Getting the Job Done with a Bit of Time Management
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do or find you are not acheiving a great deal despite the effort put in? Chances are that you could benefit from better management of your time, and pausing to consider how you are handling tasks could lead to more efficient working habits.
What's the main thing hindering your progress?
Identify the biggest issue that stops you from getting on with what you want to do, and ask yourself what measures you can take to improve it. Don't let yourself think there is nothing at all you can do - even a small change in how you work can help. It may also involve managing others and their expectations - do people interrupt you, or do you get constant phone calls? How about screening calls, or making it clear that for a certain period you are tied up, but that you are available at a different time?
Some things can be improved simply by consciously taking steps to ensure efficient working. You will need to consider the type of activities your work involves, but practical measures may include ensuring that meetings have an agenda - you may also want to give yourself a time limit on meetings or tasks to keep focused and on-track. How about managing your email so that items where you are the main recipient are organised separately from those that only copy you in?
With some jobs, getting interrupted or having plans changed at short notice goes with the territory. If that's the case, how about building in a certain amount of time each day or week fo allow for the fact that plans may well be altered? On occasions when urgent matters arise and you need to re-prioritise, let others know revised plans and timetables - people are much more understanding if you let them know your position in advance, and may even be willing to negotiate.
Keep on track
Get into the habit of checking with yourself to see if what you are doing is necessary - if not, it's a distraction or waste of time. If you are a perfectionist, do a bit of a reality check about the relevance of your activities, and if you are easily distracted, set yourself periods of time in which to work without stopping to get caught up in other things such as constant email or phone-checking.
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Karen Hayns MSc - Future PerfectSeptember 11th, 2017