We’ve all had days like this. They start so well as you set off motivated for a busy day’s work. But after a bit of essential Facebook checking, an hour long phone call with a friend, ten cups of tea and a meeting that got you nowhere, the day’s finished and your to-do list is still as long.
As a professional Life Coach I have helped many people with effective time management. If you can manage your time well it’s amazing how much easier, more productive and more enjoyable life becomes. At the core, good time management is about understanding your behaviour, honesty with yourself and the confidence to change.
Tips For Better Time Management
Track your time
Before you start you need to know how you actually spend your time. Denial quickly leads to wasted hours and the question of where your time’s all gone. Pay attention to how you spend your time and makes notes of how long you spend on each activity.
Plan and prioritise
It sounds simple but it’s amazing how few people actually plan their time. Take stock of where you are and what you need to achieve. Break large goals down into smaller tasks and think about who else might need to be involved. Plan each day and create a to-do list with estimated timings. Make sure you do what really needs doing first and not what’s easiest or most fun.
If you need help, clarification or further information don’t put it off. Make this a task for the next day and get it done. Postponing this will only make the task longer. Don’t waste time thinking about whether this is really your job or getting angry about the fact that you’re having to do it. Remember, you can always delegate tasks if needed – as long as they get done.
Keep what works
After a while we should learn what works for us and what hinders us. Do you need to turn your phone off or ignore emails for a while? Do you need to change your working environment? Keep habits that work and change those that don’t.
Stop people pleasing
A lot of time is wasted because we just can’t say no to people. Do you attend meetings you don’t need to be at or say yes whenever you’re asked, “do you have a minute”? Gain a little more control over people pleasing behaviour and stick to your own schedule.
Block out time for work and time for breaks. When you’re on a break don’t be tempted to dip in and out of work. Relax during breaks and give 100% during work time. You’ll feel a lot better once you’ve earned that break.
Evaluate and Regroup
Sometimes things change. However much you plan your time some things you just can’t control. So take stock at the end of each day and consider what worked and what didn’t. Have you got done what you wanted? If not, why not? Don’t punish yourself for things that didn’t work but reward yourself when it does. Assess and regroup and plan again for tomorrow.
Try Life Coaching
These tips will start you off on the right track and help you manage your time more effectively. If you’d like more help and advice from an experienced life coach, I have worked with many people on this issue and would be delighted to help you. Please get in touch for more information.