5 tips for better time management
“I don’t have time.” How often have you heard that? We all have 24 hours with 1,440 minutes in a day. How come that some of us seem to get everything done, just like they planned while others always seem to have an excuse? I remember the days when I’d hear “I’ll do it in a minute.” Guess what! That minute never came and it often ended in a big last minute rush.
Here are our top tips for using your time wisely:
1. Be realistic about your time.
In a city that doesn’t seem to sleep, we think we can get everything when we want it. If you have the budget, that’s probably true. For most of us, we don’t have an unlimited budget to fulfil this thinking and we need to plan our resources.
Look at your calendar before you accept another meeting. Until today, you can only be at one place at the same time. There’s nothing won from accepting a business meeting while being on the phone to someone else on a very different topic.
Schedule in time for the commute. If you are at the airport until 11:00 am and need to be in the Marina, on the other end of the city, by 11:00 am, you won’t have enough time to get there. If your airport meeting, however, stopped by 10:00 am, you’d have 1 full hour which should be just fine (famous last words).
2. Set a theme for each day.
Entrepreneurs and business owners use this trick to give their day focus. They are dedicating a day (or morning or evening) to one topic and are using their energy wisely.
You simply bundle similar activities and perform them on that specific day. You benefit from shorter transition times (e.g. when switching from one task to another) and generate a flow.
Possible themes are business networking, food shopping, girls’ night out, household chores, batch cooking, finances and bill payments.
3. Review how you work.
If you’re like me, you may struggle getting up at 5:30 am and happily working away by 6:30 am. Find out how your inner rhythm determines your energy highs and lows. Once you know whether you’re the early bird or your day starts at 8:30 am, schedule your work accordingly.
Use your high energy moments for those activities that require all your focus. Those activities which don’t require much of you, e.g. filing, should be scheduled during your energy slump periods.
4. Combine your work tools.
You’ll notice your dependability on the different databases, files and tools you’re using. How great would it be if you had everything available in one place? For many organisations, this means consolidating their systems and individuals are following by using Dropbox or Evernote.
Keeping all your files in one place gives you the benefit of finding what you’re looking for easily. It also reduces the number of backups required (e.g. 1 system vs 10!). Just don’t forget to back up! Having everything in one place allows you to start and/or continue your organising journey. You can quickly see which files you already have.
5. Get in action.
Do you love to plan, plan, plan? Fab! Now, let’s also get started. After all, action leads to more action, which in return leads to inner satisfaction and more energy.
All too often, procrastination can visit me and I’ve to remind myself that I can relax later on. Mah-jong is my obsession and I use it as a reward once I’ve finished an activity. Identify your distractor and remove them out of your sight and mind. Don’t let it stand in between you and the task at hand. Instead, use it as a motivator to finish your activities right and on time.
What have you done to increase your flow and make better use of your time? I’d love to hear what tips have helped you become more productive. Let us know!
Until next time,