Are You a Good Time Manager?

Time management is about planning available time in a constructive way, in order to work smarter and not harder or longer. This can be achieved by planning the day, week, month or year ahead, while allocating times to the tasks. You can use a simple notepad, an app on you phone or a large wall calendar if you prefer.

Conquer Time Management naomimclaughlan

Often people mistake time management with doing more things at the same time, also known as ‘multi-tasking’. This can be dangerous and might lead to feeling stressed, fatigued or even to burn out, due to over-working the body and the mind.

Multi-tasking should be avoided, because we overwork our body and mind, while at the same time we are not present in the moment. It is rather a survival mode than being beneficial for us or the task at hand.

Always plan your nurturing or self-care elements as well, because if you forget to plan nutrition, relaxation or exercise you might burn your candle at both ends. Consider taking some time out to look after yourself, in order to be able to have a good work-life balance.

A time management plan or to-do list are tools to keep us focused on what we want or have to do during a specific time, which means that we hope to complete something, but must remember that it is just that a plan, or a tool.

Why do you need to learn to say ‘No’?

If we don’t know how to say ‘No’ our whole time management plan would be constantly interrupted by other people’s requests, and therefore would not work.

Here are a couple of examples of saying ‘No’ appropriately, but remember that you can adapt them to your own needs and in your own words.

‘Thank you for taking your time to ask me, but I have to pass.’

‘That’s a lovely idea, but I am not able to attend, thank you.’

‘No, I won’t be able to assist you with that, but I might be able to help you in the future.’

How to conquer Time Management in 10 Steps;

1. Doing the most important task first – When planning the to-do list it is important to rank each task in importance, without compromising.

2. Stop procrastinating – Procrastinating means instead of doing something right now or when it has to be done, to keep putting it off, either because you are busy with ‘being busy’ or because there is an underlying issue  – work them out and get your tasks done!

3. Not allowing your schedule to be overloaded with ‘Trivia’ – Trivia is every little task that fills up the day, but does not necessarily has to be done, including either procrastination or overload or both at the same time.

4. Remember to delegate and share tasks – Always think of your family members, friends, employees or work colleagues first, not because you are lazy, but rather because it might be their area of expertise in which they are more time efficient than you are right now.

5. Avoiding multi-tasking

6. Plan in a modular way – Break each task into chunks of action and follow through until one is done.

7. Correct allocation of resources – Think about your time, money and other forms of resources when you plan each task.

8. Remembering how to say ‘No’ – You have to learn how to say ‘No’ at times.

9. Avoid ‘JIT’ (Just In Time) working – As soon as something does not line up if we try to work JIT, we might not be able to complete the task. This can lead to frustration, anger, stress, feelings of failure, disappointment or even feeling the need to blame someone for it. Even though it might work for some tasks, it should be avoided, by planning well ahead of time.

10. Stay flexible – You might get frustrated or angry, if you are not flexible, because there is a chance that something unplanned happens. There should always be room for flexibility, this could be achieved be adding ‘buffer’ time to our plan.

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All the Best Naomi

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