I recently talked to 2 business network groups about that little issue of time management. You know what I’m talking about don’t you? That point where you have a million and one things to do, but what feels like no time in the world to do it! I’d be lying if I said I’ve never felt like that. A bit of pressured adrenalin can work wonders for your productivity – at work or at home! Whether it is to finish a report, pack a bag for holiday or get a few jobs done before the children come home from school.
So I thought I’d share with you 5 tips which you might find useful;
1) Focus on your goal and check that your activity will take you closer to it. Funny how before a holiday we manage to get everything done – because we’re focussed, avoiding distractions & interruptions where we can. Changing your email settings, sending calls to voicemail or holding an online meeting will save you both time & money.
2) Time yourself! Note down your activity during a week – paid time, research, networking, surfing the web, etc. Recognise time wasted. Identify time not allocated. Use a timer so you know exactly where your time is going! Your 10 minutes to pay that bill might take twice as long as my 10 minutes! Scheduling less time to do something allows for re-work and the chance to do something else, scheduling more allows for contingencies.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler
3) Make a list. If crossing things off a ‘to do’ list motivates you, then fine! If you tend to do everything except what’s on your ‘to-do’ list, try creating a ‘done list’. Reflect on what you have achieved and commend yourself! Don’t confuse activity with effectiveness.
4) Prioritise. Identify what needs to be done and when. Then either Do it (remember good enough is good enough), Delegate it (to someone who can do it for you), Delay it (until a later date), Delete it (if it adds no value).
“Remember that time is money”. – Benjamin Franklin
5) Use your time wisely. Tackle the big things first (or when you’re most alert) to avoid a last minute rush. Stuck for inspiration? Do something else. Go somewhere else. Breaking away from a difficult task at work or in the home gives your mind time to recharge.
“How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr Seuss
So next time you’re in a blind panic to finish something on time, and you’re wishing you could just press the pause button on life ‘whilst you get this finished’, just think back to these tips and see if making one or two changes to the way you do things might help you too.
“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always time to do the most important thing” – Brian Tracy.