You may think better time management will solve your problems. What if you are the problem?
We all know ‘time is money’ yet we are sometimes willing to throw away time to an extent most of us would never consider throwing away money!
Did you know, that if you spend just half an hour each day dealing with junk email, interruptions and other time-wasting activities, you are essentially throwing away over 3 weeks a year!
What would you do with those 3 weeks if you could have them back? I’m guessing you wouldn’t spend them reading junk email.
1. The not-so-important stuff is quicker and easier (and usually more fun).
Solution: Time for you to revisit – and use – the Urgent-Important Matrix.
2. You are constantly interrupted.
Solution: Whose time is it anyway? There are ways to set clients’ and colleagues’ expectations about when you’re available and how quickly you’ll respond to their requests. It could be time for you to step up and start managing.
3. That important task is so big it’s overwhelming.
Solution: Work out how you can ‘eat the elephant’ one bite at a time. My favourite way is to just start. I set the timer on my phone for 45 minutes and do nothing but work on that task until the timer sounds. Sometimes when it rings, I’m so absorbed I just keep working. This method is called the Pomodoro Technique.
4. The important things don’t seem urgent enough.
Solution: Create urgency for yourself by setting milestones and deadlines. It often works to plan to reward yourself when you’ve met the milestone. For example, you might go for a walk and get a coffee after you’ve called five clients.
5. You’re out of synch with your natural productivity cycle.
Solution: Get to know how your energy and focus levels change throughout the day and work with nature, not against it. For example, if you know your best time for concentration is early morning, do your big thinking in the first part of your working day and save routine tasks until later.
If you’d like some help, give us a call!
(First published April 2012.)
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