Time management is a myth. We can’t manage the passing of time any more than we can manage gravity. Perhaps even less since we can engineer ways to defy gravity, but there is no changing or stopping the steady flow of sand falling through the hourglass. (Not yet anyway!)
Instead of managing time itself, effective time management is about managing everything else around us; things that require our attention and thus demand our time. Here are six key areas to focus on for anyone looking to develop more effective “time management”:
First thing first. Prioritise.
Okay, this might seem like a pretty obvious one, but it’s one a lot of people struggle with as there is no set way to tackle it. Should you start with the biggest task first, or maybe the smallest one to get the ball rolling? Perhaps there are tasks you need daylight for and others you don’t. Are there tasks which rely on previous tasks being completed first? Always keep an eye on the bigger picture, creating a flow that makes the most of your time from morning to night.
Eyes on the prize
Speaking of the bigger picture, always keep your personal goals in mind. This will not only help you prioritise tasks in the best way for achieving your ambitions, it will help keep your motivation high if (when) you do hit the odd sticking point. And even when things are running smoothly, having a clear vision of the carrot on the end of the stick helps everyone run a little faster!
They say you can’t control the actions of others, but you can guide them to an extent. Clear communication will exponentially increase the chances of others acting in line with your time management plan. The better informed a person is, the more time efficient they can be. Sharing key information and timings with family and friends using Twasme Share is a great way to ensure clear communication.
Don’t be afraid to delegate
Ask others to help out wherever appropriate but be beware that delegation is not micro-management. If you constantly check up on someone it not only distracts them from getting the task done, it steal your time away from other beneficial areas – creating a double-edged-time-wasting-sword! As mentioned above, by communicating instructions clearly you can be confident a task will be completed properly and with effective time management.
Start the day right
Getting your time management off to a flying start each morning a great way to create momentum for the rest of the day. A morning routine will certainly do the trick. Routines can be great for effective time management because they remove practically all the thinking and decision-making time. Routines can run like clockwork, and we can’t go any faster than the clock. Learn how to build a successful morning routine here!
End the day right
Especially in early stages of optimising your time management, it’s a good idea to keep a time diary. Just take 20-30 minutes to relax each evening, maybe make a cup of tea, and write down everything you did that day, with timings. Be brutally honest. By tracking down waste you can avoid those pitfalls the next day.