I work with many clients who struggle to manage their time effectively. They often know they need to manage this better but can struggle to make this change with a real impact. You will see the dramatic difference it makes when you incorporate a few new healthy habits and routines into your days to allow you feel like you are managing your time instead of it constantly being in reverse order. Check out my top tips below.
1. Plan ahead and set goals with realistic time frames
Knowing what you have coming up and booked in allows you to manage your time more effectively giving you limited surprises. Take time each evening to see what has been accomplished for the day and what you have coming up, compile a list of tasks, refer back to this first thing the next day. Nothing worse than diving into your day with no clue of what is going on.
2. Distractions are our worst enemy, avoid them
Avoid this by closing all browsers except the ones related to your immediate project. Turn off notifications on your phone and computer, you’ll be surprised how much time you waste checking your phone every time you hear a notification. Check your calendar first thing so you have an overview of your week/day. Try using something like Focusme or Freedom if you struggle to avoid the temptation. Technology is here to help, utilise it.
3. Create routines and workflows to create consistency
A good way to ensure you are on top of everything is to create checklists outlining the action/steps required to complete each task/project. This can be used again at a later point saving you so much more time as the planning has already been thought about and implemented. I highly recommend using Asana for managing repetitive workflows in detail, it’s amazing how much time you can save.
4. Take a second to breathe, our breaks are our sanity
It’s easy to convince ourselves that working from 9 straight through to 5 will mean we can get a shed load of work done. This is often not the case as your attention to detail starts to decrease, things get missed and if anything you end up having to repeat steps you have already taken. To produce the best work you need to know when to take a break. This relieves stress, allows your brain to rest and focus on something less strenuous, when you come back to it you will be looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes and a refreshed mind.
5. Stop checking emails every minute
Don’t let this overrun your day. If you are constantly checking your inbox everytime a new message comes in you will never have time to pay attention to what matters the most. Set intervals into your diary for checking this and stick to it. Often you open and email and leads to click then a read, then another click and before you know you have fallen into the “distraction” zone again.
6. Be honest with yourself and your calendar
Be honest with yourself when you check your diary/calendar and are setting your tasks and goals.. Have you set too many tasks for the day that you know you cannot commit too? It may seem like saying “YES” to everything that comes your way is necessary but it’s not. Learn to say “NO” sometimes it’s for the best in business. Don’t take on what you know you can’t handle it can go against you. Make sure what you have set out in front of you is achievable, this can help with your stress levels and the feeling off being overwhelmed.
Time is your most valuable asset, learn how to outsource your workload to others. This could be tedious tasks you dread doing or tasks that would be better suited with the right experience. This allows you to focus on your most pressing projects, tasks, goals and most importantly some time for you.