Maximise your time
Did you ever run out of time? So many projects nearing their deadlines, so many activities scheduled after work. Just how to manage it all? We’ve had one of those weeks several times this year already! With every going on, we know it’s super important to be organised and get stuff done!
We’re excited to share our top 10 tips to master your time and for you to achieve more. Are you ready to see big improvements while making small changes?
1. Plan your week
In this region, this seems impossible at time. Yet, we believe it is absolutely possible! You may not be able to plan every minute of your week (and we wouldn’t recommend you do either). Still, you can give each day of your week a particular focus. For example, Sunday is for administration and your salsa class may be on Monday evenings. Tuesday nights are reserved for Ladies’ Nights while Thursday mornings are blocked for business networking sessions.
2. Top three priorities for the day
Trying to fit too much into a day often ends in frustration. Something popped up unexpectedly and you didn’t get to finish what you were working on. Decide what your most import activities or goals are for each day. These may change and you can define these the night before. The next day, you work on these 3 priorities first, allowing you to complete them before anything else needs to be fitted into your calendar.
3. Protect your time
With so much at flux, learn to say “no” to say “yes” to your goals. It’s great to make time for other people at work and in your home life, this is time that will prevent you from working on your priority. Start to block time in your calendar for you!
4. Schedule your priority work according to your body clock
Are you the morning bird or the night owl? Your body clock can give you the energy to work on your priorities while you may want to use those dips for more routine activities like filing your emails or papers at work.
5. Create an intentional work space
The paper tiger lady Barbara Hemphill strongly encourages everyone to set up a productive environment which gives you the “intentional setting where you can accomplish your work and enjoy your life.” This also includes decluttering your work area to gain that focus you require.
6. Minimise interruptions
When you need to focus, turn your email notifications off and turn your phone to silent. You can check your messages after 20 minutes (or later, if you can). This uninterrupted thinking/working time allows you to get cracking and make progress! If something pops into your head (my brain goes on a F1 race course when I need to focus), keep some sticky notes or a notepad for spontaneous ideas and thoughts nearby and follow up later.
7. Learn more
Technology can be great help and time saver but what if you don’t know how to use it. Speak with your colleagues about short cuts (my favourite one is learning Vlookups rather than comparing data in excel row by row). Many programmes and apps have tutorials. Watch them.
8. Use smarter email subjects
269 billion emails had been sent per day on average in 2017 and I bet you’re getting your fair share of these. How much time do you spent reading them? Give the reader an insight into the topic and actions required by them, for example “Provide financial input for regional expenses by Wednesday, 14 Feb”.
9. Have a break and refuel
Step away from your work space and do something very different. If you’re working with a screen, let your eyes rest, too, and look afar. Refuel your batteries with the right ingredients by snacking on some nuts (almonds or walnuts), fruit (apple, berries) or vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumber).
At the end of the day, spend a few minutes looking back at your day. What went well? Did you follow your top 3 priorities and have you completed your top 3 priorities? Did you have enough time allotted to each activity or what adjustments will you make going forward? What interruptions came up and how did you handle them? Where did I procrastinate? Answering these questions amongst others can help you master your time.
We recently worked with a senior executive who always made time for others. She got upset having to stay late at work, finalising reports and catching up on emails and not having enough time to work on her company’s strategy. We looked at her workflow, her working style as well as her interactions with others in the organisation.
While an ideal work week was difficult for her to imagine, she’s now blocked out specific time periods to focus on her top priority for the day. She has also implemented “opening hours” where she take the time for spontaneous discussions with her peers and team. Our client has already seen how these small changes have made such a big improvement in her daily, giving her extra energy for fun activities with her husband after work.
Are you also keen to master your time? Work on your priorities without getting stressed? Find more time for what matters to you? Contact us and find out how we can support you in getting more out of your day!
Until next time,