Time Waits For No Mum
Recently I heard time management described as aiming for the lifestyle balance we want to achieve. For most of us the reality is far more complicated than this, because we’re busier than ever.
Do you ever get the feeling that time’s pushing and pulling us in all directions? A client once said she constantly had thoughts about forgetting to do something, but couldn’t figure out what it was she “should” be doing.
We’ve only got to look around us on a daily basis; people always walking and talking too fast while we’re busy rushing here and there and doing our best to multi-task along the way, only to get up tomorrow and do it all again. Add into the mix that we’re so busy juggling work, study, family and friends that often things get started and sadly remain unfinished because life gets in the way of living. As a Professional Organiser, I regularly bear witness to how this impacts on clients as they aim for something so much different than their daily reality.
Less time can easily lead to more stress.
By learning and applying some simple, yet effective time management skills, it will go a long way to reducing stress, though I can’t guarantee you’ll necessarily have more time!
Recently I had the privilege of co-hosting the Taking Care of Business segment on the radio with Jacki Mitchell from 98.7fm http://rppfm.com.au/show/podcasts/taking-care-of-businessand the topic was Time Management. As promised here are the Top 5 Tips, which are aimed at people in business, however most can be applied equally well in our personal lives:
1. Delete: emails, texts and phone messages when actioned. It’s easy for emails and messages to pile up. A great free app on the market is www.unrollme.com which helps clean up your emails and organisations you may want to unsubscribe to. By allocating time each day to respond, you can easily aim for an empty inbox or at the very least a reduction in numbers. Delete apps from your devices that are time wasters and taking you away from your goals; next time you’re waiting in line, think of the things you can focus on instead and how much more productive you’ll be. Delete old mistakes from your conversations – learn from them and focus on what you can do now.
2. Do: start each day with top 3 priorities and start the most important one first. You’ll be amazed how much can be achieved by doing this simple action and your day’s already off to a great start. Do have a plan for what you’d like to achieve for the month, week or even day. No plan equals no time. Do learn how to say “no” as often this leads to over committing. If you find this difficult practice saying “maybe later” instead, as this often leaves the door open for you to reconsider the offer at a later date. Do spend at least 50% of your time and energy focusing on the things that bring you the results you want to achieve.
3. Delegate: time twice a day to respond to emails and phone calls rather than taking a reactive approach and interrupting your flow of concentration. Also think about delegating tasks you don’t like doing, this will enable you to focus more on those that you find enjoyable and you’ll get more done. Delegate time each day to make appointments. Delegate time each day to have fun – sadly this is often missing because we’re too busy feeling the pressure of multi-tasking and getting caught up in the chaos of daily life.
4. Defer: Recognise the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important, as not everything requires an immediate response. This approach also helps you focuses and stay on track with tasks at hand.
Lastly here’s a couple of surveys you may be interested in checking out, which may give you an indication of your current working style. While Dr DeClutter’s not endorsing these, I did find them a useful resource and thought you may too. I’d be interested in knowing how you went, so please feel free to leave your comments below. Until next time, remember with Dr DeClutter: Organising Simply Is Our Business!
How Good Is Your Time Management? http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_88.htm
How Productive are you? http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/productivity-quiz.htm