I recently changed jobs, and while I was job hunting I found that time management is a prerequisite for all management positions. This got me thinking what exactly does it mean to effectively manage your time? During my 11 years as a manager I have perfected my time management skills and for me the four key aspects of time management are: being flexible, being organized, making lists, and prioritizing tasks.
Flexibility is important because the unexpected will always happen and good managers need to be able to quickly adjust their tasks to ensure that deadlines are still met. A benefit of having good organizational skills is that it greatly reduces the chances of important documents being lost. If managers are constantly looking for documents, then they are wasting valuable time. Making a list of everything that you need to do is also crucial. Trying to keep track of everything in your head is a big mistake and will surely lead to missed deadlines and frustration. Managers should also frequently refer to their list throughout the day to check off completed tasks and to make adjustments where needed. I find great satisfaction when I am able to check something off as completed from my list! Also, periodically referring to a list will ensure that managers stay on track throughout the day. Finally, managers should also prioritize their lists. It is important to do the most important task first and then the next important task and so on.
University of Kent has an interesting time management article. It even had a short quiz one can take to determine how well they manage their time. The quiz breaks time management into eight categories and then gives you a score on each category. This is helpful because it allows you to pinpoint exactly where you need to improve. It should be noted that some of the questions refer to specific study skills for college students. I found that these questions can be easily converted into work scenarios. For example, a question that asks how you review after a lecture could be converted to how you review after you attend a meeting. I have provided the link below for your convenience.