This blog complements the April 2022 Lunch’n’ Learn webinar run by Samantha Davies. With Sam’s Corporate background, her experience as founder of Platypus Coworking, her work as a mentor and also being a busy mum, she is the perfect person to talk to you about Time Management.
Here is her first tip – Don’t get stressed about time management, which will only make it worse!
If you would like to listen to the full webinar you can find the information on Platypus Lunch‘n Learn here.
1. We own all our time
This is a good reminder that we get to choose how and when we allocate our time, especially when you feel your time management is getting away from you.
You can set your time as you want to!
Your time is actually yours to manage.
Everyone has 24 hours in the day, how are you using it?
You need to be effective and efficient with your time.
2. Hell Yeah or No
This section focuses on the question; do I really want or need to do this task, or is it really a NO?
Sometimes it is the right thing to do to say no.
You need to focus on the things that work for you, and things that help your business. Don’t do things that others want you to do (unless it also works for you).
A common example would be a meeting that doesn’t really need to happen that takes up a lot of time with no real outcome.
Think about every invitation you get and whether you should say yes or no.
3. The Daily Highlight
Pick one thing on your to do list that is the most important task to complete for that day.
· Sometimes this is a thing that you are pleased to do, to get you motivated and achieving something. Then you are then on a roll to get more things done.
· It is important that you focus on this one thing no matter the distractions of the day.
· Finding your Daily Highlight can help you to prioritise and organise all your lists for the day.
· The Highlight helps with your sense of achievement for the day, when the thing you most want to get done is actually completed.
4. Use a To Do List
This can be a physical list or digital list - find a system that works for you. You can even use sticky notes if that works for you. Daily or weekly planners are viable options.
The best part of this is the physical and mental feeling of achievement you get when you tick something off the list!
To do lists and calendar schedules work really well together, with the schedule assisting to accurately and realistically manage your daily highlight and to do list.
There are numerous tools available to assist. (Just don’t waste too much time finding and playing with all the tools and apps).
This can be particularly valuable when time is short, you are the only one who can do your tasks, or you are the only one in the business.
5. Time Blocking
In your calendar, time blocking allows you to set time aside for certain tasks.
Think about what is on for the week, and how can you plan around it?
Spend an hour planning your week on Monday morning.
Don’t shift your time blocking.
Don’t ignore your time blocking.
Have time set aside for everything that has to be done.
Think about your priorities, and first set time aside for that.
Goal setting, business planning, social media, reporting are examples of common time blocking tasks.
6. Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law is the adage that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”.
If you aren’t busy, you will delay a task instead of getting it done.
Allocate time for these tasks and just get them done (time blocking helps).
Complete the task, then if you still have time, you can check your work or start something else.
Give a busy person a job and it will get done quickly is the follow on from Parkinson’s Law.
Give yourself time for longer term tasks as well as urgent tasks in order to avoid last minute chaos and stress.
7. Protected Time
Time just for you. Set this time aside and don’t book this time for any other purpose.
Protected time is just for you to get things done, non-negotiable.
Sometimes these are personal items, not always business tasks.
Protecting time helps you value your day more, so you get things done.
If your goal is to take a lunch break or leave early sometimes, ensure this is protected time.
Use your personal most productive time for particular tasks to maximum capacity to get more done.
Follow your own schedule, don’t bow to what others think you should be doing.
Schedule and allow for meetings at other times of day from your productive times.
What is the dollar value of your time?
Delegate things you are not good at yourself, and you will often get someone to do it more quickly and productively even if you are paying for their time.
Ensure you use your time productively with what you are good at and delegate the rest out to others.
Also, delegate things that you do not enjoy doing otherwise these things will drag out and waste more time than you really need.
Delegation can be hard to do, but once you have done it you will truly recognise the value.
9. Automate Scheduling
Save time by sending someone a calendar link to easy scheduling ahead instead of going back and forth over email.
This can also prevent having to be available for calls to make bookings in your “protected time” or “blocked” time.
There are numerous software options available for automating scheduling.
This can also be a better experience for clients, allowing bookings to be made when you may not be available such as evenings or weekends.
You can choose times you are available for these appointments, so this can work around your time blocking, or protected time.
It may take some time to set this up, however it will pay itself back in automation time.
10. Choose to be Satisfied
Regardless of what you ticked off, be satisfied with what you have done.
Even if a task is not fully completed in the timeframe allocated, you still need to be satisfied that what you have done is adequate and an achievement.
You may wish to objectively look at why you didn’t complete the task. Did you not allocate sufficient time, or should you have delegated something, or were your time blocks interrupted by something preventable?
You don’t want to be ending the day frustrated with your achievements.
You have to be satisfied with doing what you are able do to, even if it is not quite what you wished to do.
Hopefully at least one or two of these tips will assist you to make yourself a better Time Manager.
For more business presentations check out our monthly Platypus Lunch'n'Learn.