Mastering The Art Of Time Management
Ah, time management. Few of us truly have this art pinned down. In fact, even the people that feel like they do manage their time well, the chances are, that there are still many time consuming black holes within their day.
It's something our clients discuss with us regularly and whilst there are many apps to help you manage your time and productivity, and there are apps to help speed things up such as Xero and Receipt Bank, time management is also a mindset. Here are our 5 steps to help you achieve time management bliss.
Step 1: It’s all about you.
The first step is to mind map. Write down all the factors and responsibilities in your life. For example, ‘work’, ‘coaching’, ‘cooking’, ‘cleaning’. This is the place to write absolutely everything down, no matter how big or how small.
Then start mind mapping all of the things to do with those responsibilities. Running your company, for example, will have a lot of sub-responsibilities.
You need to start asking yourself some questions, and it is vital, to be honest with yourself:
What do you want to achieve?
What are your motivators? What makes you happy?
What are the tasks you need to complete to get those things?
What things are you saying yes to/entertaining that you shouldn’t be? (that are not important)
Identify anything on the mind map, whether they are core responsibilities or sub-responsibilities, that you could eliminate.
If you are a football coach for example, and this no longer makes you happy, and it does not contribute to your overall goals and motivators then this could be a core responsibility that you could eliminate. With other tasks look for things you can automate and outsource. Check out our blogs on automation and outsourcing. (I will link)
Step 2: Deconstruction goals into actionable points.
Now you have a clear idea of what is important to you, deconstruct these goals and responsibilities into actionable points. Think about what you need to be doing on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Schedule in these points in your diary and treat them like appointments, do not move them and do not forget them.
Write a list of all the things you want to accomplish in the given month and break bigger tasks into smaller tasks.
Step 3: Create a Routine
A routine is paramount. A routine does not necessarily need to be strict, but having a routine will help you get into a focussed mindset. You will start to get to know what you need to do and when and how long a task will take.
Here are some tips to help you create a routine…
Plan the day ahead so you can hit the ground running in the morning. We recommend the Plan App
Schedule in minutes not hours, time gets lost when you plan in hours. Many find the Pomodoro method useful.
Allow for interruptions, set ‘buffer’ time.
Work to your body clock by matching tasks to your energy levels
Keep emails under control by letting Gmail do the work: archive, star, tag, and use automated files. Use an email add-on such as Sortd to help ease the process.
Stick by the 2-minute rule. If something can be done in 2 minutes or less, do it immediately to prevent work build up
Step 4: Set Deadlines
Whether you have deadlines or not set and meet your own deadlines. It is so important that you get used to knowing how long things will roughly take, and that you get them done within the desired time.
Here are some tips to help you meet deadlines:
Set timers, calendar reminders, and alarms to help you get into the routine of meeting deadlines.
Set an alarm on the hour every hour so you can refocus.
Take breaks; this is essential to keep your mind and body focussed.
Create a top 5 tasks that you must get done that day.
Digital detox. Turn your phone on aeroplane mode and power through that to do list!
Identify where you are wasting time. This is crucial when it comes to meeting deadlines, make sure you do not waste time with unimportant tasks
Step 5: Automate and Outsource
Automate and outsource everything that doesn’t require your expert knowledge. Check out our list of things to automate.
Check out more of the blogs from our #Live Life campaign…
About the author
Chloe Slade is the Marketing Manager here at Cone and focuses on creating content that brings business and lifestyle together. Chloe is keen makeup lover, foodie and loves to work from luxurous destinations.