How to Manage Time Effectively – What Does it Mean?
It’s an oft heard phrase and skill – whether in job descriptions, event management or just your day to day life. But what do people mean and why is it so important? It’s a skill that can ensure efficiency and productivity, and can, at its best help to reduce stress. It’s all about knowing how much time you have to start with, and therefore how much you can give away to certain tasks. It encompasses that other frequently cited skill of prioritisation – recognising which tasks are the most important and tackling things in a logical sequence to get the best result. Another key element is efficiency. If you are more efficient, you will hopefully be able to manage your time more effectively, and, looking at it from the another angle, the better you manage your time, the more efficient you will be. Good time management skills can therefore help you to divide up your day effectively, to recognise how much you can achieve in a day, set yourself targets and meet your deadlines. But, despite the way the term is bandied around, it’s not an easy skill to master. Here we’ll discuss the importance of time management, as well as some tips for how to improve time management and a few time management tools and techniques.
If you’re persuaded by the importance of time management, you need to start by considering the reality of how long tasks take. In this regard, being optimistic won’t help anyone – it’s essential to be realistic. You need to be honest about every single moment as the basic principle of time management. If you really want to master how to manage time effectively, you need to take into account not only the time taken to do certain tasks, but those few minutes between tasks that might at first glance seem unimportant – for example, the walking time between two areas of the venue, or the time needed to set up and arrange table decorations for a party. Always give yourself more time than you think, as it’s practically guaranteed that you will underestimate! And too little time to do everything that needs doing means more stress for you.
Plan and Make a List
If you have committed to the first rule above, to be completely honest about how long every task will take, the next of our time management tools and tips is to make a list. A plan, with a detailed breakdown of exactly what needs to be done or what will be happening at every moment will be super helpful. Not only for you, but for anyone else who is behind the scenes at the event, whether they are helping out, or doing a speech or a talk at the event. Being able to share a detailed itinerary not only looks confident and well-organised to others, it will help you feel more confident and organised too! It will go a long way to eliminating any panic. Knowing you can always take a look at your detailed (very detailed) schedule and see exactly where you should be and what you should be doing at any given moment is extremely reassuring in moments of chaos and stress.
Readjust and be Flexible
Now, bearing in mind what we’ve just said above, there has to be some wiggle room. A rigid plan is a good place to start but if things start getting behind you risk feeling like things are out of control and like it’s all falling apart. Instead, recognise the importance of time management, and factor in setbacks and obstacles and delays. If you’re accepting of the likelihood of unexpected issues cropping up, then you’ll be more prepared to face them when they inevitably happen. When thinking about how to improve time management, think about what might go wrong, put in place any backup plans if possible, and mentally prepare yourself for how to quickly react to difficulties. If you’re good in a crisis then this will probably be where you naturally shine! If an unprecedented situation brings you out in a cold sweat then firstly, plan twice as hard, and secondly think abut contingency plans if, for example a speaker turns up late, or a seating plan has to be changed last minute. It’s impossible to predict everything, but if you at least have a potential rescue operation, you’ll been in a good position to tackle anything. And remember, if it’s a party, everyone should be having a good time anyway. Something that might seem major to you, will probably go unnoticed by everyone else at the event!
Succeed and Meet Your Deadlines
The importance of time management is a key part of your event planning. It’s an important skill to master for your own benefit, but also for the impression of confidence and reliability you impart on others working at, or attending, the event. Learning how to manage time effectively often comes with practice – the more experience you have, the better you will become at learning the ways that work best for you. And with improvements in these skills you’ll find yourself getting ahead of deadlines, feeling calmer and more in control!
We like to think that HeadBox is a great tool for helping you manage your time in the most effective way possible. We have selected some of the best venues from London and around the UK for a whole range of events, and we’ve brought the process of searching, booking and paying for a venue online, making it quicker and easier. That’s one less thing to worry about!
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