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Mastering Time Management

Most often, when people talk about “Time Management” they will give you tips on how to prioritize tasks and stay focussed. Regardless of all the advice, you still find yourself watching an entire series on Netflix and putting off the tasks that you really ‘should’ be doing!

To effectively manage your time, you need to start with clearly defined goals. Procrastination is inevitable if your to-do list does not match up with your goals. Time management strategies might work for a while, but more than likely you will end up slipping back into your old habits.

When you have clear goals in place, you will be more likely to produce a routine that will help provide focus and avoid procrastination in any form.

Using the SMART goal system is vital to provide clarity and direction. Remember - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound.

Once you have established your goals, you can create an action plan. With the motivation brought about by goal setting, and a clearer direction, it will be easier to act straight away.

There are several ways by which goals can assist with Time Management:

· Goals give you direction

When you know what your goals are, and are clearly defined, you have a much better idea of which direction you should be heading. This makes it much easier to prioritize and manage your time more effectively.

· SMART goals need deadlines

SMART goals should be time-bound. Having a deadline is a great motivator, ensuring you act on your goals instead of putting them off until tomorrow, or next week…Without a deadline, you again end up filling in your time with anything else, rather than those things that will drive your business forward.

· Goals make you work smarter

You become accountable to yourself when you strive towards a goal. You'll notice that you're keeping track of your time, sometimes internally, and this may encourage you to find more efficient ways to complete your work. You might even be able to automate some of the processes. There is a wealth of technologies available to assist you in managing your time and achieving your objectives. You might discover some new ways of doing things that will help you get closer to your goals

· Goals prevent time-wasting

By having clear goals, you will more likely avoid turning the TV on or scrolling through your phone to fill in your time. You will always have something to work on that is specific to reaching your goal. If you do find yourself getting distracted, take another look at your goals for motivation to get you back on the task at hand.

So, if distractions are a problem, and you find yourself occupying your time with activities that will not help your business achieve its ultimate vision, consider defining some goals to see if it helps you manage your time more effectively.

- Charlie Chambers (ActionCURVE Australia)

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