10 Jul Time Management
Do you often find yourself wondering where the day has gone? It’s now midnight and you are catching up on work, household chores and family obligations. You are not alone!
Time Management is actually the most common stressor and most frequently sought after ‘self-help’ topic. The great thing about time is that we are all equal. We all have 24 hours each day, the difference is HOW we make use of those hours.
- Being busy does not equal being productive: America’s new favorite phrase is “I’m busy” – Is this something you find yourself saying a lot? Stop and think, if what you are actually doing is relevant. What value does it bring you or those around you? It’s okay to allocate time to watch your favorite show but it is not okay to binge on shows every day then wonder why you still haven’t gotten your work done. Staying hydrated is very important but having ‘water cooler’ conversations at the office for 15-20 minutes at a time throughout the day will not get your projects done. Accountability and self-awareness are key. It is up to you to use your time wisely. Be intentional and protect this valuable asset, as it is the only thing you will never have more of.
- Work on what is important and not what is urgent: This is a tough one, depending on your role and status within the company – you might have heard “I need this done yesterday!” – so what do you do? You rush to get it done. Is it your best work? Did you allow yourself time to think through the ask? In my professional experience, I often hear that once the ask was delivered, the scope has changed, or the urgency has become irrelevant. Don’t get me wrong, there are urgent asks but, in every situation, – you must allow yourself the ability to assess and think through the urgent matter to ensure you understand what the scope. Next, don’t waste time reinventing the wheel as there is a good chance, someone else delivered on the same ask before. Perhaps, you have access to reports or templates to help cut down on the time and actually deliver the finished product sooner.
- Make time for yourself: Out of the 24 hours you are blessed with each day, you should allocate at least 6+ hours to sleep. The typical workday is 8-10 hours – with simple math that leaves you with approximately 8 hours to do it ALL. What does that mean? It means whatever you want it to mean. This is your time – to pursue your dreams, make dinner, exercise, help kids with homework, run errands, commute, walk the dog and the list goes on. What makes it achievable is commitment and consistency. It’s your mindset, that allows you to zero-in on what is important and most meaningful to you. We struggle here because we are too often pulled in various directions and cannot focus.
Make a reasonable ‘To-Do List’ and track the time for each of those items. Overtime, you will become more efficient and get things done quicker but most importantly you will establish sustainable habits. Sustainable habits become natural and no longer feel like chores. Once you reach this point, you will be able to add new items to your list.
It is important to remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Your habits will eventually change your behavior and alter your mindset. This is a work in progress. Don’t rush the process ~ TAKE YOUR TIME!