How are your time management skills?
Does your week run effortlessly in a calm, orderly manner?
Or do you sometimes feel like your head is barely above water, overwhelmed feeling that there’s never enough time to do all that you need to do?
EVERYONE has 24 hours available in each day, but some people just seem to have grip on their day and manage their time so much better.
Unfortunately, this is an issue that seems to effect the majority of people across all walks of life and so everyone can benefit from having greater control on their day.
And if you’re juggling multiple roles as a parent, partner, high performing employee or entrepreneur then it’s essential that you quickly learn how to be an effective keeper of time.
Juggling multiple plates can be dangerous and will often lead to everything crashing down around you, if you haven’t developed the required skills to maintain their momentum.
I know countless entrepreneurs who are continuously chasing their tail, every time you speak to them, they are in a constant panic, rushing around like a headless chicken, all because they are not in control of their day.
Time Management Isn’t Rocket Science
Acquiring time management skills isn’t difficult, it’s child’s play once you learn how.
There are tons of books written on the subject with some of the best-selling entrepreneurial books of all time being based on the concept such is its importance and effectiveness when applied.
There are 4 book titles in particular that stand out, all of them providing a different prospective and approach to improve your time management.
Implementing just a few of the techniques detailed within these books will transform you into a real badass in business and will put you way beyond the competition.
But more importantly than anything else, great time management allows you to control your time in a way that works for you.
Allocating time for the things that you truly value, quality time spent with your children, friends, family, hobbies whatever it may be.
Rather than being a victim of circumstance, It allows you to re-establish control and build a schedule that will create a more fulfilling life.
And that is priceless!
So, here are some of the best time management tips for you to manage your time better and alleviate the stress and anxiety that tends to accompany it.
Ensure you get enough sleep
It might be tempting to stay up late, working, to catch up, but that is the one way to burn yourself out.
Having a consistent sleep routine actually boosts your productivity.
Getting around eight hours of sleep per night improves your cognition (thinking skills) and a regular pattern of sleep is important for the circadian rhythms of our body.
This ensures that our hormone balance is right and all our other biological processes work properly.
Sleep regenerates our cells, healing mind and body for improved health and productivity.
Having a consistent sleep routine – ideally, settling to sleep by around 10pm and waking around 6am – will optimise your efficiency and help you to better manage your time.
Prepare and prioritise your tasks
First thing in the morning, set your intention for the day ahead, to help you to focus on what is most important.
Establish a plan for what you will achieve!
There are numerous pros and cons associated with to-do lists.
Some people swear by them, others are against them – especially if you waste a lot of time compiling them, instead of actively doing the things!
But whether you have a list of three or thirty-three, it’s important to prioritise taking action on the most important tasks and leaving the rest, for now.
I also discuss this strategy in more detail within my article 5 ways to increase productivity whilst working from home
Use the Pareto Principle – the ‘80/20 rule’, which says that 20% of the work creates 80% of the results.
Concentrate your efforts on the 20% that will make a real difference, rather than the 80% of minor tasks or trivial details that don’t add as much value.
This is the key to prioritisation and productivity. Decide what is most important and urgent and work on these tasks or issues first thing, when you’re at your best and most productive.
Do the Most Important Task (MIT) first
This is what Brian Tracy called ‘eat that frog’ – from a quote by Mark Twain, who said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.
And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Do the most dreaded task first, because that’s more than likely to be the most important task of your day – and the one that will get you further.
You are usually fresher and have more energy in the morning and after doing that big, hairy task, everything else is easy.
Ride that wave of achievement to see you through the rest of your work that day.
Single-task, don’t multi-task
Concentrate on doing one job at a time, and see it through as far as you can.
Multi-tasking leads to scattered thinking, poor attention span, distractedness, and diminishes our ability to process information, according to research from Stanford University.
This all increases stress and lack of productivity.
If you’re switching tasks or projects every so often, you have to think in a different way, rather than continuing ‘in the zone’.
Constantly interrupting yourself means you’re no longer ‘in the flow’ and you have to waste time recalling where you left off, getting acclimatised to that kind of thinking again, and even remembering what your thinking was.
Consider dedicating a whole day on one issue – a certain project, or area of business: marketing, accounts, or business development.
Set aside one day a week for each and concentrate on it without distraction.
Group similar tasks
Different activities require different thinking skills – think finance, or phone-calls, or problem-solving.
It makes sense to group similar tasks together and do them sequentially, so your brain isn’t having to switch too much, and you’re not wasting time getting back into the swing of things.
Instead of flicking through emails periodically or making phone-calls at different times during the day, set aside a specific time, once or twice a day to deal with these things.
E.g. check phone-calls at eleven, check or answer emails at noon; but concentrate on your important tasks the rest of the time.
Recognise that you can’t do everything – and delegate tasks to someone else who can either do them better or do them differently.
Delegating to internal staff is a development opportunity for them – a chance for them to step up, learn, and stretch themselves.
Remember, too, that your way isn’t the only way, and release yourself from micromanaging or perfectionism.
Maybe the task won’t be done the way you’d do it, or to your extremely high standards, but – it’s getting done.
If you don’t have staff with the skills, outsource to specialists. It’s worth it.
The important thing is to take the workload off you, enabling you to focus on more important things that need your individual attention.
These are just a few tips for how to manage your time well.
When we put into practice what what great time managers do – we become masters of time management ourselves.
This is a key to doing less and achieving more.
The implementation of what you’ve learnt
Now you know what to do, it’s time to start doing it.
By implementing just 2 or 3 of the time management tips I have shared with you today, you will automatically see the difference in how you spend your time.
Great time management equates to great productivity! Great productivity equates to high performance! High performance is the road to success.
Do the small things well and the big things will follow.
My latest E-book The 12 Disciplines of Success explains this premise and delves deeper into the key disciplines of time management and productivity in order to establish a highly effective daily routine.
If you want to increase your expertise in the areas of time management and productivity then I strongly recommend downloading your free copy today.