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We are all busy, but do you think you are busier and less productive than you should be?  If so it’s time to look at how you manage your time. The best use of your time is to focus on the tasks in the quadrants that relate to IMPORTANT tasks. Time management skills take time to build and practice makes perfect so it’s a good idea to schedule time in your diary to carry out your time audit on a regular basis,  this will help you stay focused on the things that make a real difference. To access the methods of effective time management, Ansus Consulting provides tailored solutions, which are designed to facilitate your way to success. By submitting information, you acknowledge and agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy concerning the use of the Genius Inside web site and its services.
Genius Project empowers federal, regional and local government around the globe by delivering a comprehensive suite of project and portfolio management solutions meeting the unique demands of government.
One of the biggest challenges governments face is the ability to effectively track and audit project information while keeping the many levels of staff and stakeholders in the loop. To date Genius Project has facilitated government agencies in meeting their goals by supporting initiatives such as IT, Capital Expenditure, infrastructure and service projects.
Test drive Genius Project and experience best-in-class portfolio and project management software. This entire process is supported by a skill set that should include personal motivation, delegation skills, organization tools, and crisis management. SMART is a convenient acronym for the set of criteria that a goal must have in order for it to be realized by the goal achiever.
Emotionalizing and visualizing your goal will help you create the desire to materialize it into your life. In order for visualization to work, it’s necessary that you emotionalize your goal as much as possible. Time management is about more than just managing our time; it is about managing ourselves, in relation to time. This concept, coined the Eisenhower Principle, is said to be how former US President Dwight Eisenhower organized his tasks. Essentially, planning is nothing more than taking a piece of paper and a pen and writing down the tasks and associated steps that you need to take throughout the day to ensure that your goal is completed. To start, get yourself a spiral notebook and label it as your Personal Productivity Journal or your Professional Productivity Journal. Personal development expert Brian Tracy believes that when you write down your action list the night before, your subconscious mind focuses on that plan while you sleep.
Always have your productivity journal with you during the day to avoid becoming sidetracked.
If you find yourself moving uncompleted tasks over into the following day, and the day after that, then you need to ask yourself why that task is on your list in the first place and what value it has in your life.If you postpone a task three times, it does not belong on your action list.
There is a story about time management that uses a glass jar, rocks, stones, pebbles, sand, and water to illustrate how to plan your day. If you commit to this approach to planning your days, you will see as time goes on that you are able to achieve more in less time.
Large projects can sometimes be so overwhelming it is difficult to even plan to start them. We’ve all heard the saying, "Ready, Aim, Fire!a€? Often in time management planning, it is better to think "Ready, Fire, Aim!a€? instead. Your ability to select your most important task at any given moment, and then to start on that task and get it done both quickly and well, will probably have greatest impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop!
Your frog is the task that will have the greatest impact on achieving your goals, and the task that you are most likely to procrastinate starting. This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is for you to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete. In the business world, you are paid and promoted for achieving specific, measurable results. With better planning, improved efficiency, and increased productivity, the number of crises you encounter should decline. The key to successfully handling a crisis is to move quickly and decisively, but carefully. The first thing to do when a crisis hits is to identify the point of contact and make them aware of the situation.
You will also want to identify the threshold time: the time that you have before the situation moves out of your control, or becomes exponentially worse. During execution, it is important to stay organized and on top of events to make sure that your plan is still applicable.
After the crisis is over, take a moment to look at why it happened and how to prevent it in the future. You can even be prepared for disasters that can’t be predicted, such as illness, fire, or theft. In order to effectively manage your time and to be productive each day, you must create an appropriate environment. Removing clutter is itself a time-consuming task, but a cluttered workspace significantly impairs your ability to find things, and you will get the time back that you invest a€“ and more! Once clutter has been eliminated and other materials have been filed, the effective workspace includes only what is essential: a set of three trays to control the workflow on your desk (see the next topic), standard office supplies, a computer, and a telephone. How do you process the mountain of material that collects in your paper and electronic in-baskets? Electronic communication can be managed just as easily and as quickly as paper with the four D’s that we just discussed. To manage all of the things that you have to do, it’s important to organize your reminders into a small number of calendars and lists that can be reviewed regularly.
If you work on your own, there’s only so much you can get done, no matter how hard you work. Remember, to delegate effectively, choose the right tasks to delegate, identify the right people to delegate to, and delegate in the right way. Delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organization. Once you have decided to delegate a task, think about the possible candidates for accepting the task.

When you first start to delegate to someone, you may notice that he or she takes longer than you do to complete tasks. Now, once you have worked through the above steps, make sure you brief your team member appropriately. The following (taken from the everywoman workbook, Managing your time - member login required) will help you identify where you spend your time and analyse how productive your activity is. Whether it be tracking Earned Value Management (EVM) or regulatory compliance requirements, Genius Project’s flagship project and portfolio management (PPM) software, delivers better collaboration and visibility across the entire project life-cycle improving demand management, resource utilization and documents facilitating the tracking and reporting of portfolios, projects and costs. Genius Project delivers a process-driven PPM solution built on a highly configurable workflow engine that allows government agencies to incorporate their unique approval workflows and auditing requirement to effectively adhere to stringent government policies and provide the necessary transparency of information demanded by their stakeholders and constituents. These goals are recorded and may be broken down into a project, an action plan, or a simple task list. It is the single most important life skill that, unfortunately, most people never learn how to do properly. In turn, setting and achieving short-term goals can help you accomplish the tasks you'll need to achieve the long-term ones. Getting into an Ivy League university may be possible if you are earning good grades but unrealistic if you're struggling. Often creating a list of benefits that the accomplishment of your goal will bring to your life, will you give your mind a compelling reason to pursue that goal. That’s why all goals need some form of objective measuring system so that you can stay on track and become motivated when you enjoy the sweet taste of quantifiable progress. A good goal is one that challenges, but is not so unrealistic that you have virtually no chance of accomplishing it.
By setting a deadline, your subconscious mind begins to work on that goal, night and day, to bring you closer to achievement. Instead of spreading yourself thin by focusing on several goals at once, invest your mental focus on one goal, the most important goal right now.
Create a list of the benefits you will see when you achieve your goal and concentrate on how that will make you feel. Managing time effectively, and achieving the things that you want to achieve, means spending your time on things that are important and not just urgent. However, be careful not to mislabel things like time with family and recreational activities as not important.
Often, however, these requests conflict with our values and take time away from working toward your goals. Example: "I understand how you feel, but I will not [or cannot]a€¦a€?Remember to stay focused and not become sidetracked into responding to other issues. By planning the night before, you will also start fresh and focused on the most important tasks for the day. Crossing off completed tasks will give your subconscious mind a tremendous amount of satisfaction.This will also help to maintain your motivation to complete the remaining items on your action list. The glass jar represents the time you have each day, and each item that goes into it represents an activity with a priority relative to its size.
Plan each day around your most important tasks that will propel you toward achieving your goals. These represent tasks that are urgent, and important, but contribute less to important goals. These trivial time-wasters are neither important nor urgent and take you away from working toward high return activities and your goals. Instead of finishing things in a mad rush to meet deadlines, each day will be organized and become more productive and profitable. Once completed, you will feel a sense of accomplishment from making progress on the project. This is because most people aim for the target, and then they keep aiming at the target, but they never seem to fire. The ability to overcome procrastination and tackle the important actions that have the biggest positive impact in your life is a hallmark of the most successful people out there. If you nurture the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks quickly finished, the majority of your time management issues will simply fade away.
If the task is important, ask yourself if it’s really something that you are responsible for doing in the first place. Postponing an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Asking for help from a trusted mentor, supervisor, coach, or expert can give you some great insight on where to start and the steps for completing a project. To reduce the temptation of procrastination, each actionable step on a project should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Assign yourself a deadline for projects and milestones and write it down in your day planner or calendar.
You need to establish a positive working environment that is conducive to getting your work done.
Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else. You don’t want to jump into action based on erroneous information and make the crisis worse. The best approach is to identify the problem, decide on a solution, break it down into parts, and create a timeline. In the example we just looked at, perhaps after gathering project information, you realize you need more details on a particular item. This will also help you deliver accurate, effective communication to others affected by the crisis.
In the case of illness, for example, you could prepare a short contingency plan indicating who will be responsible for your correspondence, projects, and general responsibilities in case you are ill for an extended period.
By eliminating clutter, setting up an effective filing system, gathering essential tools, and managing workflow, you will be well on your way to creating an effective workspace.
Everything else, except for what you are working on at the moment, can and should be filed where it can be retrieved as needed. This will help you to determine whether your incoming mail is business or personal, urgent or trivial.
A calendar (paper or electronic) is the obvious place to record meetings, appointments, and due dates. For each of these areas, one can list the major responsibilities month by month and thereby see glance what tasks must be completed in a given month of the year.

This can be a valuable tool for organizing tasks, identifying patterns, improving workflow, and recording work completed. However, by delegating effectively, you can hugely expand the amount of work that you can deliver.
This is because you are an expert in the field and the person you have delegated to is still learning. There are several different levels of delegation, each with different levels of delegate independence and delegator supervision. Your goal should be to get the delegate to one of the outer three spheres, depending on the task being performed. Activities are then rated based on urgency and importance, priorities assigned, and deadlines set. Goal setting can be used in every single area of your life, including financial, physical, personal development, relationships, or even spiritual. Successful people instead dedicate themselves towards taking responsibility for their lives, no matter what the unforeseen or uncontrollable events.
When crafting your goal statement, always use the word "Ia€? in the sentence to brand it as your own. In the latter case, a more reasonable goal might be to attend a university or trade school that offers courses related to your chosen career.
When you are prioritizing, choose a goal that will have the greatest impact on your life compared to how long it will take to achieve. Simply find a magazine, cut out pictures that resonate with the goal that you want to achieve, glue them onto a piece of poster board, and place that board somewhere that you can view it several times a day. Even if it is something we would like to do but simply don’t have the time for, it can be very difficult to say no. Having a daily plan and committing to it can help you stay focused on the priorities of that particular day. Of course, you will want to review your list in the morning, but you will have a head start on your day. These represent your highest priority projects and deadlines with the greatest value, often important, but not urgent tasks that move you toward your goals. Without proper planning, these tasks are often unexpected, and left unmanaged, can quickly fill your day.
These activities are usually routine or maintenance tasks that do not directly contribute to your goals.
You will also notice yourself spending less time on activities that are of little to no value. Simply break down the project into manageable chunks, block off time to work on the project, and then tackle it with a single-minded focus. You must develop the routine of "eating your frog" before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.
It would then be appropriate to add that step and make sure you are still on track to meet your timeline. Make sure you share these plans with the appropriate people so that they can be prepared as well. For example, you could label files with a one or two word tag and arrange the files alphabetically. Many time management experts agree that the most effective people act on an item the first time it is touched. Delete advertising-related e-mail that you have no interest in, or which you consider spam. Most e-mail systems also allow you to create folders and add keywords or categories to messages, which makes information retrieval much easier. One of the most common ways of overcoming this limitation is to learn how to delegate your work to other people. When you arrange the workload so that you are working on the tasks that have the highest priority for you, and other people are working on meaningful and challenging assignments, you have a recipe for success. Be patient: if you have chosen the right person to delegate to, and you are delegating correctly, you will find that he or she quickly becomes competent and reliable.
We simply have to learn to use our time more wisely by applying some effective time management techniques. According to Brian Tracy’s book Goals, fewer than 3% of people have clear, written goals, and a plan for getting there. Live in the present: the past cannot be changed, and the future is the direct result of what you do right now!
When your goals are personal, you'll be more motivated to succeed and take greater pride in your accomplishments. A large part of goal setting is not just identifying what you want, but also identifying what you must give up in your life in order to get it.
It means being willing to experiment with different methods and ideas to enable you to find the best way to make maximum use of time. Using it helps you overcome the natural tendency to focus on urgent activities, so that you can have time to focus on what's truly important. One approach in dealing with these types of interruptions is to use a Positive No, which comes in several forms.
As well, you are more likely to get things accomplished if you write down your plans for the day.
And because you have a clear vision for dealing with competing priorities, the level of stress in your life will diminish, which will allow you to become even more focused and productive. You must also continually remind yourself that one of the most important decisions you make each day is your choice of what you will do immediately and what you will do later, or postpone indefinitely. Understand that you can delegate some responsibility, but you can’t delegate away ultimate accountability. Routine and recurring tasks are often given less focus to free time to work on tasks that contribute to important goals. Most people are unwilling to make a conscious decision to give up the things in their life necessary to achieve their goals.
The people who are closest to the work are best suited for the task because they have the most intimate knowledge of the detail of everyday work.

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