Friday, November 8, 2013

10 time management tips i wish someone told me

What's the use of knowledge and experience unless it benefits you and those around you? Every time I'm swamped with work I'm pretty quick to recognise stress levels rising. It's then that I get serious about time management. Sure, I am usually pretty good with this anyway, but when it comes to pressured situations, I think we all sink to the baseline of what we know, we don't normally rise up to a higher level of functioning. So the 10 most useful things I remind myself about time management are:

  1. Be honest with yourself. This is just basic self-care. Be real about the sheer size of the work to do, and be honest that it's stressful. It won't seem so much like a monster when the thing is acknowledged.
  2. Be honest with others - manage the heck out of those expectations. Clarify with everyone and once you're on the same page, even though the work hasn't disappeared, a lot of the pressure usually has.
  3. Days always fill up. So it's essential that we prioritise. Prioritisation is an actionable value statement. It's a way of demonstrating what you think is the most valuable thing at that point.
  4. Flow isn't always immediately available. There will always be times when you really hit that sweet spot and things just flow. There will also be times when the exact opposite is true. High workload, stressful times don't have any consideration for either state. Having strategies in place for both situations is important. This means planning and knowing yourself really well.
  5. Time to plan is not wasted time.
  6. Procrastination is the enemy. Just. get. it. done.
  7. Burnout times happen. Just make sure they don't happen often.
  8. Connectivity can be a hindrance. Sure, it's great to have IM open so you can quickly access those SMEs, but the opposite is also equally helpful.Social media, IM, phones, open work spaces - disconnect from that stuff for periods.
  9. Multitasking is a fallacy. There, I said it. If you can get a 'passive' task done at the same time, go for it. very few to-do list items fall into that category though.
  10. Time is valuable. Respect it and make it respected. Are all those items on your list really that vital and urgent? Are the definitely only doable by you? What value is being placed on *your* time by doing all that stuff?
If all else fails, just go with this: