Looking at your past week, how much time have you spent reacting to what others needed and how much time have you spent doing what you had planned for the week? Is it 60:40? 50:50? Maybe 80:20?
Nowadays it’s SO EASY to get distracted. There are so many things that require our attention that a week can come by and it is possible we achieve no more than 1 or 2 things of our to do list if we don’t want to work a 50+ hour long week.
There’s a simple solution for that: time management.
We have the option to choose how we use our time or react to what is thrown upon us. There are lots of different time management and prioritisation tools, enough to suit everybody’s way of working. Below I will list some tips that work for me and helped me during the proactivity challenge.
- No. Don’t be afraid to say “no”. If you already have a packed week and cannot take on anything else on your plate, don’t be afraid to reject the offer. You can redirect the request to a colleague that could also be helpful or propose a more flexible timeline you can work with. You’ll be surprise to hear that your colleagues will respect you more because you demonstrate that you know when you can be helpful for them.
- Keep it simple. Be clear on what your objectives are so when something comes your way you can decide if it is going to contribute or not.
- Avoid multitasking. This is the best way of doing poorly many things. Multitasking doesn’t work, there’s proof of that. Block amounts of time in your calendar to focus on one thing. You’ll find out that you get more done of what really matters.
- Rest. I know, when we are so busy we can feel guilty for taking a 10 minute break in our work day. But truth is when we are so busy we need these breaks even more. Take a 10 minute walk around the block, or sit down for 10 minutes to do some meditation. Just go somewhere outside the working space where you won’t be disturbed. When you return to the task at hand, you’ll feel refreshed.
- Plan ahead. Every week (ideally Thursday or Friday) take 30-45minutes to plan your workload for the following week. Review what you have accomplished in the past week and choose what you will be focusing on to keep progressing in your goals. Don’t forget to leave enough time for last minute and unexpected requests. If you plan your week to the second, chances are you will overload your plate and feel stressed.
What do you struggle the most when it comes to time management?
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