Time management shouldn’t be a separate activity–it should be an integral part of the way you do things. For this to happen, you need to be able to develop good time management habits and avoid bad ones.
An effective use of time also involves managing your environment, managing your use of technology, and managing the time-wasting activities of people around you.
Today we are often overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork that crosses our desks, or the number of e-mails that appear on our screens. There is a real danger that we end up being reactive rather than creative, and spend all our time responding to what we have been sent, rather than initiating new ideas. To avoid this, you need to develop techniques for handling paperwork, telephone calls, and e-mails to maximize their value, and minimize their disruptive potential.
Technology makes it possible for us to be more efficient–get more done–in many different ways. But you need to make sure that you are really controlling the technology so that it also helps you to be more effective–getting the right things done, rather than allowing it to control you.
There are many time stealers. Demands and interruptions from bosses, peers, or customers can prevent you from achieving your goals, and these must be dealt with appropriately. Not all time thieves are external. Most of us are prone to some degree of seemingly harmless procrastination, but this can be the most insidious and dangerous time waster of all.