Time Management

by Di McLanachan

Ten more tips

There are many different techniques for taking control of your time. Here are some more tips and some reminders. Just read through them and decide which ones are relevant for you.

1. Get clarity in your communication.

Check for understanding at the end of each meeting... ‘What is it you’re taking away from our conversation?’

Lead your emails with a clear request (‘I need your action by Friday on...’) and ask your team members to do the same.

2. Learn from mistakes.

Did you or someone on your team blunder? Get the learning out of it and move on. Blame, guilt and anxiety waste your time and energy.

3. Break the big tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.

We can start to feel overwhelmed by the larger goals or tasks we set for ourselves – the ones that seem so big we don’t know where to start – that we just don’t start them at all. Instead, break these things into small, bite-size chunks that you know you can manage. Then start to tackle each one individually. Set yourself up for success by starting small.

4. Pay attention to your intuition.

When your gut says ‘no’, stop your mouth from saying ‘yes’. This applies to indigestible projects just as much as to unnecessary food! Offer to consider it. Then see if you can reshape the idea so it makes sense to both head and gut.

5. Stop the stupid stuff flying around your organisation

Cancel a useless meeting; ask your staff not to send chain emails.

6. When you’re feeling stuck, get your brain back in gear.

Find something to laugh about, take a quick walk around the building, or just sit, breathe and focus on a happy thought unrelated to the thing you are stuck on.

7. Speak the truth. It will save a lot of time.

8. Create artificial deadlines for yourself.

Give yourself an impossible amount to accomplish in a set amount of time and challenge yourself to find a better way to get it all done. It’s a cliché that the task expands to fit the available time – but it’s true.

9. Ask a friend to tell you five things to do to immediately simplify your life.

They know, even when you don’t. Most people’s lives are too complicated, and we feel powerless to change. Friends and family can help.

10. If you really don’t want to do something, ask yourself, ‘Do I really have to?’

‘Who says that I should do this?’, ‘What would happen if I didn’t?’, ‘What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t?’

11. Remember

There is never enough time to do it right, but there is always time to do it over.

Jack Bergman

Yes, we know that is eleven tips, but we had enough time to do an extra one!