Time Management Tips and Tricks
Time is our most precious asset- Can always get more money but cannot create more time.
Time management is borrowing time from one place for another. (Juggling and Balancing)
General Tips and Foundations
- Make the most out of the time you have. You have all the time you need to make your time count.
- People are not born productive- it’s a culture that we have learned and we to change our mindset (Invest in yourself first thing in the morning)
- People with a mindset shift will ask themselves different questions eg- What can I do with this bit of time or delay, when is my next appointment,
- See time as an asset.
- Have an hour of power set each day
- Lock yourself away from distractions
- It’s a fact that most of our day is chasing goals and improvements
- Management of time doesn’t exist. Managing yourself is key.
- Set goals and rewards –
- Procrastination- Ask yourself do you really want to achieve this goal? Reward yourself to do things you do not wish to do to avoid procrastination
- Distractions will help you procrastinate
- Prioritising – Divide into the following categories: Important/Urgent, Not Important/Urgent, Important/Not Urgent, Not Important/Not Urgent (the Last category is normally entertainment, personal activities or wants rather than needs)
- Learn to Delegate (Don’t Micro Manage)
- Start with small tweaks in your schedule (eg Waking up 10min Earlier in Morning, avoiding social media for a day)
- Set clear deadlines
- Plan meals ahead of time – Cooking in Advance- Knowing what you want to eat in advance can save you time.
- Set Routines- Even know what day is fish day for food
- Multitasking doesn’t save time. Tasks are lower quality, miss out on details, can cost you more in the long run.
- Takes time to switch between tasks- Eg Someone interrupting for only 5min can prevent you from getting back to the tasks a further 5min. Average time to switch between tasks is 8min.
- Link actions to goals – Link Goals to people you are hanging around with.
- Schedule your day ahead of time (Pre-Thinking) 5min at night for next day, 1 hr a week at the end of the week to plan the next
- Take breaks for more productivity – 10-15min will help you relax and refresh you for the next task. Performance= Quality, not quantity
- Perfectionism can be good for when you have time. However seeing things not so perfect can bring you down, and make you frustrated so enjoy what you do, and look for the good in everything even if it’s not perfect.
- Keep your motivation or inspiration (What inspires you?)
- Choose the most important task first
- There will always be more to do
Using your Calendar
- Doesn’t matter where it is – Fridge, Journal, iPhone, Desk, Paper or App
- Lists all the time in the day and how you can use it
- Track Everything (Dieting example)
- This way you will less likely do things that are less productive as you have to write it down
- Schedule tasks like email checking (Several times a day?)
To DO List-
- It is called a “Should do” list (on average 41% of things on this list don’t get done)
- Place that to do list in to the calendar to make it real and actionable
- This list normally contains important but not urgent tasks
- Work from your calendar, not your to do list
Carry a Notebook
- Richard Branson’s most favorited item is his notebook
- Jotting down notes, meetings, words of wisdom, ideas
- Capture the information so you don’t lose it
- Inbox for our mind, so we can walk around free of stress
Other people will delay your time and it’s a variable that has to be adaptable and useable.
- If someone doesn’t turn up to an appointment, what can you do to fill in this gap? Where can you move something from?
- Marketing, Companies and our Inbox will bombard us with messages as everyone wants us or our business. They will constantly keep messaging you, don’t let them take your time away
- Shut off notifications
Yes can mean no
- When you say yes to something you are often saying no to something else
- Things you say yes to should be important to you
- Learn how to say no – Procrastination exists due to us saying yes to things we should say no to. At least delay things you can say no to, for the time you have spare.
- Say no to everything that doesn’t support your immediate goals
Pareto Principle (80/20 rule)
- Most of the results we get (80%) we get from the 20% of tasks we do
Batch your work with recurring themes
- Focus Days, Buffer Days, Free Days (Athletes do this for better performance)
- Hours of Power
- Routine Scheduling
- Open your email when you are ready to process it
- Similar to bills and junk mail you get in the mail, no need to open a bill unless you are ready to pay it or are doing your accounts. Batch the tasks similar to above.
Productivity is about Energy and Focus not time
- Take care of your body – Water, Sleep, Breaks, Good Food
- Productive people take more breaks (Sprint then rest is how we are built)
- Hour of Power is a good example of sprinting to get more done then taking a break
THE THREE STEPS TO BECOMING A MULTIPLER (Significance Addon)
- Permission to ignore
- Say No
- Create a process today to save time tomorrow (Online Bill Payments example)
- Return on time invested (ROTI)
- Compounding interest makes money on money. By Automating the process you make time from investing time.
You can delegate anything
Thinking can stop us from delegating (People can’t do what you can do)
Then choose if it needs to be done now or schedule it. If it saves you time, makes tomorrow better or improves the time management system then do it now.
More of a habit than a characteristic
Question? How much time have we spent this week looking for things?
- Visualise Everything: Organise in a Visual Way especially if you need visuals (Trello/Ora.Pm)
- Set aside time to organise your day (Get a mental picture of what needs to get done)
- The Big 3 (Choose 3 top main priority tasks you need to get done in the day) Realistic goals for the day, focusing also on only 3 help you avoid procrastination ( Overwhelming stress of day)
- Hold yourself accountable
- Clean your Environment (If your Room is a mess, you will sleep cluttered also)
- Perfectionism can ruin your creativity however the organisation will help a smoother workstyle. You need to choose what you wish to have as fluid and what you want as a solid. Adaptability is a great ability, staying organised is to be as fluid around the routine or solid needs of your organisation.
- Colour Categorising (Highlighters, Post it notes, stickers)
- Add sticky notes to your schedule book as you can remove them when tasks are done. Eg (Pick up the stock list)
Office Desk Hacks
- Adding a green plant will make you more productive (American Association for the advancement of science) Exposure to green influences productivity
- Light Therapy – Influencing yourself with lights to be more focus and attentive
- Peppermint oil enhances cognitive ability (Scent therapy)
- Warmer office – More accurate and Efficient (Cornell University)
- Have a spot for everything. If you have a folder eg..and it hasn’t got a spot then you are not organised.
- Don’t keep things around if they are not useful to you
- People who limit their email have significantly lower stress, which made them more productive at work. (University of British Columbia)
- Don’t treat your inbox as an achieve (Achieve or Delete instead)
- Don’t use email as a task manager. (Some emails may require you to do 18 other things)
- Use Tags
- Create rules in Email to filter to Tags or Folders
- Hot Potato- Delegate, Do, Dump or Divert to reduce email collection
- Set time limits on replying to emails
- Boomerang – Send back to yourself at a later date (app on Gmail)
File System Hack
- Folder Structure that is well designed and flexible
- Use Encrypted Password Manager for easier and quicker login between programs
- Alphabetical, Numerical, or Another form (Anthony Bourdain – Geo location for a restaurant)
- (ABC) Alphabetical if you only want three levels
- Chewing gum increases concentration (British Journal of Psychology) (Peppermint is good see above)
- Build your habits slowly and give yourself time to become accustomed. New years resolutions are too much too soon.
- Remove time consuming apps on your phone
- Be specific, not general
- Magnetic Whiteboard Refrigerator to do list
- Sticker any days in your calendar that has something special or not in a regular routine
- Label everything
Planning – Weekly/Daily
- Bigger tasks can be done monthly
- Have a routine to plan.
- Batching tasks will speed up productivity and performance
- Plan to have downtime – Eg picking up fuel for car, interruptions, traffic
- Use any extra buffer time for buffer items (things you can move around) 5 minute items
- Two is one or one is none (Have backups for everything)
Disorganised people let life catch then off guard.