Recommit Yourself to Better Time Management
Happy New Year! I love the beginning of a new year because it feels as if anything is possible. Have you noticed how every year seems to go by faster and faster? As a result, it is also a perfect time to reassess how you will make the most of the time that you have. To do that requires a recommitment to better time management. I can hear the moaning already! I know for many of us time management appears to be either elusive or arduous. I assure you that it need not be either of those. Below are a few simple tips to ease your pain:
1. Be clear about what your goals are every day. Determine daily what your top three most important tasks are that you need to accomplish and write them down. Just the act of writing them down creates a sense of commitment. Then make sure you accomplish them no matter what before days end.
2. Start your day off right. How you start your day matters. How different is your day when it starts off relaxed and unhurried versus in a frenzy? Allow yourself 15 extra minutes in the morning to ensure that you have time to get yourself centered.
3. Use your power hours. We all are prewired to perform our best at certain times of the day or night. Determine when you are at peak performance and then make sure that you do work that requires your greatest attention and focus during those hours. It will take you less time to accomplish the task and the quality will be better too.
4. Bite the bullet and do your most difficult task first. The longer you put off doing the task that you dread, the more energy you are draining from yourself.
5. Plan your day before you get to your desk. Use the ride home from work to plan for the following day. If you aren’t doing this you are wasting time just getting yourself acclimated rather than getting a jump start.
6. Chunk it down. If you have a daunting large project on your plate, break it down into manageable chunks and block off the necessary time you will need to meet the future deadlines on your calendar.
7. Own your calendar. You are the master of your time. If you know that you have recurring tasks that need to be done weekly, monthly or quarterly block your calendar ahead to anticipate meeting those deadlines as well.
8. Limit distractions. While open environments are great for collaboration there are times when we all need quiet space to meet the demands on our time. Find a conference room or empty space in the office where you can get that detailed work done.
9. Question calendar invites. How often do you blindly accept every calendar invite that gets sent to you and then find out that you are in meetings that you really did not need to be in? It is perfectly acceptable to question what the meeting is about if there is no agenda attached and to further ask what the expectation is of your attendance. This will either help you to prepare better or you may find you are not the right person to attend and buy back time in your day.
10. Believe that you are a good time manager. Sometimes we get in our own way by reaffirming to ourselves that we just aren’t good at time management and by doing so limit our own possibilities.
Time management isn’t a big hairy monster. By using these simple tips daily you will see that you can have more work life balance and achieve what you set out to do with less stress and more enjoyment!