What can we say about time management that you don’t already know? There are volumes of information about this topic available for you to read and forget to implement. You could read books and study the subject until you’re blue in the face, but implement these 5 simple steps and you will be on your way to ACTUALLY making some improvement –
1. DO NOT DISTURB! – do you need to constantly check your phone/emails? Make a time in the morning and a time in the afternoon where you will check your emails (preferably at the start and end of the workday) DO NOT check them outside these times. Put your “out of office” on or set your phone to do not disturb. Informing people that anything urgent should be phoned through and not emailed will allow the people who want something from you to prioritise before you even see the task. Let them know in an auto-reply when you will be checking your emails and if anything requires urgent attention they should phone your mobile.
2. Short sharp bursts – don’t think you can concentrate fully for 5 hours, try shorter periods with a walk in between. Committing to concentrate on one thing for 30-40 minutes greatly increases your ability to focus. Let your brain know it only has to focus for shorter periods at a time – in between, reward it with a short walk. Make sure you leave your desk and try to quickly get outside. If you can’t get outside go to the break room/foyer/lobby and think happy thoughts.
3. Make a 3 step to do list THE DAY BEFORE – picking out bite-sized tasks and identifying them the day before will allow you to dive straight into your day instead of wasting time trying to figure what to do first. If you have a big list of ongoing tasks that’s ok too. Just prioritise and pick the most important 3 “MUST DO” tasks and then make a separate list of anything else that is a “Nice to do” that you can tackle once you have finished the “MUST DO” tasks.
4. Focus on the process not the result – feeling overwhelmed by how much work you need to get through? Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. By thinking one step at a time instead of about the end result you still feel less stressed and be able to focus on what you can influence and effect RIGHT NOW. Try thinking about the very next thing you need to do. Once you have done that, move on the next one, and the next one
5. Unwind properly before bed – Have you had sleep where you dream of the deadlines you have to make? We have too, and it sucks! Never fear though – you can change all this and have a blissful night’s sleep which will go a long way to aiding your concentration and time management skills tomorrow!!
By following these 5 simple steps you can improve your time management massively. Better time management will not only reduce your stress levels, but it will make you feel like you are making the most of your workday. This frees you up to focus on what is most important in life – your family and loved ones.
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