Show That Clock Who’s Boss: Kick Time Management into High Gear!
We're all here today because we need help with time management. Welcome! You're not alone. Research shows that part-time community college students have a harder time with time-management than full-time students. If you're doing many different things in your life or job, time management could be your burden or your savior.
First of all, carrying around what you should do tires you out and affects focus. Because of this, get whatever you can off your desk now! List 5-10 issues you're having around time management. Now, wait, let's put it another way — list issues you're having with your to-do list. From there, let's see where we can clean this up.
Do the Hard Stuff First
If you're resisting a task repeatedly, let's stop and ask why. Perhaps this is a task you dislike or something that stretches you, making it uncomfortable to attempt. If you hate it, examine if you have to do it. If you do, see if you can outsource it.
If you can't outsource, tackle that difficult thing you're avoiding first at the start of every day instead of at the end. You'll be surprised at how much more enjoyable your day can be. Studies show that workers who gravitate towards checking off all the easy, shorter tasks first and leave more significant projects or risks for later are less satisfied and stress more.
I know I always find myself at the 3 PM slump with something challenging to do. Flipping my day could make it so much easier for me. (I guess I should take my advice. Point taken, you.)
Just Do It
The rules of time management come with these seven commandments:
Only pick it up or read it once.
Don't pick it up until you're ready to work on it.
Don't talk about it; do it.
Don't add things to your list you're not going to do.
Don't let a tiny something become a big problem. Beware of deadlines. Cramming to study for the test may have been passable in school, but you can do better than that!
Refresh your approach. Just because that's the precedent, it doesn't mean it will be that way moving forward. How can you look at this task differently than you have in the past?
Multitasking is a fallacy. Avoid it when you can. Do one thing with intention and then take breaks to stay sharp. Do similar tasks in chunks.
Organize Your Space
Your office is part of your workflow. Try having a place for:
Trays for In / Out / Pending
Trays for Working / Reference / Archive
Items you use frequently should be nearby
Hell is a Never-ending Conference Call
Before starting a meeting, apply time-management skills to make calls brief and effective.
Have a clear purpose for the meeting. If you don't have one, could this be an email?
State desired outcomes with an agenda.
Stick to your start and end times.
Don't have more than ten people in a meeting!
Time Efficiency is a Muscle
Let's go to the "effectiveness gym" every day when we clock in at work! Being more effective with your time is a process, and you'll get better at it the more you train.