Time management is a wide and diverse area, with different issues and challenges for each of us. These essential time management strategies form part of a range of training and development services provided by Hunter Global Business Solutions.
1. Make a schedule – and stick to it
- Start improving your time management skills by organising your days and weeks in advance.
- Look at the most important things first
- Identify urgent v important
- Have a task list and cross each one off as you complete it
- Identify the most important tasks from your task list and get them completed first thing in the morning.
- You have the most amount of energy and enthusiasm in the morning. Use it to tackle the biggest and the most challenging tasks first.
- When you accomplish the most important tasks, it will be a lot easier for you to get through the rest of the day.
- Add new tasks to the end rather than getting distracted with them when someone asks you
3. Set some boundaries
- Give yourself timescales to do tasks (e.g. I can have a coffee break in an hour when I’ve finished … )
- You must take a short break between tasks to recharge your mind
- The human brain needs a break after every 90 minutes in order to maintain the highest levels of concentration and motivation
- A major reason why most people put off tasks or constantly delay the delivery of a project or product is that they are running after perfection.
- It’s great that you want to be the best at whatever task you are doing but there are many other tasks in your task list that need completing within the same day
- Stop running after perfection and concentrate more on getting every task completed as efficiently and realistically as possible.
- It’s okay if you don’t want to upset anyone but only agree to deadlines that you can handle in reality.
- If your task list is already full and you receive a request to complete an additional task on the same day, decline it.
- Don’t agree to work on a task or help a colleague until you have some spare time. Keep your priorities straight and simple.
- Don’t let down one person by trying to impress another with a quick turn-around
6. Account for good distractions
- Some distractions cannot be avoided:
- Clients phone and need help / advice
- Know which calls to leave to voicemail and contact them later
7. Stay away from the bad distractions
- The Fridge!!
- The washing …
- Doing chores around the house
- Any reasons not to get on with what you have to do
8. Get some tech help
- If this is something that you are not good at don’t waste time trying to sort it – get someone to do it for you
- Cost! – If you charge £45 per hour and they cost £35 per hour you are still making money
9. Never procrastinate
- We are all good at making excuses…… the sooner we get on with what we have to do the sooner we can have a glass of wine or a nice walk with the dog at the end of the day
10. Limit multi-tasking
- We all think we can do several things at once
- We can achieve lots of things at once if we have little things that need doing – similar things that we can do together
- Have a list and mark them off when completed
- DO NOT try to multi-task with important tasks as you will not give your full focus to them and that means the result will not be as good as it should be
- People who prefer to practice the habit of multitasking find it difficult to concentrate and maintain focus on work when needed
11. Automate recurring tasks
- Tasks that you do every day / week could be automated
- Look at billing / invoicing / accounting software that can ‘match’ recurring tasks and balance for you
12. Review where you are at the end of each day
- Decide if things have been completed or need further work
- Write your task list for the following day – in order of priority
- Task lists are predominantly motivating because it gives a clear idea of what is to be accomplished each day.
- It also shows you what you have achieved each day
- The best time to make a to-do list is at the end of each day because you are in the flow of work and you can easily pick up where you left off the next day.
- When you are making the list, try breaking large projects into small daily tasks to track the progress towards the final goal.
- Be realistic when scheduling task
Whilst general time management principles can be covered in group training, each person’s situation and priorities are best addressed through one-to-one coaching.
To find out more about the range of training and development services available from Hunter Global Business Solutions call us on 01636 701386 or complete our contact form to book a free one-hour consultation with Joanne Ferguson.