Although increased productivity is incredibly valuable, being on top of time management will also help boost your work-life balance, reduce potential stress, and ensure the people around you view you with both credibility and as someone who can be trusted to get the job done.
Below, we've included some of our top tips to help you become a time management guru:
Goal setting shouldn't be relegated to annual performance plans. Instead, your goals should become your bread and butter.
Set long-term and short-term goals and ensure they align effectively with your organisational and personal goals. Review them regularly to ensure they continue to be fit for purpose and change them where necessary. For longer-term goals, sense check them with management and peers to ensure they marry with strategic and team direction.
Check that what you are doing is the right thing to be doing. We can occupy ourselves endlessly with unchallenging low-impact tasks but if they are not tasks that are going to advance our role, deliver on challenges or really add to team / organisational productivity, then they may not be the right tasks to be focussing on.
Instead use models such as the Eisenhower Matrix, which was developed by Dwight Eisenhower to help manage challenging tasks whilst serving in the Army.
This is a simple, yet incredibly effective model which involves creating a quadrant such as the one outlined below.
Although it can be tempting to multitask, research shows that the most efficient way of achieving our goals is to focus on one task at a time. Multi-tasking to be as much as 40% less efficient than the single-tasking counterpart. Schedule your time so that you have windows in which to complete specific tasks.If you are focusing on urgent and important tasks, then consider turning off your email notifications or putting a 'do not disturb' sign on your desk to thwart potential potential colleague disruptions.
Large tasks can be offputting. Human tendencies mean that we are rarely motivated to get something done when the work involved is significant. Often, such tasks, even if important, can be pushed to the back of our minds while we focus on less demanding activities. To help with this, consider project managing large tasks. Break them down into far smaller steps and then schedule the steps accordingly. This will make them more palatable and easier to complete, giving credit to the saying 'The man who moves a mountain, begins by moving small stones'!
Finally, the most rewarding activity of all, the 'To do LIst!'. To-do lists are essential. Not only do they create a centralized place to organise tasks, but they also give us a visual synopsis of what needs to be done. In this space, we can utilize models such as the Eisenhower model, to denote timescales or completion dates. Sometimes a simple piece of paper is sufficient but you might find a more effective tool online. Monday.com, for example, is a free tool that provides a rich breadth of opportunities for time management.
The Training South West team is lucky to support businesses in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Our Time Management Training courses are customised to ensure that the unique needs, goals, and preferences of our learners are met. Our approach to customised training ensures participants have a productive and meaningful learning experience. Our trainers will speak to you to understand your organisational needs and learner roles. We will then design an agenda that is just right!
Delivered on-site, we cover all areas of the South West. Whether you are in Plymouth, Bath, Yeovil, Dorchester, or Blandford Forum, we have a fantastic team of professional trainers at hand to deliver your training needs. See our county-specific pages here: Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire.
Contact our team to discuss this further.