THE BLOG

Are you Smart With Your Time?

02/02/2014 19:51 GMT | Updated 02/04/2014 10:59 BST

Being smart with your time doesn't mean you do more work. It means you get smarter around the tasks that matter.

Using time smartly means not focusing on how busy you are but on results. Staying an extra hour at work at the end of the day may not be the most effective way to manage your time.

You have to learn what to delete, do, delegate or defer and always be aware that the three ways time gets spent is:

1) thoughts, 2) conversations 3) actions.

Some Interesting Facts

• 30% of time at work is spent searching for lost documents.

• A 10 year survey by Harvard revealed 90% of managers squander time. 10% spend their time in a reflective, committed, purposeful manner.

• Office workers are interrupted at work seven times an hour, according to time management experts & 80% of interruptions are considered trivial.

• Unnecessary meetings cost U.S businesses approximately $37 billion dollars a year.

• 21% of employees miss vital deadlines through disorganisation and poor time management.

• 80 - 85% of patients at Mayo Clinic are ill directly or indirectly through emotional stress.

• 63% of financial advisers describe themselves to be poor in time management skills.

• 70% of employees admit they work beyond scheduled time due to not managing their time effectively.

Q What do British Airways, Barclays, House of Commons, Pay Pal, IBM, Ebay, UCH, Blackberry, and The Cabinet Office, all have in common?

A They send employees on time management courses.

Why?

Because we all have the same amount of hours in a day, but few of us implement positive changes that affect the way we approach our time. Time waits for NO ONE, and spending your time efficiently can transform your life. Being anxious & disorganized is a waste of time. Being smart with your time, frees up your brain and means you can make better-informed decisions.

As women it's essential we let go of the constant "need to be needed" and practice supreme self care. You do not have to over explain, defend or debate your position. Your needs are always valid. It is essential to schedule your priorities from a new perspective. When you are immersed in a crazy schedule, it's easy to loose track of where/how your precious time is being spent.

Do you spend time on a task that's not important and partly complete a task which is important, or postpone it for another occasion?

Procrastination is destructive, as in order to perform a procrastinated task you have to squeeze current tasks or leave other tasks unattended. If you don't do anything about managing your time the outcome of your tasks may not be of excellence. This is not due to your skills, or knowledge, but down to poor time management.

When I was a head hunter for one of Noel Edmonds media companies, it was full on for everyone, and so I made it a priority to note which of my team arrived each day on time, completed tasks on time, created action plans, and worked in a systematic manner by managing their working hours effectively.

Here's the thing - competition is fierce, so you need to position, package and promote yourself intelligently and strategically. Excellent time management skills helps you to present yourself in an engaging and empowering way.

These top tips for time management need to be a pervasive part of your life as they are a set of skills and behaviors all high achievers use on a daily basis.

Remember there is NO short cut to anyplace worth going.

• Take the first 30 minutes of each day to schedule your day.

• Start with a time plan and six top priorities and do not start on a new priority until you have finished all six. If any are uncompleted, roll over to the next day. Always keep to six at a time.

• If you are an entrepreneur you cannot eliminate interruptions, however the antidote to overload treadmill is setting boundaries, which will help you gain control, and shed stress. Remind yourself constantly to maintain your boundaries.

• The skill you need to make changes and break out of poor time management is the same one you use to fuel the achievement track, self -discipline.

• Disconnect instant messaging.

• Take five minutes before each call and task to decide what result you want to attain. Take five minutes after each call to determine if your desired result was achieved.

• Plan to spend 50% of your time engaged in thoughts, actions and conversations that will produce results.

• Schedule appointments with yourself for top priority thoughts, conversations and actions and be disciplined enough to stick with these appointments.

• Remember if you don't take care of you, how can you take care of business?

Creativity is a precursor to innovation, so if you want to remain innovative, you need to "get smart with your time"

Annie Ashdown is a highly sought after coach, speaker and hypnotherapist and the Author of Doormat Nor Diva Be and The Confidence Factor - 7 Secrets of Successful People. www.annieashdown.com