Here are my Top 7 Time Mangement Tips. Time management is on my mind this week as I was invited to speak at The Inspire Network NE Darlington meeting yesterday. The topic I chose to speak about was Time Management and the feedback from the attendees was fantastic. Thank you ladies! Now I’d like to share the top 7 Time Management Tips that came out of that meeting.Effective time management is not just about time management for time management’s sake, it’s about solving problems. So that’s how this list is structured:
1: Reduce Overwhelm
We’ve all been here, sat looking blankly at our computer screen or to-do list with absolutely no idea where to start. The way to resolve this is prioritisation. I don’t use the Low/Medium/High method because it cons you into thinking everything is urgent. I use an ABCD split: A = Urgent/Important. B = Not Urgent/Important. C = Urgent/Not Important. D = Not Urgent/Not Important. By prioritising your ToDo list you can see what needs to be done first, by when and how much impact there would be if there was a reason you couldn’t deliver on time. No more overwhelm!
For more information about how to work out what goes in what category, even more time management tips and my list of must-have software to make your life easier check out this month’s newsletter.
2: Prevent Procrastination
Procrastination comes in 3 types: Task avoidance, fear of delegation and “faffing”. So the 3 solutions that go with this are:
- Eat the frog first then reward yourself
- Give the frog to someone who thinks it’s a peach (delegate it to someone who’ll enjoy that task you hate!)
- RescueTime – a monitoring program that can not only tell you how much time you spent on Pintrest today it can actually be set to prevent you accessing sites like Facebook/Twitter/Pintrest at certain times of the day (great for those of us with less than perfect will power).
3: How do I say No?
Guess what? This is your business. If the job your prospective client wants you to do or the commission they want you to take on isn’t up your alley just say no. You have permission. Set your goals. Set your boundaries and stick to both. You’ll be so much happier (and productive) as a result.
4: How do I stop my boss/client from driving me
This is part of 3 but also separate. If you’re an employee your boss by employing you has empowered you implictly to do your job, even if some days it doesn’t feel that way. Don’t be afraid to sometimes challenge whether they are actually allowing you to do your job by pushing you to always fit to them. With clients I find that if expectations are set from day one and always met it prevents them from attempting to drive me, the problem comes when I forget that I set the goals, I set the boundaries and it’s my responsibility to stick to them.
5: Destroy Distractions
For those of us who work from home, coffee shops, shared offices and actually in nearly every working environment there is distractions can seriously affect our time management. One useful technique is setting specific times to do specific tasks and ensuring that the environment supports the ability to concentrate (this is particularly important when working from home with helpful little people!). Don’t forget the tip in point 2 either, if your distraction is social media, either ban yourself from it or turn notifications off (including desktop ones) for at least some of the day. It’s amazing how much focus you’ll get back.
6: Achieving a Positive Work/Life Balance
Well here I get controversial because I agree with Dr. Ivan Misner who says, there is no such thing as a work/life balance. The reason for that is work is part of life, it exists within your life and the only person who can even judge if advice on your personal work/life balance is helpful, is you. So again, Set Goals, Set Boundaries, Stick To Both. What is a healthy balance for one person would make another person unhappy, what works fantastically for you, your business and your family wouldn’t work for me. That’s OK. We’re all unique. We’re all special. We all know what it is that we need. You have my permission, go and get it.
7: How do I make life easier?
Well time management isn’t a magic wand, but by prioritising, scheduling, setting goals and reviewing your progress against those goals you will find that you become more efficient and that will make life somewhat easier. Consider outsourcing, create systems that you can apply (and teach others for when you want some time off), use software to streamline and automate tasks for you, network with your peers and share tips and techniques, call me and see how I can help you.