Time Management Tips
Posted on 19th July 2022 at 16:44
Why is Time Management important?
It is good for you and your health. Remember…work life balance is key! Practising good time management skills results in higher levels of productivity, more energy, less stress, the ability to get things done, positive relationships, and increased self-esteem.
If you are in the office for eight hours of the day how much time do you spend working on those important projects or tasks vital to your role? How do you achieve more by making those hours work for you?
Are you always busy but never seem to get to the end of the list?
What can you do?
1. Clarify and prioritise your objectives and goals to utilise time more effectively
2. Understand and utilise time management tools and techniques
How can you do it?
We don’t really manage time – we manage ourselves and our life events in relation to time. Finding strategies that work best for you depend on your personality, culture, circumstances and priorities but you must look critically at yourself and evaluate your use of time. See our top tips below.
Prioritise - You should start your day knowing your most important tasks (set them the night before or first thing). Think of the 4 D’s – what can you do, delay, delegate or drop. Categorise tasks as urgent, not urgent, important, not important
Know your time zappers - be honest on what you are spending your time on / wasting your time on. Write down how you spend your time for a day or week to identify this.
Eat That Frog – don’t put things off / procrastinate. If there’s something you’re dreading or putting off, try doing it first. That sense of achievement will carry through to your day.
Think about how much time each task needs – how much effort do you spend on smaller tasks? Use the Pareto Principle (80/20) to schedule your time, complete important tasks, set realistic deadlines and improve your focus.
Try to complete one task at a time (without distractions, where possible). Use the Pomodoro Technique – set a time limit and try to stay focused for the whole time on one task only. You’ll be surprised how difficult it is at first! Multitasking has proven to be ineffective.
Set start and end times for activities. We all work better with a deadline.
Go for a walk to kick-start your creativity and clear your mind
Bulk similar activities together in your day or week.
If something is worrying you and taking your attention, write it down and come back to it later.
Work out when you perform best – morning / afternoon. Schedule the boring, routine or easy tasks for when you know you are low in energy. You can lift your alertness at low times using exercise or stretching in your chair or alerting drinks like coffee. Leaving the challenging tasks, or those that require the most concentration, for your alert time of day.
Take breaks after ‘deep’ work.
Take yourself to a quiet room – minimise distractions.
“Just checking your email” can throw you off from your original task for longer. It takes time to get your attention back. You don’t have to reply to emails straight away - or you might get distracted by something that seems urgent. Is it really important? And is it as important as what you were doing?
Use colour to highlight different tasks in your calendar.
Try and keep some free time for unexpected events or situations that may arise - Only block out 70% of your day, remember to leave some time for yourself!
Decide what planning tool suits you best. Keep everything in one place – goals, projects, lists etc - Ensure you sync your paper diary and electronic diary and write things down to remember them. It’s easy to promise to do something and completely forget.
Why not try something new this week?
Think about what you could do differently in your week. Review how you spend your time
What barriers/distractions/time wasters can you identify?
How are you going to set your priorities?
What time management techniques could you give a go?
For more information, please look into:
The 4 D’s of Time Management (Eisenhower Matrix)
80/20 (Pareto Principle)
Single Tasking (Pomodoro Technique)
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