Time management means getting your priorities right
It's almost physically impossible to juggle more that 15 things at any one time. So when you get overloaded, what do you drop? Very often we choose to sacrifice things in our personal life such as family time or our personal development as work takes over. Here are our top tips to help you get your priorities into perspective.
Here's more information on how it is almost physically impossible to juggle more that 15 things at one time:
So, when we are faced with so much to do with so little time available, what options do we have?
Well, we cannot to extend our day - after all there are only ever 24 hours on offer. Therefore we need to focus our time properly. Otherwise we risk eating into our personal time, damaging our mental and physical wellbeing not to mention our relationships.
Our advice is to focus on what needs to be done rather than what we may like doing. Easily said yet sometimes hard to do. We need to recognise that being busy doesn't always mean that we are being productive.
We recommend that you examine each of the tasks on your 'to do' list. Each of these tasks will have a degree of urgency and importance. Ask yourself how urgent and how important each task is. Then create a grid as below:
This activity will give you a clear focus of what to do first, what needs to be planned in to be done and what to avoid to you are not distracted. The labels on the following grid illustrates this:
Now allocate your tasks into each relevant box. This will enable you to prioritise what needs to be done, what can be left for later and what can be disregarded. This approach also works works well in team meetings, enabling everyone to contribute to the prioritisation process and be clear about what needs to be done (and in what order).
Another top tip is to complete this activity at the end of each day. This will enable you to review the tasks you have completed, let you plan tomorrow today and help you have a clear head for your all important downtime.
This approach to prioritisation is just one of a number of time management techniques provided on our Managing Self training course. For information on delegating skills why not read our blog article Delegating work is different to allocating work.
Director & senior consultant, Beyond Theory