Avoiding Distractions to Improve Time Management

The technology inspired shift in the way businesses are run on a day to day basis has made effective time management perhaps the most critical skill a contemporary manager can possess.  Distributed teams and remote employees must be able to set aside distractions while working from home.  Facebook, Twitter, pets, children and even household chores can stand in the way of successful telecommuting.

Prioritize your Goals - Work smarter, not harder

I work in sales.  There are days when I expend a frustrating amount of effort and energy and end up having nothing to show for it.  On other days, I do very little and achieve my highest sales goals.

It’s easy to get sucked into a busy schedule dictated by a manager or supervisor.  It’s easy to constantly respond to co-worker requests including phone calls and instant messages.  When interruption happens, all of your associated hard work ends up doing little to accomplish goals, and misaligns your priorities and efforts.

You should always consider the reason for undertaking a particular task and set your expectations for fulfilling it.

 1.  Write down everything you are doing, or are planning to do, in order to achieve your personal goals.

 2.  Organize the items on your list by time horizon: career targets and plans, yearly objectives, and weekly goals.

 3.  Rank your objectives by their relative importance, taking into account both external demands and internal priorities.  Start by thinking about what you want to do, what you’re good at, and what others need from you.

 4.  Rank your targets by their relative importance – both those serving your objectives and those assigned to you by superiors and supervisors.

 5.  Estimate and review your actual time expenditures, and compare your findings with your prioritized set of objectives and targets.

6.  Understand and address the reasons for mismatches between your goals and your time consumption.

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