Time Management is a funny thing you know that you need to do it and get it right to be more effective, but you never have the time for it. And Time Management takes up time!
The thing is though we do need some Time Management because at the rate we are going there won’t be a time when you can sip your cocktail on the deck, kick up your feet and reflect on the peaceful scenery. We are so consumed every waking hour by unfinished tasks, deadlines, emails piling up unanswered and self-imposed commitments that some well-deserved time out after a job well done seems like a pipe dream.
So we have established that Time Management takes time but by squeezing some Time Management skills into your already overloaded workload you may be able to come out of the day marginally ahead. Keep implementing the Time Management skills you learn here and one fine day you might just be relaxing on that pool deck and enjoying a cold one.
Start the day with focus
Spend a few moments getting your bearings so that you know what to do. This also reduces stress and anxiety (or can make it worse depending on your day ahead). At least you’ll have a clear idea about what you are in for…
Now that you know the structure of your day, week, month, etc. put it into your calendar. Get that fancy smart phone working for you! Read the manual if you have to!
Upgrade your technology
Nothing can grind you to a (teeth) grinding halt like a slow or faulty computer, laptop, software, etc.
Keep yourself topped up
When facing deadlines it is easy to either forget to eat and drink or to unconsciously consume vast quantities of junk food and coffee. It is better for your concentration and state of mind to drink water and snack on fresh fruits and vegetables and protein than to discover you’ve just consumed a jumbo party pack of doughnuts and a 2 litre pitcher of coffee.
Cut out the blabber
Learn how to get to the heart of the matter first. If there is some time left over you can give the talkers some free air time while you use these moments productively to pack up your stuff and head for the door.
Pass it on
Don’t be a hoarder –delegate and if there is no one below you confer.
Don’t take your work home
If you spend too much time focused on one thing, you will get fatigued. The brain needs stimulation and this is achieved by altering tasks. Conversely if you are overstimulated the brain needs to cool off. Either way find some time to relax.
Don’t hit the bottle (well not too hard anyway)
It is nice to have a drink after work, to help you unwind, let off some steam, loosen you up, or whatever your excuse for serial drinking is. But a few too many will slow you down, dampen your brightness and decrease your tolerance for stress.
Go to bed early
If you are taking your work home it is so easy to spend the evening plugging away at the job. This leads to mild insomnia because the brain does not get a chance to switch off and leaves you tired the next day and less effective, leading to a vicious cycle.