Time Management: how you can use your time in an efficient way

Did you never ask yourself if there is something that can really change your way of working?

Do you think that something can really have a big impact in your life?Something that is really important to do?

We are often not so focused on our real target and we let that the everyday emergencies lead our working life and finally we see  that we didn’t reach big results or in the same way we didn’t help our professional growth. The time management is the right tool to improve this situation, our self management and of our scheduling to become more effective, more efficient and to improve continuously.

The starting point is the time management matrix. It is based of four different quadrants to identify the urgency and the importance of our activities.  On one axis you should define urgent and not urgent things, instead in the other one important and not important. Let’s see in details each quadrant.

The first one is about activities that are urgent and important. These things are usually referred to the company emergencies or crisis, to significant deadline with a close due date, or to the arrangement of some important meetings when we will do it at the last minute.

For sure some of our daily activities are inside this area, but it’s really important that the percentage is not so high, otherwise the risk is to live always in a crisis situation. This way of working is frustrating and don’t produce value added activities.

A general rule is to book everyday around 30% of our time to manage the emergencies and unexpected issues.

The second quadrant is related to important and not urgent activities. Some examples are the team building to create a strong relationship with the partners, the self development, the training, the scheduling and preventive planning. In all these words you can find the key of the effective self management, because through the analysis and evaluation is possible to see the problems like professional opportunities.

This is the area in which we should be focused. If we try to do a risk assessment and a plan to prevent issues also the critical situation should decrease, because if you look forward you can work better on the root causes of the problems, to reach benefits on the medium / long term.

For this reason the self effectiveness is increasing with the same curve of the Pareto’s diagram (20% of efforts to reach the 80% of results).

The third and forth quadrant are related to all the activities not important, both urgent and not urgent, such as some phone calls, some meetings arranging and all the minor activities or the daily breaks that disturb our work. It’s clear that is a non sense to be focused in that areas.

The next step is to move ourselves from the quadrant where we are working to the second quadrant  and we could see together which methods we can apply to reach this result.

And you? In which area are you working?