I have struggled with time management all my life always citing it as a weakness, primarily so I’d always be working on it.
Having read extensively and taken a lot of advice I thought I’d share the best of it here and hope that it will help others get more “stuff” done in a world that full of disruption and distractions every single day.
Some of these will seem hilarious to those that know me, especially saying “No” which can a real challenge as I am hard wired to help people in any manner of ways.
I love the saying by Mahatma Gandhi “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” …… I am still looking but I digress, back to my time management tips……
- Know where you are going, set clearly defined goals – weekly / monthly / quarterly/ yearly. I try to use the SMART principle when building my own plans and break the bigger ones down into actionable steps
- Schedule your time a week in advance in blocks of 30 – 60mins. Cal Newport “Deep Work” talks about structuring your week / month time to protect the attention required to concentrate – click here for a summary of this book.
- Prioritise the day before planning the 3 – 5 things you “MUST DO” the next day. Some of the best ever sleeps I have had are after I planned my to do list for the next day – it frees your brain, relaxes you & lets you go to sleep without any anxiety about what I “should” have done.
- Manage distractions – switch off notifications and say “No”. Technology is a killer here, make some rules with yourself and your family and hold yourself to them. Also, try to increase the distance between your brain and your mouth when someone asks you for something, consider if it REALLY fits into your capability, capacity and plans before committing.
- Off load non core tasks – delegate or outsource, refer to point 4 above, better still don’t do it at all. More recently a good friend of mine has shown me the value of questioning why I did a particular activity. My initial answer was because I had always done it which now stops me in my tracks, BOOM!!!
- Manage your energy around peak times, whether you are a morning or late evening person, as Aristotle says “Know thyself” and work with it.
So it’s six, sorry……