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What is time management?

Time Management definition

“The ability to use one’s time effectively and productively to accomplish your actions and goals’, whether they are in the business environment, home environment and/or from a social perspective”

Every activity we do requires planning and executing efficiently, for example, a simple task such as picking up your child from school, you must consider certain factors (which are beyond your control) such as

  • traffic
  • road works
  • distance
  • your other commitments etc.

Most of us have heard these popular quotes such as “Time is of essence”; “Time gone cannot be re-called”; “Time flies” and “Time is money” etc.  I am sure most of you will resonate with these quotes.  Let me share a little secret with you all: “Time is in YOUR control”.  It is a myth that you cannot manage your time. Many women who know how to manage their time well have gone on to become CEO’s, MD’s or occupy high position(s) in the corporate world.

Being a Director of several companies (engaging different industries – Health, Construction and Food), managing my home environment and looking after my child, many people ask me how I manage to get everything done? In my interaction with some MomBosses at various events, I have heard some saying “sorry I was delayed because it took me longer to complete an order for a client then I expected”, or “I feel bad because although I planned my day well, I was not able to deliver the goods on time to my clients/customers” or “I am so stressed I have so much to do” etc.

This prompted me to write this article on “Time Management” so that we can achieve the desired outcome:

1) Get organized

2) Protect one’s time

3) Achieve through goal management

4) Achieve through being focussed

5) Recover from bad habits

6) Being able to ignore background noise

7) Juggle all your roles effectively

8) Establish your support structure

What does it all boil down to? Planning, Prioritising, and Organising yourself because “Time Management = Life Management”.

What are the common mistakes we make in managing our time?

We lead busy lives, and we get pulled in all sorts of directions during which we –

  • make some errors in judgment
  • over promise and cannot deliver
  • digress from the task at hand
  • have unrealistic expectations
  • get annoyed and blame everyone else for our failure
  • feel sorry for ourselves (seeing ourselves as a victim)

The list can go on and on.

Some of the common mistakes we make in these types of situations are:

1. Not adhering to our To-Do list (this list, in essence, should be split into a calendar week, then filtered down to tasks to be done during the day)

  1. Not setting personal goals, for example
  • I want to attend four networking events in 2020
  • I want to learn a new language this year, so I am going to enroll myself in a language course
  • I am going to manage a smaller project portfolio, so I do not compromise on my quality of work
  1. Not prioritizing work
  2. Not being able to multi-task
  3. Being too hands-on and not delegating work (so you end up doing it yourself)
  4. Not making time for your team (it could be a work team, but also your family)
  5. Taking on too much work (not being able to say No, because you may lose business/clients)
  6. Failing to manage distractions (a friend pops in because she was in the area for a cup of tea, your mobile phone keeps sounding as messages come through and you just must read them there and then)
  7. Not using the correct tools and applications that can support your work
  8. Procrastination (is the thief of time, where you have developed the art of putting things off habitually, delay tactics)

So how do you re-program / reinvent yourself to become this super-efficient, organized person?

The following guidelines genuinely work well if you stay committed –

STEP 1 –

Set your Goals: What do you want to achieve? Examples: What do you want to achieve in your life? What do you want to learn? How do you want your relationships to be? etc. Having a clear goal will help you to make the correct choices.

STEP 2 –

Create a Schedule: This schedule can be done at the beginning of each month or week and can comprise

  • any meetings you have scheduled
  • delivery dates for your services
  • drop of and pick up times for your child from school
  • coffee / catch up with family and friends
  • “me” time to do some creative work on your own etc.

Now you can see how your week is panned out and what FREE slots you may have.

This way you have identified how much of your time you want to spend on work, yourself, with your family and friends etc.

STEP 3 –

Create a To-Do List: This usually takes between ten and thirty minutes and sets you up for the day. Write down everything you must do that day (that you can remember).  Prioritize what you should do first because a task may depend on another person or activity. Prioritization is also when you eliminate or avoiding tasks that you should not be doing.

STEP 4 –

Block time or Contingency planning: Sometimes things do not always go the way you expect. Unpredictable, unexpected things can happen including unplanned interruptions.

STEP 5 –

Being Self Aware: We may work better in the evenings while others are more productive in the mornings.

You may work better on your own than in a team or vice versa. You must have a good understanding of your likes, dislikes and requirements in order to perform outstandingly. This may take some trial and error but you will recognize your own behavior pattern. Once you do, it is the most powerful time management skills as it allows you to work without negativity and resistance.

STEP 6 –

Self Motivation: Only you have the will to do, no one can force you to do something that you have no desire doing.

STEP 7 –

Be focussed: Is made of two skills –

  • being able to focus on the most important tasks at hand
  • being able to not get distracted with other things you still must do

STEP 8 –

Take Breaks: Sometimes we have so much on our plate that we forget to drink and eat. You are productive if you have fuelled yourself. Take a break, have a snack, get some fresh air, sit outside in the sun for fifteen minutes, reflect, de-clutter your mind, have a cup of coffee etc. Come back relaxed and good to go again.

I want to learn more about Time Management.

I will be running monthly courses on ‘Time Management’ for Small businesses to help you develop the right skill set to run your businesses with effective planning, organization, and prioritization.  It is a single-day training course (09h00 – 15h30) which will be theory and practical sessions (classroom and group).  The objectives of the time management training will hopefully enable you to:

  • understand the concept of Time Management
  • recognize the tools that you can use to help you plan and organize yourself better
  • note the common mistakes you make in managing your time effectively
  • develop your time management skills

During the training course, you will receive a delegate pack (copy of the presentation and practical session worksheets), lunch and an organizer (a time planning tool).

For more information on the course, please contact Arv Kalsi.

Director of Aratus Health Limited, Director of Continuum International

Management / Strategic Consultant for the Healthcare Industry for new Ventures in Healthcare.

Tel: 0716 898 117

Article written by:

Arv Kalsi


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