Let’s talk about time management
Mar 05, 2021
Time management is such a valuable tool to add to your daily routine, and one which will have a direct impact on your output and productivity. I used to think of “time management” as one of those lame terms that are just thrown around, and I’d always include “excellent time management skills” under “skills” on my CV but now that I run my own business I realise I was really just winging it. I didn’t get how important and helpful great time management skills actually are - valuing your time, and being conscious of how one uses it, is what time management is all about for me.
I’ve given this topic a lot of thought and tried to work out how best to tackle it and create an easy guide for you - so here are my eight tips for time management. It’s worth it gals, really.
Tip #1: Embrace time blocking
Time blocking is when you “block off” periods of your day to achieve specific tasks rather than simply having a long to do list.
I have four main time blocking categories: home, work admin, work packing orders, kids. This allows me to really focus on these specific tasks and not flip flop between them. Time blocking also saves you from scheduling every single time element of your day, e.g., reply to emails, pay invoices etc.
Tip #2: Schedule in “moments of grace”
These are not long periods but they allow you to go over time or to deal with unexpected issues should something go wrong without throwing your entire day off.
Ps. An unexpected call from a friend resulting in a long chat? Perfect moment of grace!
Tip #3: Be realistic
By this I mean two things:
1) Don’t dwell on it if something isn’t achieved in its specific time - things happen, life happens. 2) You cannot work all the time: schedule in lunch, breaks, coffee etc.
Tip #4: Stop multitasking
End. It doesn’t work. Let’s not pretend it does. Choose one thing, focus on it, and that is it.
Tip #5: Routine is good
Create a routine for your days and stick to it. A routine is different to time blocking and scheduling. Routine is like your daily rhythm: wake, get kids to school, exercise, lunch, fetch kids, work, dinner, bath, bed. That is a routine - the time blocking and scheduling happens within that and changes from day to day whereas your routine stays pretty much the same.
Need some help getting into a routine? Here is how to plan your morning routine to work for you.
Tip #6: Identify your priorities
You cannot do everything! Make sure you have an idea of what your personal and professional priorities are, and work out your time blocking and schedule to achieve these goals. Priorities are important and identifying them is invaluable.
Tip #7: Get on top of your admin skills
That is right. File as you go, stick to deadlines and meeting time limits, always take notes.
Tip #8: Get rid of distractions
That’s right, block out the noise from the room or turn off your phone notifications. Distractions are the worst when it comes to efficient time management as you are never able to fully commit and invest in a task.
Time management is a way of life that can really change how you feel about your day and work. It makes everything less stressful as you have a plan of not only how and what needs to be done, but time management also answers the question of when. Once you have mastered your time management skills you can easily be more productive, you’ll be better at getting the most out of your to do list and you will have time time to embrace a more organised and productive space.