Effective Time Management – how to get a better start to finish your day.

It’s a funny thing Time Management because we know that we need to do it and get it right to be more effective, but we never have the time. And Time Management takes up time!

The thing is though we do need some Time Management because  at the rate we are going there won’t be a time when you can take a beer on the deck, kick up your feet and reflect on the peaceful scenery (I’ve the view from Intundla’s  pool bar in mind here). We are so consumed every waking hour by unfinished tasks, deadlines, emails piling up unanswered and self-imposed commitments that some well-deserved time out after a job well done seems like a pipe dream. By the way at Intundla Conference Venue we encourage you to break away from the trappings of the mobile office so you can focus on the job at hand. And if this ‘job’ on hand happens to involve taking some time out and relaxing with a beer on the pool deck, we’re not going to fault you.

OK so we have acknowledged that Time Management takes time but by squeezing some Time Management skills into our already overloaded workload we may be able to come out of the day marginally ahead.  Keep implementing the skills and one fine day we may well see you on our pool deck just relaxing enjoying a cold one.

Start the day with focus

Spend a few moments getting your bearings so you know what to do. This also reduces stress and anxiety or can make it worse depending on your day ahead. At least you’ll have a clear idea about what you are in for…

Get organised

Now that you know the structure of the day, week, month, etc.  put it into your calendar. Get that fancy smart phone working for you! Read the manual if you have to!

Upgrade your technology

Nothing can grind you to a (teeth) grinding halt like a slow or faulty computer, laptop, software, etc.

Keep yourself topped up

When facing deadlines it is easy to either forget to eat and drink or to unconsciously consume vast quantities of junk and coffee. It is better for your concentration and state of mind to drink water and snack on fresh foods and protein than to discover you’ve just consumed a jumbo party pack of doughnuts and a 2 litre pitcher of coffee.

Cut out the blabber

Learn how to get to the heart of the matter first. If there is some time left over you can give the talkers some free air time while you use these moments productively to pack up your stuff and head for the door.

Pass it on

Don’t be a hoarder –delegate and if there is no one below you confer.

Don’t take your work home

If you spend too much time focused on one thing, you will get fatigued. The brain needs stimulation and this is achieved by altering tasks. Conversely if you are overstimulated the brain needs to cool off. Either way find some time to relax.

Don’t hit the bottle (well not too hard anyway)

It is nice to have a drink after work, to help you unwind, let off some steam, loosen you up, or whatever your excuse for serial drinking is. But a few too many will slow you down, dampen your brightness and decrease your tolerance for stress.

Go to bed earlier

If you are taking your work home it is so easy to spend the evening plugging away at the job.  This leads to mild insomnia because the brain does not get a chance to switch off and leaves you tired the next day and less effective, leading to a vicious cycle.

And if all else fails … KEEP CALM and visit Intundla Conference Venue near Pretoria.

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How to run effective Meetings and Conferences

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

         Benjamin Franklin

Most meetings lack in the arena of inspiration, they are habitually boring and unproductive. Some conventions get the folks involved all excited but have no follow through. Your meetings don’t have to be this way. Here are some ways for making your conferences count.

1. Begin with a Purpose
Decide first what it is that you want to achieve. If you don’t begin with the end in mind your meeting will fail to have the desired structure and you won’t achieve much. Too many meetings are held for the sake of meeting instead of being outcome based. Make every assembly matter – or don’t meet at all.

2. Micro-Meetings are Time Savers
Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice-president of search products uses micro meetings very effectively. When setting aside your normal meeting time cut it into smaller segments of 5 – 10 minutes each. Instead of including everyone in the meeting unnecessarily rather have a small meeting with the key people on a particular subject or project.  Using micro meetings also means employees don’t have to wait for a week or so before being able to meet on a pressing matter.

3. The Importance of Agendas
This follows on from having a purpose before the meeting. Make sure all the relevant persons have the agenda beforehand. Even though agendas should be flexible they do ensure that individuals think about what they want to achieve in the meeting and help people to stay focused.

4. Stick to the Clock
Cover only what needs to be covered and stick to the relevant topics and discussion points on the agenda. Own your meeting, take charge and keep your meeting moving forward. When you find someone pontificates, the best way to deal with it is to acknowledge the person’s experience with the subject but to suggest raising the issue at a later stage. Discourage politics, use data. Get the constructive input you need from everyone present. Avoid favouritism in the decision making process but make use of facts and data instead. Use timers in your meetings to impose structure.

5. Have an Action plan for moving Forward
It is vital that everyone leaves knowing the next step and when the next meeting will take place. Assign individuals to keep track of the progress of things decided during the meeting. Keep everyone involved updated on the development of the various projects. Deliberate action and delegation ensures follow through, without this the meeting was a waste of time.

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