AS TIME GOES BY
Douglas Adams famously once said" I love deadlines - It's the whooshing sound they make as they fly by" Managing Time is a very big undertaking! - On one level it's a bit like trying to learn how to command ocean waves or trying to master switching off the sun! Yet there are a plethora of time management courses out there in the training sphere offering to make you better and more efficient human beings ..and yes we offer them too!.
But the key is that whilst you can teach good time management practises ...time management is also a philosophy - it's a state of mind.
Most ‘courses’ focus on concepts we all already know but fail to implement on a daily basis. Time is like blinking - you don't think about blinking but you do it all the time (there - I've now ruined your day because you are now thinking about blinking!)
Time is like blinking - it is there always but you do need to think about it, be aware of it, value it. Trust me when you turn 80 you'll think about it! In essence time management is about the art of avoiding distraction, the ability to prioritise, the importance of planning and goal setting, the ability to manage deadlines and the art of saying NO.
Make time your friend. Treat it as a privilege. Above all else time management is about the need to do what’s important NOT what’s urgent.
For time management to be really effective as a learned discipline - delegates need to accept, identify and personalise their own time management challenges in order to create a bespoke, tactical plan for themselves that will be different to those of their colleagues.
There are many useful hints and tips we could share but here are some of the simple time management techniques that we find particularly effective.
Write your to do list every morning - then rank tasks from 10-1( ie from "absolutely must do now" to "would be nice to get to this as and when)"
Don't read your emails until 11.00am (bet you can't do that)
Spend at least half an hour a day not at your desk
Have formal "me time" breaks at least twice a day and for at least 15 minutes each. You have our permission to relax
Have a weekly meeting with team colleagues - see who's got bandwidth to help if you are snowed under
Log everything you do for a week and put the time used against each entry - then review it. Be warned it's frightening!
For very big - break them down into 'bite-sized' blocks
Plan each day - the day / week before
Buy a watch or look at your phone!