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5 Tips to manage Time Targets

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Hand holding imaginary clock with Steve Jobs quote on time

 

 

Do you use efficient Time Targets?

I ask because during a recent conversation with a friend on Twitter, we discovered that we both use Time Targets although differently. The Twitter friend uses a Monthly planner whereas I use a Weekly one. The beauty is that we both achieve what we set out to do and are on top of our game when it comes to time management. We use Time Targets.

Other common examples of Time Targets include:
  • Forward looking Time Targets in the presentations prepared by listed companies for their investors
  • Business plans whether by start-up companies or those seeking funding for expansion
  • If you are being interviewed for a job, sooner or later you will be asked the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
  • Setting up Professional Development Plans at work – Performance Time Targets for the coming year
The list goes on.

Effective time managers know the value of time. They use time efficiently and effectively to achieve goals. They know that simply setting up SMART goals is not enough. Success lies in the fine print.

Here are 5 suggested tips for managing your own Time Targets.

 

Know your final objective and timeline

In other words, do you know what you really want to achieve and by when? When a business approaches the bank or other investment angels for funding, they know where they are going. They have their ultimate aim chalked out with as many details possible in writing. The business plan shows that they have thought and planned further into the future. They have their projections for the next 5-10 years prepared. They use Time Targets.

 

Tip #1: When setting up your goals, think ahead about what you really want to achieve. Break it into smaller time bytes and min-bytes with milestones to monitor your success.

 

Eliminate your time-wasting activities

The best managers I have met are territorial about their time. They know their time management quadrants on the back of their hand and focus on those activities that are either important but not urgent or ones where they alone can do a task. All other activities are delegated to those who can perform the task competently to achieve results.

 

Tip# 2: Record your activities during the day for 1 week and analyse, which activities were productive and which ones could have been avoided or were simply time fillers. Eliminate those activities from your routine which waste time or can be reduced. A good example is the phone calls from people who call and talk on hours for end with complete disregard for the fact that you might be busy. Politely tell the caller that you are in the middle of something and will call back later. Of course, do make it a point to return the call!

 

 Always check to make sure that your goals meet your needs and plan your time accordingly.

 

Know your time vampires- strategise to get rid of them

Others call them time encroachers; I call them time vampires as they leave me drained of energy!  These vampires think only of themselves and will thoughtlessly take up your time if you allow them to.

This could be in the form of telephone calls or emails. I had one vampire attack a few weeks back where I received 13 emails within the hour and 7 more the next day from someone who was trying to create a business alliance. No second guessing that the vampire was told politely that there were no mutual benefits in the proposed alliance and the potential business deal which if given the gift of time to understand, went down the drain.

 

Tip# 3: An effective Time Target manager learns to use the gifts of instinct and observation powers to size up the people they come into contact with and help them to get to the key point quickly. Be alert when communicating with others, particularly by email otherwise you will get stuck in unnecessary correspondence without achieving much for either party.

 

Do unto others as you would want done unto you

Sound familiar? It is great to complain about time wasting people but how about your own actions? Do you encroach on others time? Do you ramble on and first discuss the state of the nation and other matters before coming to the reason for calling? Are you acting like a time vampire? When you call, do you make it a point to ask the other person if it is a good time to talk? Unless you have Superman vision, you would not know what the other person is doing when you call. If the person is in front of you, observe body language as a cue for timing.

 

Tip# 4: When dealing with others, respect their time. Don’t “drop in” and encroach on the time of a busy person. If the other person finds value in what you are proposing, they will make time to understand the opportunity and discuss it further either right there and then or plan for a more constructive meeting at an opportune time. Win-Win is the name of the game.

 

Be fluid and flexible with your Time Targets

Even the best plans can go wrong or off track. This often happens because new factors come into the picture which was not there when you were earlier setting up your Time Targets.

Companies know that which is why they assess their business plans and targets on a regular basis and tweak their plans to incorporate these new factors. It does not mean that the Time Targets have failed, just that with the passage of time, the targets have shifted and require a revisit..Instead of rigidly sticking to the original plan, they modify it to achieve the ultimate goal – Success.

 

Tip# 5: Understand that you can only impact things that you can control. When factors that you don’t have control over crop up, then the best way to deal with them is to make action plans that play around these factors. Keep your focus on the ultimate goal at all times. Be fluid and flexible willing to change in the light of circumstances.

These are just 5 tips. There are lots of others than we learn from experience. Do you have any of your own? Please do share in the comments box below!

 

 

5 time target tips

Time Target tips  

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Have you checked my new Kindle book on Goal Achievement Simplified? It will help you to get your goals done in a timely manner. Click the link below the book cover to learn more.

 

Goal Achievement Simplified

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Written by: Vatsala Shukla

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32 Responses to “5 Tips to manage Time Targets”

  1. I left this comment with my G+ share that ‘you walk the talk’. These are excellent tips that can be applied to any endeavor. Personally, have always had a good handle on time management and never liked recording it or using a system. As a self-employed business owner I can see that I can still get everything done because I can put in long hours if I choose to. My time target is more on a weekly basis & daily. Not sure I can go the monthly route although I have a yearly editorial & strategy calendar to refer to & work from.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Lucky you, Roslyn. I think your sense of self-discipline and focus has created an Inner GPS system which makes sure that you stay on top of your game and time targets!

  2. Ian Campbell says:

    Great tips Vatsala. I always seem to have problems with time targets so your post will help me set them up better. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Managing our time drainers is so important in our 24/7 world where distractions are truly taunting us hourly. I find I do jump from one thing to the next, depending on the day and the amount of projects I seem to have going at the same time. I generally commit to completing the most pressing items, yet sometimes they all seem equally as top priority. Thanks for the tips Vatsala, as I really see how I could use some more strategic time management tools. I do use a weekly daytimer (a real book which I write in vs. an online planner) and find it helpful for booking times to meet and talk with people and to get an overview of my weeks coming up, as well as the ones that have past. Using our time wisely also means less stress which I definitely see as a big plus, as keeping stress at bay, is key to staying healthy and peaceful!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I can relate to wanting to complete the most pressing items on the list which appear to have the same top priority level, Beverley. When that happens, I take a step back and ask myself 2 questions. First, which task will make things easier for me later and secondly, assess those competing priorities on an urgent basis. A winner usually emerges and I move on. 🙂

  4. Deb Nelson says:

    Great post, Vatsala. It’s so easy for me to follow a shiny object down the social media hole and suddenly realize I’ve wasted an hour. Having time targets identified and being aware of pitfalls help save the day:)

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Deb. Engaging on social media without a plan makes it a very nasty time vampire. I actually use a timer to monitor my time on social media and if I feel like just surfing, then I do it in the evening as a form of relaxation. We can have the best of both worlds. 🙂

  5. Tamuria says:

    These are great tips. Time really is our most precious commodity and of one the one most squandered. I think it’s great to write down goals with a definite time plan – I’ve yet to do this regarding my writing. I believe it makes one more focused and determined. The most challenging thing is dealing with the time vampires. Thanks for the tips. 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Time vampires are the worst, Tamuria, and the best way to deal with them is to set up firm boundaries. But when we ourselves are the time vampires, then it is time to reflect on the underlying cause of our wasting time and procrastinating and taking steps to help ourselves. Glad you found the tips useful.

  6. Lisa says:

    Time management is so important, I love the word time vampires. I use to have a boss that would come in and tell me her family issues, things I did not need to know, she would go on and on…I just wanted to get to work..so frustrating…I was a captive audience by a time vampire, it was draining and wasted precious time for me at work,
    It is hard when I plan, and things go array, I need to learn to be more flexible, it is funny how one thing can snowball, but I am getting better.
    Great post!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      We seem to have bossy time vampires in common, Lisa. 🙂 I had a boss who would turn any review of client files into a chance to give me discourses on spirituality because he had found out that I was into TM and spiritual. LOL. I know he meant well and I learned to handle it and get the work done with a few tips from my other colleagues who had the same problem with him. Sometimes, these poor vampires don’t realize that they are effecting the efficiency of their team.

  7. I am glad you mentioned time targets can change and we need to be flexible and accepting of these changes. I used to get frustrated and saw as failure when I could not reach the set targets because of circumstances outside my control.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on people who don’t respect your time or even theirs! I thought it wasn’t nice of me to say I have something else to do and I felt bad to say no to these time suckers. Then I had to pay by working late.

    So good to see your tips, Vatsala! I know how to handle these situations much better now.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      The Serenity Prayer is one of my favorites, Delia, because it reminds me to accept what I cannot change and focus on those things that I can change and which are within my control.

      Sometimes, we do need to make time for others and give them priority over our important tasks but it depends upon the situation and circumstances. But Time Vampires? No time for them. 🙂

  8. Joe Butka says:

    Great tips, time management has always been something hard to get into and staying on track with. I have found if I don’t write it down and stick to it, eventually I am out of time.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Joe. I pride my brain to remember things but it is so easy to go off track and run after shiny or not so productive tasks that I prefer writing things down and have a plan.

  9. Kaz says:

    Great advice! Know your final objective and timeline is very important. We all have the same hours, 24 hours, each day, so we need to know final objective, what really want to achieve and by when. if you don’t set the timeline, your task will be spread out. Thanks for sharing great tips, Vatsala 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      A big Thank You Kaz for eloquently summarizing the essence of time management for effective goal achievement! We often forget where we are going with our tasks and end up wasting time on not so important items.

  10. Thank you Vatsala for this awesome and very informational post on time management 🙂 I know for me if I do not manage my time daily I get so confused lol Always need to set time for everything that needs to get done 🙂 Thanks for these awesome tips!!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Welcome, Joan! Writing down the priority tasks helps to keep control over time rather than the other way around. There are so many claims on our time and attention that we need to take control from the word ‘Go’. 🙂

  11. Beth Niebuhr says:

    Knowing what you really want to achieve and by when is key. Then making it happen by getting rid of time wasters and at the same time, not wasting other people’s time – excellent strategies. And of course we need to modify our time targets from time to time. Good advice!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Beth. I’m happy you brought up the point of being flexible in modifying our time targets if required. That reduces overwhelm and stress too.

  12. Karen says:

    #2 is a good one. So important to know what your time wasters are. I know several of mine, but want to go through the process so see whatelse I need to work on.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That is a good plan, Karen. Baby steps and working on the biggest time mismanagement source will free up a lot of your time for productive and creative activities.

  13. One of the things I’ve found out in my time management group on Facebook is that too many people allow themselves to be distracted. The phone rings, they answer it. They have their email open all day long and stop what they’re doing to look at it and respond. They have a bunch of browser windows open that they don’t need to have open. You have to remember that when you allow distractions and interruptions, you are giving up control of your day. Good post!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Jackie. The distractions you’ve mentioned are very common and I think we are all guilty of practicing one or the other at some point. 🙂 I try to keep away from Shiny Bright Objects which are a Procrastinator’s Delight. 🙂

  14. Good for me to reread this post. I think I have a good internal GPS developed over time. When you work full time, raise 2 kids, run a household and are involved in community, you need to be able to manage time well. I developed the skill out of necessity. I am almost never late, can plan large meals to be ready simultaneously, get my daily and weekly tasks done & know how to delegate. Fortunately I have a very supportive hubby who now runs the household so I can devote my time to my business.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I can see you run a tight ship, Roslyn. 🙂 Many of us learn effective time management skills out of necessity. Having a supportive spouse who chips in on the home front so that you can explore other facets of your personality and talent is a blessing. <3

  15. I have been struggling with time for the past year. And, of course, it’s about more than just the time. In my case, I end up feeling completely powerless over time. Your tips are spot-on for taking my personal power back. Your post is a great reminder that I can choose to do this.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      We all have those times when we struggle with time (pun not intended 🙂 . I went through that earlier this year while managing my family pet’s sudden hind leg paralysis and helping her get back on her 4 feet even when the vet had more or less given up on her ever walking. Then I remembered a saying I had learned during my stint with KPMG in Jamaica where my friends used to tell me to dance around the rain drops and tried that achieving a lot more than if I had actually planned my time. You’ve hit the nail on the head, Jane about taking our personal power back and remembering that we can choose to keep our power or let it go based on circumstances. More time for you to get your goals done!

  16. melanie says:

    A lot of people in my industry often comment on how much I accomplished and they ask me how I do it. And honestly, it has more to do with becoming flexible. It made all the difference for me. I used to get upset and stressed out if I didn’t get everything done on my list. Learning how to be fluid and flexible really does work.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Being open to the reality that there will often be mitigating circumstances that can affect our achieving our plans for the day or a project and learning to work around them and practicing flexibility will ensure that we get the goals that really matter done. I cover this aspect in my book Goal Achievement Simplified where priorities are set and the goal seeker sets SMART Goals.

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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