There are not enough hours in the day, right! Could use an extra day in the week? Well, for most of us we get 24 / 7. So really when people talk about time management they are really talking about self-management. So, what takes up our time? Why can we not appear to get all the things completed that we need to? These ideas can be applied to work and home. If fact, more of us are working from home these days, so this is probably even more important to get it right!
Tip number 1
This can be used twice if you wish, once for home and once for work. Ask yourself, what are the key things you are working on right now. What are the results you want in these areas? I would argue having about 6 key result areas for home and work is about right. Certainly, no more than 8. These are now your priorities and must be given priority status. In other words, the things you do on a daily and weekly basis must contribute to the overall key result area. For example, if you want to improve your lifestyle, health, and wellbeing, you might be looking at more healthy eating and exercise. Therefore, one daily task could be to prepare a healthy meal, or another could be to do a period of exercise. These should be scheduled into your day and be given priority status. If you do one thing every day for at least 90 days, this will become a habit. It is the habits that ultimately change your lifestyle and help you to hit your targets and goals. They are also that thing that is responsible for getting exceptional results in the workplace and getting that promotion you are looking for!
Tip number 2
This is a daily to do list. That is right, just a simple list. This acts as a motivator and a source of strategy for achieving your goals. Try to be sure to have something on the list (a priority), for each of your key result areas. It is important to be sure to have a stretch list, but not one that is overwhelming and cannot be achieved. If you do not achieve all that is on the list, then simply let those tasks start the list for the following day. Crossing the tasks from your list will act as a satisfier, in the full knowledge that you are making progress. However, it is important not just what is on the list but also when you write the list. The list should be written the night before. So, the moment you wake up and start your day, the list is there, and you are ready to act straight away. The alternative to this is that you waste the first 30 minutes trying to prioritise any tasks and you may get distracted whilst doing this.
Tip number 3
Is identifying all the things that eat into your time. What are the things or people that get in the way? What do you find yourself doing that is really time consuming and is not contributing to one of your key result areas? Make a list of the typical things that are not adding value. You might consider social media, TV or even phone calls! Can you make some rules around all these things that prevent you from engaging with them until you have achieved the tasks that you have set out for the day? Maybe create some rules that will be enabling for you to stay focused on what you need to do. Get yourself in a place away from others that might steal precious time, even if just for a short amount of time. An example of this kind of distraction is maybe getting involved in other people’s issues and problems. Some people can drain the life out of you, so think strategically when you engage with these types of people, or if you do it at all.
Tip number 4
Is managing any distractions. Unless this distraction is so important or associated with one of your key result areas, it must be delayed until you have satisfied your to do list of priorities. Some good pointers are to have your phone on silent at some parts of the day. Refuse to engage with social media until your tasks are complete. Say to people you will get back to them later! In some cases, you may have to say “NO” to people. If that sounds unpleasant, then may be say, “Not Now”. Learning to say no can be a great way to get more done what is valuable to you and there are many ways to say no! The key here is to be aware when you are losing valuable time and need to get back to what is important.
Tip number 5
Be sure to have a reward at the end of the day when all your tasks have been completed to your satisfaction. You might have arranged to meet up with someone for a chat, look at social media, your favourite TV programme, or your favourite food. Whatever it is, delaying this engagement will make it the more enjoyable than usual. Remember also, and this is imperative to good self-management. If at any time you fall short of your own expectations, tomorrow is another day, just get back up and get back on with your planning!
In summary, the 5-key tips to improve your performance and get things done are;
Tip 1 Develop your key result areas.
Tip 2 Write a to do list the night before.
Tip 3 Identify time wasting.
Tip 4 Manage distractions.
Tip 5 Reward yourself at the end.
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