Time management is a highly sought-after skill. How often do we read articles or go to seminars about time management?
Sometimes I get so engrossed in the day to day “noise”; distractions that constantly intrude and grab my attention, that I forget to manage my time effectively, and fall back into habits that no longer serve me well.
So here are my top six tips for maximising my time:
Utilise your tech
I’m old school; there is nothing quite like writing with a pen and paper. But I know thoughts and words flow better if I just record everything I want into my smartphone. Sometimes I type it up or I get my team to type it for me. And because it’s faster to speak than it is to write or type, I never lose a train of thought.
Time is money
What’s your hourly rate? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of “I’ll just do it now and then it’s done” but does this make business sense? Do the maths: sometimes a small investment to get someone else to press the buttons for you can free you up to do what you’re best at.
Keep it in one place
Post it notes – you can never find the one you need. Whether you like to write it down in a book, put it in your Outlook tasks, diary, whatever, the key is consistency. I have a workbook where I write down a list of everything I need to do. I also use it when clients ring me and I need to make some notes. Whenever I need somebody’s telephone number or an instruction I receive from a client, I know that everything is written in that book. It all comes down to making a habit of doing it the same way each time and knowing exactly where the information will be. Trust me – it’s like winning the time lottery.
Have a plan and write it down
Why? It’s liberating. Get it out of your head and onto paper to help you feel fresh and organised. I always plan and prioritise my day and the work that doesn’t get done I put across to the next day or delegate. Most people work this way but when things get hectic it’s one of the first things to drop. Making this a priority is a really important step for managing workloads. Working this way also rests your brain and doesn’t drain your energy; it’s exhausting having to remember all the things you need to do in a day. Crossing off the tasks can be very satisfying.
One of my secrets is yoga. It’s always the start of my day first thing in the morning and it’s amazing the impact that it has on my whole being. I find it warms me up, gets me going and saves a lot of time because I’m energised and I can focus better. It makes a huge difference to my day.
Keep it tidy
I make a point of tidying up my desk at the end of day and have everything put in its place so when I arrive in the morning it’s clean, it’s tidy and I know exactly where I have to go and what I have to do.
Simple, right? Most people have their own systems but sometimes we need a reminder to keep us working in our own best practices.