Little known time management strategies
1. Write a ‘to do’ list. It really helps to get a clear picture of how your day should be panning out. Prioritise tasks according to urgency and tackle them methodically. I mark them as follows:
A if they’re super important and mission critical – they HAVE to be completed today. (Crisis management)
B if they need to be completed today
C if they’re not urgent for today, but it would be great if they were completed
D a nice-to-have completed
2. Beware of distractions. Be aware of what distracts you – and don’t let it. If you know you’re likely be interrupted by emails, social media, instant messaging, phone calls, or the TV then simply turn them off. You can even disconnect from the Internet to remove further temptation.
3. Schedule activity. For example, schedule times to check your email. Rather than checking it constantly, which wastes time, drains brainpower and can cause stress, check in at two or three set times in the day. I usually do this as soon as I wake up (7am), then at lunchtime, and again at the end of the day. Operating in this way frees up so much time. I also schedule tasks by putting tasks in my Outlook or Google calendar. I’m a big fan of ‘what gets scheduled gets done!’
[box]What gets scheduled gets done! TWEET THIS[/box]
4. Break down tasks. If you’re working on a big project break it down into manageable tasks that can be completed in a few hours or less. See each task through to the end before starting the next. Not only is this more efficient, it’s also much more satisfying. I used to like using a project scheduler for this task. It also felt great ticking things off the list when they were completed.
5. Give yourself a break. It’s impossible to maintain concentration for long periods. Ideally I’d say take a rest or break after 60 to 90 minutes of work. Get up from your desk, make a drink, take a walk, have a chat, look away from your computer screen and allow your mind to recharge.
6. Say “no” more often. When you say “yes” to do something, you’re actually saying “no” to something else. We all like to help people out, but consider what you’re doing. Sometimes by helping out a friend you’re actually penalising your own activity for time is money. And, when you’re starting out in business you really need all the time you can get as there’s so much to do. So, I’m not saying don’t help others out, just be aware of what you’re doing more. Doing this, is the hardest task for me!
Finally, I’m going to leave you with this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
In the comments below, tell me how you deal with managing your time and what your biggest challenge is with it. Let me know what techniques you use to improve your productivity. Let me know what action you’ll take as a result of watching and reading this post too. I’d love to hear.
Thank you, as always for watching, reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!
With love and gratitude – as always,
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