, time tracking tools or apps like Zip Checklist to make and keep track of what needs to get done. An effective Time Management plan lets focus on tasks in hand and reduce procrastination. If you are not sure how you can create the perfect system to improve your management skills, here are a few points to guide you-
- Identify and lists goals and tasks- Using the management software or management tool that you are comfortable with, you need to identify and create a list of your goals in life that can be personal or professional. Once you have identified a goal, divide it into tasks that will help you achieve the bigger goal. Label your goal and tasks so that a list is created.
- Create a master worksheet- To improve your management skills, have a master sheet which divides all the tasks that need to be done in a weekly and monthly tasks. Then divide the tasks on the basis of the Project > Tasks> Date added > Priority > Deadline > Status. Now track and update the tasks and status as soon as they are done.
- Organize your workflow- After you have a master list of tasks and have prioritized them as per importance and upcoming deadlines, check the list for any changes, review the lists and reorganize and modify your list. You can also color code the tasks to identify them for different clients or projects.
- Keep it flexible- The most important part of any time management system is periodic checks and updates. It is no good to follow any system rigidly and there should be time and space to make changes or incorporate any new tasks or emergencies that can come up. Time management systems should have flexibility, and you should be able to change or move tasks around if priorities change.
Managing the clutter in your life can be a challenge
The Most Effective Time Management System is a system of organizing your life so that you can spend more time on what really matters
Effective time management system to boost your productivity
After looking at how you can create an effective time management system that can boost productivity and also give you free time for yourself, let us now look at what you need to do to get things done and manage time better. Here are some points to follow for good Time Management-
- Be organized- Keep your work station organized. Don't leave piles of papers or files around your work stations. A properly organized work station with properly labelled folders and a decluttered appearance helps in reducing stress and focusing on work rather than the chaos around us. Also, when all papers and documents are kept organized and in their proper place, you don't waste time searching for them.
- Don't be distracted and waste time- It is possible to get distracted while doing your work. Checking social media or looking at emails or answering phones can be time wasters. You need to organize time in such a way that majority of time is focused on getting things done but there is also time for answering emails or phone calls. Give yourself small breaks when you check social media to take a break.
- Need to focus- For an effective time planning and management system, one needs to be focused on tasks at hand. Use of time management tools can help one focus on the task at hand to look forward to a break after completing the task.
1. Kanban system
Kanban system can be described as a board that helps you with visualizing tasks and managing time better. Kanban was established by Toyota to improve the workflow in the factories. The management system helps with project management and optimal work delivery across multiple teams.
A Kanban system involves three categories of work management to-do list, work in progress, completed tasks and has two key rules-
Rule 1- Always keep minimal tasks on the to-do lists and a few related tasks in the work in progress list. You have to do this to achieve better work quality and avoid stress and feeling overwhelmed.
Rule2- The way to keep minimal tasks on to-do lists is to complete a task before adding a new task. Your workflow should go from to-do list > work in progress > completed tasks. If you have tasks that need inputs from someone else before they can be marked complete, then identify a point when your part of the task is complete and requires no further inputs to mark it as complete.
2. Iceberg method
There are times when you frantically search through files and documents in order to find that one email or report that you had saved a long time ago. The Iceberg Method is an effective time managing system as it creates a process to save information you may need later in an easy and simple manner. Here are the key points on how the Iceberg method works-
- Just in Case- The first step in following the Iceberg Method is to save every tidbit of information just in case you need it later. Set up email folders to save folders you don't need now, but might be useful later. You can do it under project name, then task name, and month or date. You can also create folders for skills such as 'How to manage time better' or 5 steps of time management'. Review the folders once every two months to see if there are any updates or if you have forgotten to do anything.
- All in one place- All your information should be stored in a central data repository under various file names so that you can identify what you need with minimal effort. You can maintain any travel related files like flight, car and hotel reservations in one folder as per the dates created or online receipts in a receipts folder which makes creating expense reports easier.
- Be specific- In order to find everything quickly, it is important to be as specific as you can. For instance, you should keep tax deduction receipts and expense receipts in different folders. Even expense receipts can be kept in sub folders like months or food or fuel.
- Get virtual assistance- Opt for a online software that can manage your time consuming tasks like managing your email inbox, list of calls to make, scheduling meetings or keeping track of your schedule.
You’ve got too many things on your plate and you’re not sure where to start
You need a system to keep track of all the things that matter to you. Start by identifying what needs your attention most, then work your way down the list
3. The 4D technique
The 4 Ds are also referred to as the 4 Ds to increase productivity can be helpful in effective time management. They are four points based on which you can decide if the task is worth the time spent on it. Here is how the 4Ds of Time Management to boost productivity-
- Delete or drop- Effective time planning is knowing which tasks can be dropped. Ask what benefits you will get if you take up the task and what impact it will have on the workflow. Any task which will not have a significant impact on your goals and daily to-do lists should be deleted. When you drop unimportant tasks, you reduce time wasters and optimize your routine.
- Delegate- If you have an increasing list of tasks, check if some can be delegated. Delegating tasks is an important time management skill. When you delegate, you can focus on more important tasks. Use the 70% rule to find a subordinate who can finish a task at 70% of your level.
- Defer- Prioritization is one of the important time management skills. You will always have important but not urgent tasks that can be deferred. Postponing a task is not procrastination, as you still need to schedule your time and set a deadline.
- Do- The most important D of task management is Do. These are the urgent important tasks that need immediate action. You need to focus on these tasks because they will have a positive impact on your goals. Don't delay or get sidetracked while completing these tasks.
4. Time tracking
Time tracking helps businesses identify how their employees are spending their time so they can calculate payroll accurately. The best way to track time is to opt for a time tracking software like a biometric time clock which reduces instances like 'buddy punching' as it uses biometrics like facial recognition to clock an employee.
Using a tracking software ensures that there is no time theft and human error is reduced as employees punch in and data is automatically integrated with payroll.
Using software for tracking time is becoming popular as it is affordable and flexible. Using time tracker provides a detailed breakdown of time spent by employees on tasks,
real time visibility on project progress and reports and analytics based on employee timesheets.
Time tracking helps an organization-
- See how the employees are working and the progress of their work in real time.
- Planning ahead is important as you can estimate the deadline by tracking time employees spend on the project daily. You can plan your budget based on the time required for the project.
- Delegate tasks properly as a tracking tool can help check if the employee assigned a task has the required skill set and how he has been performing so far.
5. Eisenhower framework
An Eisenhower Matrix or framework is a Time Management tool that helps you categorize your tasks into four categories and helps you prioritize tasks on which you should focus and which tasks can be delegated or dropped.
- Urgent and important- The tasks that have an urgent deadline and are important enough to affect your goals come in this quadrant.
- Not urgent but important- These tasks are important, but do not need to be done immediately. These tasks will have an effect on your long-term goals, so you should do them, but not immediately.
- Urgent but not important- These are tasks that need to be prioritized as they may have an upcoming deadline but will not have a lot of impact on your long term goals. These tasks can be delegated to manage time and your workload.
- Not urgent and not important- These are the leftover tasks that are not urgent or important. They are just time wasters that get in way of achieving your goals. Hence, you can just discard these tasks.
- Color-code tasks- This will help you visualize high-priority tasks green = Urgent and important, yellow = Not urgent but important, blue = Urgent but not important, and red = Not urgent and not important.
- Limit tasks- Try to limit yourself to 10 tasks per quadrant, as this will help you manage your time and stop you from feeling overwhelmed.
- Eliminate time wasters- Statistics show that employees spend 60% of work hours on time wasters like sharing status approvals or following up. If you can leave them out of your daily routine, do so, as it will quicken the process of prioritization.
Too much clutter in your life can be a real problem
We’ve found the most effective time management system to help manage your life