Tried and Tested Time Management
A few months back I was listening to a speaker on time management. As he gave very simple and practical tips I saw worldly wise Directors and Executives making more notes than I had seen them making during any of our speaker sessions for a very long time.
The surprise for me wasn’t that they were hungry for help with managing their information overload, ways to balance their lives more effectively or techniques to plan ahead in order to be more productive, but that they weren’t already familiar with these quick tools and techniques.
I know that for some people, having any amount of tools and tips will not be effective until they also address their mind set, including their values and beliefs. But for others it‘s a case of trying lots of different strategies and seeing what works best for them.
Over the years I’ve found a few simple things that work well for me and I use them consistently without even thinking. For example:
- Each morning I ask myself…if I could only achieve one thing today what would it be? If I could only achieve one more thing what would it be? And so on until I have 3 things. I do the same process at the beginning of the week and the beginning of the month. It makes sure I focus on important things that don’t have a deadline.
- Just get the file out. This comes from Mark Forster. When I am putting something off, I tell myself, I’ll just get the file out, or just read the spec or whatever the smallest first step is. If I do that and don’t want to do anymore that’s okay. Although invariably I end up saying something like, now I will just make a few notes etc.
- A “done list!” Much more satisfying than a “to do list” especially for those days when I am doing bits and bats and it feels like I’m not making progress.
- Schedule important and not urgent tasks into my calendar and commit to them as if they are my most important client. This includes things like self-care, and time with the children as well as work projects. Covey’s “Big rocks!”
- Ask yourself. Does this task need doing at all? Does it need doing now? Does it need me to do it?
What are your favourite tips, tools and techniques for managing yourself and your time? Whether it’s about managing your emails, planning your day, using technology well, or getting over procrastination, I would love to hear them and will compile them into a free e-book that everyone can use.