I don’t know about you, but time management is one of those things that you are either good at or not. And even when you are good at it, if you take your eye off the ball for a moment, it grabs the opportunity to slip through your hands.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. There is no one person who benefits better than another here. But, and here is the thing, time is relative and it can fly real fast, or go ultra slow depending on what you are doing. The time you see on the clock is managed,which means that you control it, which must be good news.
Someone once asked me if I knew about the NLP technique that classifies two types of people when it comes to time. Those people who are ‘through time’ are always aware of what is coming up. They know that their deadline is due, that they need to leave to get to their appointment or they have a call to make at 10am. They are very rarely late, and hit most deadlines. This is me. But on the other side of the time river, lives the person living “in time” . This person lives more in the moment, exploring the “here and now”, absorbed in what they are doing and with no internal alarm telling them that they are late for their meeting. These people tend to be late for everything, and have to work very hard to stay aware of what needs doing when. Identifying what type of person you are, can help you to find the right tricks that work for you when kicking yourself into touch.
When you create systems, you can manage them, which means, just like the time on the clock, you are managing how quickly you can get tasks done.
Spend some time each week and day planning what you want to achieve. This time is well spent as it allows you to aim to spend 50% of your available time working on activities which will produce you the most results, either in work or at home.
Try scheduling all regular tasks in your diary. Work out how long you need to complete them and allocate the right amount of time. Give yourself a beginning and end. At the same time, plan time in your day/ week to be interrupted. Schedule some buffer time between your tasks to allow for you. Give yourself 5 minutes before and after each task to decide what you want to achieve and record your results if necessary.
Learn to say no. Don’t feel like you have to please people all of the time when it comes to work. It has to be right for you to allow you to say yes. Consider each request fully before jumping back with an answer.
Be strict with wandering minds. Unless an immediate response is required, ignore alerts, emails and phone calls when you are in the middle of something else.
Create good systems. This is important. If, like me, you are in business, and do some of the same things over and over, take the time to create a system which makes it easier for you to complete the task. This will minimise wasted time.
Finally, take into account that it is impossible to get everything done. It is like most things in life, 20% of all thoughts and activities produce 80% of results, so don’t beat yourself up too much. Get some rest and sleep at the end of each day which will allow you to be the best version of yourself.
Set your goals, strive for them, enjoy the process and achieve the results. If you are still struggling, please do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Having a good team of people to outsource tasks to, can be a lifesaver for anyone.