Did you work through the festive period, or shut down totally? Shutting down is of the most extreme time management strategies, but total or partial stop I bet you did. There were probably a couple of days when you relaxed more than usual. You did less work, despite knowing that January was going to be busy and only a few days earlier you were saying things like:
“I can’t stop, too much to do“
“I’ll just work late tonight to catch up” (and then the next day…)
“Sorry dear, I don’t have time to help“, or ever worse
“They will be fine without me, I’ll see their play next year“
So, what did you do at Christmas that was so good? I bet that you used a time management strategy technique without realising. What’s more I bet you thought about improving your productivity and time management strategies for next year.
Are these thoughts going to be empty promises to yourself or will you do start using time management strategies that work?
Time Management is impossible.
Some people call it “Time management”, but I have never found anybody that can manage time; let’s be honest and call it self management. This small piece of self admission is a big start, now you’re going to focus in the right place – YOU!
- How did you decide that you were going to be more productive?
- How will you keep reminding yourself of those points?
Before going any further, here’s an odd invitation – but a genuine one. Email me the your answer to those two questions and I;; remind you as the year goes on; it’s one simple way you are more likely to do them! That will cost you nothing, and there will be somebody else holding you to account!
What was your festive trick?
Over the festive period you used the technique of time blocking. It helped you relax and start to think in a more useful manner about the New Year. Time blocking and conscious choice are two good time management strategies. Having blocks of time you set aside for specific activities allows you to focus more effectively. Knowing that it is limited allows you not to subconsciously worry about the other things you need to do. That’s why holidays work; you can extend this principle to specific areas of your work.
An important point about time blocks is the end point. As an introvert you may well (and I do sometimes), forget to come out of the block and keep going. That’s why you need to set a time limit or better still several short times. Try a focus 25 minutes, then your phone calls for 10 minutes, then focus for 25 minutes, then a walk & talk, then repeat.
Oh, and as an introvert there may well be things you’re doing to avoid what you should be doing. Stop putting off those calls, visits, or whatever socialising you need to be doing!
Top 6 time management strategies
- Don’t rely on a “to do” list or variant – it alone won’t change things.
- Consider your values and how you need to work, trying to go against your values won’t help.
- Consider the people you work with, they’re part of the problem in some way (whether it’s about delegation, communication, assertiveness, or them not understanding your needs).
- Remember sometimes it’s OK to say NO, but there are good ways of doing so
- Invest a small amount of time every day into managing yourself and saving time.
- List down your avoidance tactics, so you can address them and step back to the task in hand.