Let’s talk Time management. Yes I know it has become one of the buzz words, but still if you want to get things done you need to prioritize your time. There are tons of methods you can use, google is your best friend so look them up. I will give you my tips for great time management:
Balance and exercise;
If you lack balance you will automatically feel stressed, tired or burned out. Find a nice balance between work and personal. Your body and mind need to re-energize every single day. Add some exercise or meditation in the equation 🙂
Audit yourself for 7 days straight, monitor your activities either on paper, computer or smartphone. What did you achieve and what didn’t you achieve? Preferably write in down in a log. You can also use the time management quadrant as shown below and log the activity to the quadrant it relates to. At the end of the 7 days in which quadrant did you spent most of your time? If you logged the activities you will have actual data providing you with the insights of your behaviour, and you can adjust accordingly.
To measure is to know, William Thompson
Time management quadrant:
Everybody has MIT’s (most important things) spend your mornings on MIT’s even if they’re your least favorite. In the mornings your mind is the most relaxed. Finishing those MIT’s in the morning will give a sense of accomplishment which will guarantee smooth sailing for the rest of the day.
Follow the 80-20 rule, Pareto rule states that 80% of the efforts comes from 20 percent of the results. The trick? Identify the 20 percent of the efforts that are producing 80 percent of the results and scale it out. Track your efforts and apply the rule. You can even use this at home, ask yourself if your house’s a mess and you get a 15 minute notice of unexpected guests what would you do? Check the 80-20 rule right? Vacuuming and do the dishes would have a greater impact then cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. Vacuuming and do the dishes: 20% of the effort resulting in 80% of the result (house looks clean)
Make time management a habit not a one-time exercise. Follow the time management for 30 days straight and it will become a habit according to the book The 30 Day Difference: Make It A Habit and Make It Happen from Russell Stewart and Sanco Singleton. Create a new habit but loose some really bad ones as well! Use your times wisely, don’t allow bad distractions. Here are 10 bad habits you should eliminate.
Do not let emails or social media distract you from working. Schedule time to read and respond to emails. If there’s something urgent, someone will call or text you. But when you have your email open, those distractions interrupt your thought flow and it’s harder to get back on track. Turn off social media notifications. Every time you’re distracted from your work your brains needs to reset to get back to the activity you were working on. It takes an average of about 25 minutes (23 minutes and 15 seconds, to be exact) to return to the original task after an interruption, according to Gloria Mark, who studies digital distraction at the University of California, Irvine. Btw same goes for interruption by colleagues 😉
Take frequent brakes, rule of thumb according to the Hiroshima University is a 17 minute break every 52 minutes. But you should do the break away from your computer, either walk, talk to colleagues, exercise, read etc. There are many productivity app who can help out reminding you to take a break.
Make a to do list at the end of the day for the next day. By making to-do lists, you’re effectively setting goals for the day. Daily goals are easier to achieve while helping to move us towards the longer and bigger goals. But that happens by creating to-do lists. If you make the to-do the evening before, you start off less stressed. If you travel a lot from customer to customer, you could do the same for your travels. Check the evening before your travelling schedule for the next day.
Find a mentor and/or a source of inspiration. A good mentor can help you along your path especially when you feel you’re going off track. A source of inspiration can also be a YouTube channel, a topic blogger, TED talks etc.
Last but certainly not least declutter and organize. Studies have determined that clutter in our environment helps us to lose focus. When we lose focus, we lose time. If you want to avoid that, declutter and organize. In Lean we use the 5S method to organize, standardize and sustain. If done regularly (preferably scheduled) this should also become a great habit.
We only live once, life really is very short. By the way did you know you can time manage basically anything…. Kids, school, house chores…… Hope you likes my article, and remember #itsokaytosayno
About Peggy: LEANnovator, ProcessGeek and VisualFlow-er,
I’m a Lean Six Sigma master black belt at heart, a people’s people and bridge builder. I’ve worked at large multinationals in service and production industry. I am creative, analytic with a touch of geek. I have two lovely princesses, a wonderful husband and we live in sunny Curaçao. Want to read more Lean blogs? Please follow us at www.leancuracao.com.